My broad policy positions reflect my perception of the rapidly changing global environmental, economic and political factors which will increasingly affect Australia and our region. My focus is on finding pragmatic solutions and adaptive strategies that give our nation and our people the best chances of coping with the challenges at hand, while securing ecological, social, and financial sustainability for our country through the decades ahead.

As an ecologist I am acutely aware of the conflict between economic growth and the finite resources of the planet we live on.  In the immediate future we need to take decisive action to bring down carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy.  We need cohesive national and global discourse on what collectively must be done to address the climate emergency and achieve sustainable quality of life in our societies.  Australia’s future lies with recognising that the global energy industry is rapidly changing to favour a transition to clean energy.  We should now be positioning ourselves as a world-leader in renewable energy innovation, capture and storage.  This decisive step would serve to re-invigorate our science, finance and manufacturing sectors to capitalise on the enormous opportunities inherent in this transition.   Australia has a chance to show real leadership as we move into this next crucial phase of human civilisation.

I believe we need to support the entrepreneurs, inventors and visionaries whose ideas have the potential to create the solutions that we need adapt our society to the rapidly changing global environment.  I also believe that those in real need of help and support should be properly cared for by our government, not left behind. I believe that having a meaningful vocation is more beneficial for individuals and society than being on long-term welfare and therefore I support education and training programs that give people the skills to help them find and keep secure and suitable employment. I have been a hard-working small business owner all my life, and I believe that government should be supporting businesses and companies that are involved in environmentally, economically and socially ethical endeavours because the success of those efforts translates into more long-term jobs for our people.

I believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that all people in this nation should have access to adequate and affordable housing, food, water, education, and health care, while living in inclusive societies and communities that offer security, opportunities for dignified employment, and access to parks and nature reserves that have been set aside from development in order to facilitate the essential connection between human beings and the natural environment.

Climate Action

I support the ICAN Climate Action Policy platform.

The Adani Coal Mine: Given the commitments of a majority of nations (including our own) to the Paris Agreement; the threat and huge external costs that rising emissions pose to our climate, environment and society; the increasing global momentum to move away from coal as a power source and develop renewable energy; the decision by our major banks that the mine does not represent a sound or ethical investment; the multiple breaches of environmental laws by the Adani Group in India, and the clear political interference by the Australian Government in the mine approval process, I do not support the opening of the Adani coal mine in Australia.

I stand for honestly informing the Australian public of our climate change predicament and taking effective action based on the science. I also stand for developing pragmatic solutions, working across multiple stakeholder interests.

I will work to ensure that Australia fulfills or betters its commitments under the Paris Agreement as part of collaborative global efforts to limit mean global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrialisation levels.

As part of meeting these global commitments I will advocate that Australia reduce overall emissions by 50% by 2030 and work towards zero net emissions by 2050.

I will support government and industry investment frameworks that will take our nation to a 100% renewable energy generation in the electricity sector by 2030. This path excludes any support for new coal generation.

To meet climate mitigation, resilience and adaption goals I will support the establishment of a Climate Emergency Response Commission.  This will establish interim and longer term legally binding targets, including for Renewable Energy Targets and Sector Emission Reductions.

I will support the re-establishment of funding to the Climate Council to provide independent advice to government, as well as the extension of government funding available to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

I will support government policy initiatives that lead to the managed cessation of the fossil fuel industry, and equitable retraining of workers from that industry to take advantage of the expanding opportunities in the renewable energy sector and other sectors of the Australian economy.

Recognising that electricity generation only represents around a third of Australia’s current emissions, I will support government programs and incentives that address emissions from all other sectors including land use, agriculture, industry and transport.

I will seek government support for carbon farming, re-afforestation, regenerative agriculture and blue carbon programs to massively increase carbon sequestration.

I will support investment in science and technology to deliver carbon drawdown.

I will pursue a host of related policy initiatives that work toward delivering a beyond zero emissions society.

Recognising that climate change is already occurring and that many impacts including sea level rise are already locked in, I will pursue implementation of Government planning and investment to support Australia’s adaptation and resilience to unavoidable impacts.

Environment

I stand for the conservation of Australia’s marine and terrestrial biodiversity. I also stand for the right of Australians to enjoy the benefits of a healthy natural environment as an essential part of our quality of life. I believe economic and ecological well-being are mutual and I will strive for an Australia that has both.

