DAVID COLLYER (INDEPENDENT - CANDIDATE FOR THE UNREGISTERED AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS)
What are the top three issues facing Melbourne residents and how would you address them?
1. Education. Accept the Gonski Report recommendation to spend $5 billion more on poor government schools. This is the best and highest use of taxpayers’ money available.
2. Tax Reform. End Stamp Duty and widen existing State Land Tax as the Henry Tax Review recommends.
3. Build heavy rail to Tullamarine Airport to shrink the city and cut the cost of access.
What is your vision to help the homeless, mentally ill and dispossessed?
A generous, very tightly targeted social welfare system funded by ending middle class welfare, which helps no one. Keating almost got there but this was undone by John Howard.
What will you do about Melbourne’s population growth and high-rise development?
Both major parties are committed to large immigration programs. This provides little benefit to citizens. With both major parties determined to maintain the current level of immigration, third party votes - including those of The Greens - become irrelevant. The majors would vote together if the matter was brought before parliament.
I prefer high-rise to urban sprawl, but this must be handled much more sensitively.
Is heritage being protected adequately in the Melbourne electorate? Will you fix what is broken in heritage protection?
We don’t look after already-identified heritage sites well enough. Regulation isn’t enough; these sites need resources. Again, tax reform would make an enormous difference – heritage site landowners would pay less and be able to upkeep.
If elected, which party would you vote with in state parliament? Would you cross the floor if you believed your chosen party’s position was not in Melbourne’s interests? Conversely, would you vote against the interests of the Melbourne electorate for the greater benefit of Victoria?
The Australian Democrats take to the cross benches and consider all legislation on its merits. Democrat parliamentarians are given a free vote in all matters – with an obligation to explain themselves if voting against perceived party or electorate interests. New laws that may injure the interests of Melbourne versus Victoria would require a great deal of study.
What shape should the East-West road link project take? Should it be built at all?
I am not a fan. There are many road and public transport projects that rank higher than this one on any objective measure. Let us consider those instead.
Will you support Moonee Valley Council’s plans for a bike lane on Mt Alexander Road, at the expense of a car lane, even if it results in increased traffic congestion?
How would you fix traffic congestion at Flemington Showgrounds and racecourse during major events?
Mass sporting spectacles are a feature of Melbourne life and their venues surround the inner area. We can manage and control traffic to a point, but no candidate has an answer beyond this. Capacity increases in public transport would be quickly absorbed and negated by increased spectator numbers. There is no final ‘fix’ for this problem, short of banning cars or sporting events.
If elected would you lobby for the reunification of Carlton (returning Princes Hill/Carlton North to Melbourne City Council)?
What steps if any will you take to restore public confidence and ensure that the Melbourne City Council is open and transparent?
By identifying the vested interests and making sure the common good prevails at all times. This is a grinding, wearing task all politicians must embrace and manage.