Background, work and interests
I grew up in semi-rural Beenleigh. Mum was a nurse and my dad ran a small business. I moved to Brisbane in 1993 and put myself through uni, gaining an Arts degree from UQ with Honours in Ancient Greek. Since then I’ve worked as a self employed musician, travelling all over the world playing venues from the Sydney Opera House to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I’ve had many roles in the music industry including helping to run a successful venue in the Valley. I’ve also spent many years working in admin and management at universities and at the PA Hospital. Most recently I worked for the Queensland Greens. That didn’t end well as you may have heard!
Do you live in the electorate, and if not what your links are to South Brisbane?
I live on the northside now but I used to live in a couple of places in West End and Highgate Hill. I’ve worked as a musician in many of West End’s awesome bars and venues like The Bearded Lady, The End, The Joynt and The Motor Room. I also did a stint managing the Centres for Health Research at the PA Hospital on secondment from UQ. I’ve been a regular volunteer and participant at Kurilpa Derby and other local events and have many wonderful friends in the electorate.
What values have motivated you to be involved as a candidate and will inform your policy positions?
My main motivation for getting involved in politics five years ago was to try to build a better society and cleaner, safer world, and to feel like I was making a difference. I joined the Greens thinking they were the best vehicle for positive change, but my recent experience has shown me that the current leadership and direction of the party is not good for society. They care more about outrage than outcomes. They don’t live the values of transparency and open communication which I hold dear. Those are the values which will guide my policy position should I be elected.
Why do you think people should vote for you?
As an ethical green independent I’m focussed on what people really need and care about. Jobs. Community. A clean environment. A strong, sustainable economy. And a great lifestyle in our great state of Queensland. No extreme ideology, no fake outrage, no cancel culture. Just sensible, honest dealings that bring people together rather than driving them apart. I will always put the needs of regular people and small business ahead of the super-wealthy and multinational corporations. I believe in a strong, sustainable economy built off diversifying our revenue base, transitioning sensibly away from reliance on mining and supporting new, innovative, productive sectors. I believe that world-class, free health and education are the bedrock of a great society. I support protecting our natural environment, our productive farmland, and our precious water resources for the long term health of our land and people.
As an independent, I will work in good faith with the government (Labor, LNP or minority) to deliver for the people of South Brisbane and Queensland, because I respect the democratic will of the Queensland people. The Greens’ recent posturing about holding balance of power shows they only pay lip service to democracy and aren’t interested in real outcomes. Their economic plans also don’t stack up; almost everything is to be paid for by a gigantic increase in mining royalties. It’s unachievable, irresponsible and plays the voters for fools.
What you think the key issues are for voters in South Brisbane and why?
This election, people in South Brisbane, like people everywhere, are mainly concerned about the economic recovery from COVID-19. It’s crucial that the Queensland government focusses on building the economy with sustainable jobs in productive sectors. My focus is very much on the local economy, supporting local small business and workers, investing in skills and local infrastructure to make our suburbs more accessible and building on South Brisbane’s wonderful village vibe. It’s vital that government provides the basics like health, education and public transport, so that people can concentrate on building the life they want, particularly during this time of crisis. Locals are also really concerned about the effects of poor planning and overdevelopment on the amenity of our suburbs, and I’d like to see much more investment in public infrastructure for work and leisure. A clean, healthy environment is also a key issue, and I’m focussed on ending the blame game and political posturing on climate change, working collaboratively on adaptation and mitigation and also delivering fast, relatively simple gains like better recycling.
How will you ask your voters to direct their preferences?
I will be suggesting that voters give their second preference to Labor, and put the Greens last. I believe that at this point, with the current Queensland Greens leadership team, they are a danger to our society and to the economic recovery of Queensland, and a message needs to be sent. The shocking way I was treated by the Greens, as an employee and a whistleblower raising serious and legitimate concerns, has shown that they are anti-worker and are more interested in self-protection and political gain. If we want a strong, jobs-based recovery of Queensland, the Greens cannot be trusted to be a part of that.
The views expressed in all profiles are those of the candidates and are not necessarily shared by the Westender.