As part of the Westender’s election coverage, we have sent each candidate a list of questions regarding their policies, philosophy and voting intentions. Here is the response of Independent Candidate Frank Jordan.
What do you think makes you personally qualified to represent the residents of the South Brisbane electorate?
- I have spent most of my adult life involved in community and environmental groups. For example I was briefly the organiser of the FOE campaign in Brisbane in the seventies to remove lead from petrol. I helped start what is now the Subtropical Fruit Club. My focus has been on practical outcomes that improve people’s lives.
West End is very politically progressive. How do you think you’ll cope with some of the more out-there ideas floating around the suburb?
- The people of West End, East Brisbane etc seem normal to me. It is the weirdos in Parliament House that concern me more.
The issue dominating West End for the past ten years has been development (Some would say over-development). What policies would you implement to deal with the pressures on infrastructure -traffic, schools, open space, community resources, planning, etc.?
- I would start with a program to urgently increase the amount of green space. In particular I would direct the council to spend the greenspace monetary contributions it has collected and use them to resume warehouse properties bounded by Vulture St, Horan St and Ambleside St. This would free up enough land to create a large central park. Currently BCC is using this money to widen Lytton Rd, destroying heritage houses and disrupting the East Brisbane community.
The Labor Party has announced restrictions on political donations from Developers. Where do you stand on donations? Would you accept money from anyone and everyone?
- I agree with many of the policies of Cameron Murray to redirect the increases in values from rezoning to councils. Transparency about the source of all donations is essential. However developer donations to politicians is just one problem area. Donations to medical associations and hospitals needs more scrutiny.
Has your party decided on preferences in the South Brisbane electorate? Is there a State-wide policy, or will you make an electorate by electorate decision? Who would you preference?
- Yes. I have preferenced independents first and parties second. Candidates lucky enough to get more than 6% of the vote can get their expenses reimbursed. However independent candidates get $1.57 per vote while party candidates get $3.14. By voting first for an independent you save the taxpayer $1.57!
With voters globally disillusioned with a political process which is dominated by established or traditional parties, there is talk of a hung Parliament after the election. Would you consider a power-sharing arrangement with other parties to form government? What are your non-negotiables? Or, in what areas would you be prepared to compromise?
- As an independent I would try to negotiate the best outcomes for my constituents. I feel particularly strongly that when cannabis is legalised all cannabis possession convictions are also annulled.
The Carmichael Coal Project and the involvement of Adani has caused a great deal of controversy and generated loud opposition locally. Where do you and your party stand?
- This project is only viable if it receives government subsidies and this seems increasingly unlikely. It does not have my support. Closer to home the transit of uncovered coal wagons from the Darling downs through this electorate is a serious health risk. The re-appearance of black lung disease shows the coal industry can’t be trusted to safeguard our health and at the very least the wagons need to be covered.
The demographics of West End have changed since the last State Election, with thousands of new voters enrolled and a redistribution of the Electoral boundaries. How will this affect the outcome?
- This is only the start. Australia increases in population by about a million people every three years. One small section of development has plans for an extra 11,000 people in Kurilpa. It won’t happen this election but eventually the problems of overdevelopment will lead to a backlash against whoever is seen to be in charge.
Finally, any personal comments?
- Science built our civilization and I would like to see more evidence based policies. I would hope to encourage the new Australian space agency to have its headquarters based in this electorate. What better way to bring people together than to participate in our journey to the stars.