Science Party candidate Aaron Hammond stood on a very busy corner of College and Oxford streets in Darlinghurst. He was on the campaign trail meeting voters in the Sydney electorate on their daily commute to work.
This is not Hammond’s first time as a candidate for the Science Party: he also ran for the seat of Perth in the 2018 by-election. Hammond has now moved to Sydney and was preselected as the candidate for the Science Party in the seat of Sydney in January this year.
The Science Party of Australia’s main mission statement is that quality of life is improved by the continued application of reason and scientific discovery. As with most of the Science Party candidates and members, Hammond did not start his career in politics but worked in the industry of science and technology.
Now 32, Hammond grew up a few hours north of Sydney near Newcastle in NSW. He attended the University of Newcastle where he graduated in 2010 with first class honours in mechatronics, robotics, and automation engineering. He went on to work as a mechatronic engineer for Orbital Engine Corporation and ExBlocks in Perth, and currently works for Advanced Navigation as an embedded system engineer. Hammond’s transition from engineering into politics came after he realised that his role in the oil and gas industry was damaging the environment and contributing to the problem of climate change.
“I made the conscious decision to exit that industry, and work more for the benefit of the environment and people,” he said.
Hammond has been using his platform to emphasise what he regards as the biggest issue facing voters in this election: climate change. He and the Science Party want the government to focus on using Australian resources to become a superpower in the energy industry and concentrate on technological advancements in industries such as renewables, agriculture and health-care.
As an engineer Hammond considers himself a problem solver. “I believe that a good engineer is one that takes a problem, separates it into fundamental issues, understands them thoroughly, then finds solutions that resolve the issue. I think that is what we need in parliament,” he said.
He supports drug and pill testing. The Science Party’s health policy has a focus on harm prevention and decriminalisation.
“Pill testing allows for early intervention and we’ve seen time and time again that the way we are acting now is allowing deaths. We would like to try minimise harm where possible,” he said.
The Science Party also support gay marriage and its key principles are based on “non-discrimination and personal freedoms”.
Asked how the party will allocate its preferences, Hammond said: “I will be preferencing the Greens and then Labor and the Liberals last. The Liberal Party has shown time and time again that they’re not going to take any action on climate, and we need a change of government.”