The Great Barrier Reef is a beloved national icon which has priceless aesthetic value and creates significant revenue and employment for Australians. I support maintaining or increasing current levels of funding for reef management, monitoring and research, especially those which inform our knowledge of how the reef is coping with rapid climate change and other anthropogenic impacts. I support coastal management programs which improve the quality of water entering the GBR region from the mainland catchments.

Acknowledging that intact natural ecosystems provide one of the best forms of resilience to emerging climate impacts, I will seek Government support for the further expansion of the national reserve system including Indigenous Protected Areas and Commonwealth Marine Parks.

I will work to end broad-scale clearing of remnant native vegetation across all jurisdictions. This will reduce national emission levels and help protect our vulnerable biodiversity.

I will pursue the implementation of a national riparian vegetation management and rehabilitation program, based on recognition of these environments as nationally important natural infrastructure as well as playing a critical role in carbon sequestration, catchment processes, climate resilience and biodiversity maintenance.

Acknowledging the role of reafforestation in meeting the carbon sequestration needed for a viable climate future I will work toward the establishment of a National Reafforestation Authority that works across jurisdictions to establish reafforestation targets, underpinned by carbon sequestration, regional biodiversity, timber production and climate impact resilience objectives.

Accepting the vastness of Australia’s range lands, the potential role they can play in climate change mitigation and the area of these lands under traditional ownership, I will work toward the establishment of a national range land management authority and permanent funding for Indigenous Ranger management programs.

Recognising the amount of sea level rise locked into our climate system and the disruption this will create for coastal ecosystems, I will seek the establishment of a Federal program dedicated to the managed succession of coastal ecosystems under sea level inundation.

 Economy

I stand for a strong and environmentally sustainable economy that serves the Australian people equitably. I also stand for economic diversification and value adding that fully capitalises on the economic potential of Australia’s human and natural resource base.

I believe that Australia should position itself to become a renewable energy superpower that uses our abundant renewable energy resources to support a clean energy export industry and a reinvigorated manufacturing sector that serves the renewable energy transition of our region.

I support the use of powerful market mechanisms including a market-based carbon price to promote the transition toward our renewable energy and zero emissions future.

I will support the development of processing, manufacturing and recycling industries in renewable energy zones around the nation. Mineral (e.g. lithium) processing associated with energy generation and storage systems and recycling industries that deal with end of life by-products of these system should be a focus for government support.

I believe we should use quality of life indices that measure genuine societal progress in addition to the accepted economic measures of gross domestic product.

I support business working in partnership with Government. I don’t support corporate power being greater than the democratic rights of citizens or leading to the exploitation of the environment or people.

I think that initiative and innovation in business should be rewarded.

I believe that government investment in research, development and commercialisation of Australia innovation in science and technology needs to be increased. I also feel that there are major commercial opportunities associated with supporting the transition to a low carbon future in the heavy industry, mining, construction and transport sectors.

I don’t support privatisation of government assets that are owned by, and performing well for the Australian people.

I support a fair, graduated tax system that rewards hard work and provides for the essential services of the nation. I believe we need to reduce systematic tax avoidance by large Australian companies and multinational corporations and to move the tax burden away from small businesses and employees.

I support recommendations coming from the Banking Royal commission for better consumer protection and to enforce greater integrity into the banking and finance sectors.

Infrastructure

I stand for engaging the Australian nation in meeting the infrastructure build required to address the climate emergency. This includes infrastructure to support the renewable energy transition and to adapt to unavoidable climate impacts.

I support major public investment in renewable energy infrastructure as a priority for Australia. This includes new electricity transmission networks to serve prioritised renewable energy zones and large and medium-scale pumped hydro energy storage systems.

I believe infrastructure investment should be developed around long term planning horizons and integrated with a sustainable population policy. I will support the creation of a dedicated department of Population and Infrastructure Planning within the Federal Government and the development of a national sustainable population policy.

I recognise that the economic contribution of Australia’s natural infrastructure can be equal or greater than that of its built infrastructure and is worthy of equivalent levels of investment for its management and maintenance.

