Labor is campaigning on climate change


Image supplied

Joshua Sinclair -Flinders Labor candidate

In what has been dubbed the ‘climate election’, Labor candidate Joshua Sinclair has promised voters in Flinders that he will deliver on protecting their local environment and set positive standards for climate change action in Australia.

Polling shows that climate change is on the minds of most Australian voters, with 59% of respondents wanting urgent action on climate change and 84% supporting renewable energy.

The 27-year-old Labor candidate said residents are adamant about conserving their electorate, which is mostly zoned as a green wedge, meaning it contains a mix of agriculture and low density activities.

“It’s a beautiful pristine area that we’re proud of, and we want to keep it that way,” Mr Sinclair said.

“Labor has also given itself a 50% renewable energy target for Australia by 2020, which I think is definitely achievable and can be worked towards in the electorate of Flinders,” he said.

Locations in Flinders such as Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula and Hastings attract large visitor numbers to wineries and farms.

“We want visitors and locals to enjoy our unique local environment,” Mr Sinclair said.

The candidate pointed out that there are a number of projects taking place in Flinders, which are contrary to his plans for the electorate and the climate centric priorities of voters. One example being Crib Point chosen in 2017 to be the preferred site for a 290-metre long AGL gas terminal. With construction set to begin in 2020, the import facility will ‘regasify’ liquefied natural gas shipped in from overseas so it can be used by households and industries in south-eastern Australia.

As an active advocate for disability rights and having worked for disability centre Noahs Arc, developing disability awareness and programs is another key pillar to Mr Sinclair’s campaign.

“We are still far away from where we need the NDIS needs to be,” Mr Sinclair said.

“Under the Liberal Party’s proposed budget, there will be a $1.6 billion underspend for the NDIS.

“The government has drastically cut access to disability support pensions over the past eight years and have implemented policies to tighten access to payments,” he said.

Having worked for disability centres in Melbourne, Mr Sinclair recognises the demand for greater support needed in his regional electorate, which is something he has tried to agitate for.

Attention has been drawn to the traditionally Liberal stronghold seat after the resignation of now Independent Julia Banks from the Liberal party, and her subsequent candidacy in Flinders in the 2019 election.

Ms Banks, a former lawyer and company director, described the treatment of women in Parliament and within her former party as years behind best practice, and urged for greater representation of women in Parliament.

Mr Sinclair said Ms Bank’s candidacy in Flinders has helped even out the playing field.

“This is the first time in my life that this seat has been contestable,” he said.

“It’s important for electorates to have a contestable seat, it allows for healthy debate and progress.”

The last time Labor won the seat was in 1982, but Mr Sinclair said Liberal candidate Greg Hunt’s close relationship with Peter Dutton and Ms Bank’s independent candidacy gives greater scope for his personal ideals and the Labor Party’s policies to be noticed in the electorate.