I have lived in West End for thirty years. I am known locally as “the butterfly man”. I have co-authored a book on butterflies. In one of my gardens over a 20 year period I had 43 species of butterfly come and lay eggs on the host plants I grew especially to attract them.
I am a qualified permaculture designer and one of the missions of my life is to connect people with nature. I have been active in the Paradise Street Community Garden for the last ten years. It is a unique local institution that connects community, wildlife and food. A highlight for me is when the local kindergarten kids come for their weekly session in their “forest classroom”.
I have a medical condition that would benefit from medical cannabis. If I lived in Israel I would be able to walk into a clinic, be assessed and walk out with my medicine. Here in Queensland men with guns (police) would kidnap (arrest) me and lock me in a cage (jail). I think this is wrong and so do the other tens of thousands in a similar situation.
I developed an interest in religion in the seventies when police raided my bookshop and seized some political magazines under the pretext that they were obscene literature. I won the court case and the magazines were returned. The police visit had been incited by an extreme Christian group called Society to Outlaw Pornography (STOP). In response I created the Society To Abolish Religious Terrorism (START). I’ve seen many other negative effects on society when a particular type of religious fanatic imposes their values on others. As a result I strongly believe that religion should be kept separate from government.
I am not a billionaire, priest or a lawyer. I am just another ordinary person who has had a lot of interesting and educational life experiences. I think I would make an excellent parliamentary representative.