I support the need for infrastructure planning that addresses the climate and sea level impacts that will continue to emerge with each passing decade. I will seek the development of national strategies to deal with planned coastal protection and retreat, floodplain settlement protection and relocation and heat wave and other extreme climatic event shelter infrastructure.

I support major development in public transport infrastructure for our population centres and support the establishment of a Federal Public Transport Authority to guide national planning and investment.

Subject to viability feasibility, I support the building of a high-speed rail network to link the major population centres of the eastern Australian sea board.

I support government co-investment in developing the production and export infrastructure for a clean energy export industry.

Social Justice

I believe in the universal declaration of human rights as enshrined by the UN Charter.

I support inclusiveness and the Government creating a sense of community harmony through humane policies that respect and encourage the diversity and civil rights of all the peoples of our nation.

I recognise the sovereign rights of Australia’s indigenous people, and I acknowledge the past and present suffering of those people caused by the traumatic dispossession of their land.

To this day there is still a pressing need for women to be much better represented in positions of power both within the government as well as across all other facets of society.  As a father of daughters and an advocate of gender empowerment I believe and recognise that the sustainable future we seek is predicated on the deliberate inclusion of more women within all sectors.  If elected, I will be supportive of all policies which improve and enhance the position of women in society.

I believe in the need for strong border policies but call for an end to mandatory offshore detention of asylum seekers and for onshore processing that recognises their human rights and processes their asylum applications in a timely manner.

I believe that a large population is not compatible with the sustainability of Australia’s ecosystems nor our quality of life. I support the need for Australia to develop a sustainable population policy, informed by science, that reduces our immigration levels back to more sustainable, longer-term average levels while acknowledging our capacity to increase our humanitarian intake.

I support the establishment of an Independent Federal Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission.

I believe all donations to political parties should be subject to comprehensive auditing and public scrutiny.

I feel that Australia is ready for its own head of state and that we should establish a timetable for another referendum on becoming a republic following a public education program.

Education and Employment

Access to education is essential for a healthy, productive and sustainable society.

I believe we need additional investment in the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects within the Australian school curriculum to meet the challenges of Australia’s future and public education programs.  This will increase citizen literacy in science and public understanding of those challenges.

A healthy and thriving arts and humanities curriculum is essential throughout all levels of education from primary to tertiary level.  I will support any policy which seeks to enhance and build upon the creative and critical thinking capacities of Australian citizens.

I will seek government support for vocational programs and skills training to meet the growing demands of a clean energy industry.

I support the development of federal government programs that support the re-training of workers in the fossil fuel industry and their communities affected by the transition to clean energy.

Health

I stand for a strong and effective public health system. I also stand for effective social safety nets that protect the elderly, disabled and vulnerable.

I believe public health expenditure is an investment in our social capital. I am a supporter of Australia’s public health system and I want a strong viable future for Medicare.

I believe dental health care should come under the public health program.

I support increased resourcing for health care professionals and for skills and training supporting their professions.

I support much greater investment in mental health services as a necessary way to avoid the social costs associated with neglect in this sector. I also recognise that as the climate crisis unfolds, there will be a need for increased mental health extension services to meet growing climate related mental stress in the Australian community.

I believe it is a human right to choose dignity in death and support a national euthanasia policy.

Defence & Security

I acknowledge the past and present hard work and sacrifices that members of the Australian Defence Forces have made to ensure the current security of our nation and our quality of life.

I hope that Australia can improve on its record as a facilitator of peaceful bilateral relations between the nations of our region, and I believe that constructive negotiations are almost always preferable to conflict and warfare.

Knowing that environmental degradation and disputes over resources have caused numerous conflicts in past human history, and that growing populations, regional instability and climate change increase the likelihood of those disputes occurring again, I recognise the need for Australia to maintain a modern and viable defence force to ensure the security of our people and our nation, and to participate in peace-keeping and humanitarian missions within our region.

Our defence force and security personnel should be adequately paid and properly equipped to do the jobs that we require of them.

I recognise that successful physical and cyber defence of Australia requires maintaining bilateral and multilateral ties with other nations in our region, and I support initiatives that strengthen those relationships and foster regional peace and stability.

Contact Andy via email: andy@i-c-a-n.com

Authorised by S. Handran-Smith, ICAN Party Secretary, 1/53 Stuart St, Mullumbimby NSW 2482