Name: Grant Schultz
Political Party: Independent
Family: Wife Beck and two children Darcie and Maggie
Where do you live? Mollymook Beach
What do you do for a living? Small Business Management and Community Advocacy
How long have you lived in the Gilmore electorate? 10 years
What is the best part of living in the Gilmore electorate? The sense of community and wonderful natural environment - and the fishing is great!
Why are you running for the seat of Gilmore? The desire to serve, my strong sense of justice and my passion to fight for the underdog. I have served the community for most of my adult working life, and I see the role of a member of parliament as just that - to serve the community. Politicians have forgotten that. I seek the opportunity to keep the major parties honest, make them deliver on their promises and stop their self serving inaction on critical issues our country so desperately needs.
What is your political experience? I have been involved in politics from a young age campaigning beside my father Alby Schultz who was a State and Federal MP. I was a union representative during my 28 years of service in the AFP and fought for and won the purchase of the SAS school site in Milton by the NSW State Government is 8 months, after collecting 10,000 signatures of support. I also managed a $28 million dollar capacity building program for the Australian Government in East Timor.
What are you doing to address the plight of dairy farmers who say they are not paid enough for their milk? Both parties have failed dairy farmers across the country. I will ensure that a farm gate/floor price is implemented and in times of drought or natural disaster a levy be added to that price in order to better support our dairy farmers.
Do you support the proposal to relocate immigrants to regional centres as a means of relieving pressure on metropolitan infrastructure and increasing the population of and diversity in country towns and cities? Yes.
Do you agree with the idea of decentralising government departments to regional areas, and, if so, which departments would you like to see be relocated to the Gilmore electorate? Yes - departments that best suit the needs of the electorate - but let's be honest - it doesn't matter what department it is.
What will you do over the next four years to ensure more funding for the Princes Highway? Name your priorities for urgent safety improvements on the Princes Highway. In the next three year term I will continue to campaign for 80/20 funding as I have done for the past two years with the Fix It Now campaign. Like the commitment to the Pacific Highway, I want to see the government make a formal commitment to duplicate the Princes Highway to the Victorian border. $500 million isn't enough to build 10 kilometers of highway - and its over six years, so only a few kilometres a year! We need BILLIONS invested, not millions. I will build on the existing NSW government investment, with bypasses of Nowra, Milton, Mogo and Moruya as a priority. This type of infrastructure will not only make our roads safer, it will provide long term job opportunities, open up trade and retail and further boost our tourism growth.
What's your vision for our region and how will you encourage more people to live here? We need to plan for our future - 55 per cent of Gilmore's population is aged over 60 - and our aged care facilities and health services are struggling. We need to support regions and to stop movement to major cities. Electorates like Gilmore need modern infrastructure and properly funded services. Safe roads, functioning hospitals and aged care services, and greater funding for schools and telecommunications.
Do you support renewable energy? If so how do you believe Gilmore is positioned to take advantage of the renewables market? Yes, I have had solar panels on my roof since 2002. I'm also interested in further development of pumped hydro to shore up both our future base load power and water needs.
The South-East is seeing a big community push for significant renewable energy investment and opportunities. It is also a region partly dependent on employment opportunities in logging, and struggling with increasing power costs. How do you stand on those issues, or plan to reconcile them? As mentioned, we need to look at alternate power sources such as pumped hydro. Economic stability and responsible planning for our children's future. Australia is long overdue sensible, bipartisan political leadership on the issue of climate change. I'm not opposed to coal based power - we can transition to renewables but not at the cost of our economy. I will ensure responsible action on behalf of our vulnerable coastal community. Australia is the lucky country, but we need to be the smart country. We need to make smart, informed decisions on social policy, on energy, on our environment, and on our place as a citizens of the world.
What policy do you have to reduce power bills? By working towards sustainable reliable power sourced through a market-driven transition to renewables such as stored/pumped hydro and similar projects.
What policy do you have to deal with climate change? Bringing the major parties to consensus and actually implementing climate policy. I believe this can be achieved through innovative market driven transition to reliable affordable renewable energy.
The South-East and Far South Coast would have to be among the most enticing places to live (no bias of course!) but it also one of the most unaffordable according to recent data. What are your plans and party policies surrounding housing affordability - for buyers and renters? Affordability can be increased by providing further stock to the market thereby increasing supply, reducing demand and decreasing prices.
I oppose removing negative gearing which is effect a rent off-set. Removing negative gearing will mean less investment in rental properties, decreasing supply and increasing price. In addition costs associated with maintaining rental properties will simply be passed on to the renter, in much the same way as commercial leases, significantly increasing rent prices.
Affordable housing projects such as the requirement of large scale residential developments to sell a percentage of new homes at a subsidised price; i.e. cost price PLUS a government off-set of the purchase price and removal of stamp duty. This would be limited to first home buyers. A similar program has been successful in the ACT over many years.
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