Robert Knight believes two decades in the defence force have equipped him with the leadership and decision-making skills needed to represent voters in the seat of Canberra as a candidate for the Australian Progressives party.
The Australian Progressives party is a relatively new political entity after contesting its first election at the 2016 federal double dissolution poll. This Saturday, it is contesting seats in the ACT, Queensland and South Australia.
The party wants to tackle income inequality and corporate tax evasion, take meaningful action on climate change, and also supports the establishment of a federal anti-corruption watchdog.
Mr Knight is a born-and bred Canberran, which he says gives him an insight into the issues facing the city’s residents. He graduated from Lake Ginninderra College before joining the Army as an 18-year-old in 1985. He now lives in the electorate with his wife, two daughters and the family pet dog.
Mr Knight spent 21 years in the ADF working in the diverse areas of infantry, communications, aviation and transport logistics. He has spent the past three years as a public servant working with veterans and in international engagement activities.
While Mr Knight was in the defence force, he was deployed around the world, which he says allowed him to gain a true appreciation of what a great country Australia is.
He developed an interest in politics after studying urban planning, an issue he believes is near-and-dear to the hearts of many Canberrans.
Mr Knight says his political campaign is based around ethics, evidence and action. His policy focus includes addressing economic inequality, climate change, housing affordability, and urban and transport development which includes support for a fast train through Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
On climate change, the Australian Progressives are seeking a move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 via a broad-based emissions trading scheme.
Mr Knight also points to the party’s policy on addressing income inequality, with an aim to revise income tax thresholds to give low- and middle-class Australians more take-home pay and an increase in assistance programs such as Newstart.
Mr Knight believes each of these policy areas are linked and, if addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated way, will drastically improve the quality of life for Australians and create a sustainable future.
“As a former Army officer and executive level public servant I think I have the leadership and decision-making skills that stand me in good stead among my competitors,” he said.
“Being a trained leader gives a person an appreciation of the importance and value of things like effective communication, diversity, leading by example, integrity, transparency, and fairness – all things I think more politicians should be thinking about.”