Sustainable Australia wants to give power back to the people
GIVING power back to the people by placing major projects into the hands of "citizen juries”, reducing foreign immigration and building critical infrastructure before housing are just some of the policies of the Sustainable Australia Party.
Party candidate for Tweed Ronald McDonald, who was a late entry into the race for the seat, told the Tweed Daily News the party's main platform was "sustainability for everything”, including giving State Government powers back to local councils and curbing Australia's "rapidly growing population” until enough housing exists.
Mr McDonald said the Tweed Valley Hospital at Cudgen was just one example of inappropriate development.
"We want to return planning to the local councils so we don't get overridden by Sydney on what they call major projects,” he said.
"It's completely out of whack, nine stories in Kingscliff we're going to cop on prime agricultural land when where there's a three-story height limit, that's not sustainable in that area.
"Returning planning to local government is one of our major policies, we believe citizen juries should be provided with all the important information on major projects like the Tweed Valley Hospital and take it out of the hands of the party and their pockets or vested interests, which they're both accusing each other of at the moment.” Mr McDonald said placing power into the hands of citizen juries would mean a high-school could be built at Pottsville if that's what the community wanted, while an increased police presence in areas outside of Tweed Heads would provide more trust from residents.
"The people there know what they need but the State Government keeps saying no, we need the voice of the people to be heard much, much louder,” he said. "It really comes down to planning, we have to have the services there before the houses, we're forever catching up.
"The crime rate goes up, then some relief is given to police, then it goes up again, it's the wrong way around. The planning has to be done first, we're just reacting.”
Party leader William Bourke, who is running in the Federal election, said the party had a "three-point plan to stop over-development”.
"One is to return planning powers to local communities, two is to deliver new community infrastructure before more housing goes in, and three, in the long term to make that all sustainable, we have to address population growth,” he said.
"We are a federal party and want to bring immigration back from 200,000 to 70,000 migrants per annum, that's the long term average that has worked previously.
"We're centrist, we believe that Australia's rapid population growth must be included in the environmental policy agenda, and the Greens don't want to talk about population, we do.”
Mr Bourke, who also founded the party, contested his first Federal election in 2013 and the party won its first MP in Victoria last year.
He said the party was hoping to replicate that in NSW and was "quietly confident” of doing so with 55 candidates in the state alone.
"We're an independent community party from the political centre, we're both state and federally listed and quietly confident we can get someone elected to the upper house and present a new choice to the people who are sick of politicians and looking for common sense from the political centre,” he said. "We want people to vote 1 Sustainable Australia Party and then vote in whatever order they want.
"You can never waste your vote by voting for a minor party as it sends a message to the major parties that people aren't happy with them.”