Federal election: Higgins candidates’ Q&A, Kelly O’Dwyer

Higgins federal election candidate Kelly O’Dwyer. Picture: Bonnie Savage/Melbourne MagazineTWR put three questions to candidates in the Higgins electorate to help voters make up their minds at the upcoming election. Below are their responses.
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What do you think of their answers? Leave a comment below.

KELLY O’DWYER:Liberal (sitting member)

What is the most important federal issue for the electorate of Higgins?

Since becoming the member for Higgins three-and-a-half years ago, I have been working hard listening to the concerns of Higgins residents. In that time I have held 16 community forums, over 170 mobile offices and distributed tens of thousands of surveys.

People tell me that they are concerned about the economy, job security and cost of living pressures.

Since 2007, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government has lurched from one crisis of its own making to another. It has been the most financially reckless government in Australia’s history, changing our fiscal position in 2007 from no net debt and surpluses, to record government debt levels that will go beyond a staggering $300 billion.

The Coalition is committed to putting the budget back on track and restoring confidence. We have already announced that we will cut the company tax rate by 1.5% to free up capital and allow business to grow and invest; remove $1 billion of red tape that is strangling business and the not-for-profit sector; and abolish the carbon tax that has increased the cost of living.

What would be the first local issue you would tackle were you to win your seat?

Higgins has a thriving shopping, arts and café culture, combined with beautiful parks and recreational facilities, close to public transport and great schools. These are some of the reasons that people from so many different backgrounds make Higgins their home. However, this does not mean Higgins is not without its challenges.

As many people would know I have been campaigning for grade separation at the many level crossings throughout the electorate; especially those along the Dandenong rail line in Carnegie and Murrumbeena and the Glenferrie, Toorak and Burke Road level crossings. This hard work was rewarded when the state government announced the Murrumbeena level crossing as a priority location for removal and committed funds to the removal of Burke Road. If re-elected I will continue to work with my state counterparts on these important nation-building infrastructure projects.

I would also like to address an issue many families in Higgins are facing and that is the increased cost of childcare. Under the Labor government we have seen childcare costs increase by more than $100 a week. This is putting serious pressure on families budgets and preventing people, especially mothers, from going back to work, should they chose to do so. Flexibility and affordability are at the heart of the Coalition’s plan for childcare.

Rank the following five issues in order of importance (from a personal perspective, not necessarily according to party policy).

Unemployment

Education

NBN

Climate Change

Asylum Seekers

HIGGINS CANDIDATES’ Q&A LINKS

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Kelly O’Dwyer

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Wesa Chau

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,James Harrison

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Phillip Dall

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Leanne Price

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