Ferguson focuses on Fairfax change

Fairfax, Qld

Labors candidate for Fairfax is Sue Ferguson. (Photo by ALP)

Labor’s candidate for Fairfax is Sue Ferguson. (Photo by ALP)

Sue Ferguson’s growing disappointment and frustration with society has fuelled her drive for politics. Ms Ferguson found her values aligned with the Labor Party, and has chosen to run as a candidate for Fairfax.

Her political priorities are in health care, education and climate, which she says stem from her practice as a nurse. Ms Ferguson says politics are the catalyst for the protection and drive behind what people care about most.

She says it is important for the people of Fairfax to ask themselves what they really care about. Their answers can help change a nation.

Ferguson said the biggest issue people were bringing to her was the housing crisis unfolding in South East Queensland. “When we talk about housing it’s either not having a roof over their head, housing affordability, rental affordability and rental availability,” Ms Ferguson said.

Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) chief executive officer Aimee McVeigh said in an interview with Seven News that before the recent flooding there were already more than 50,000 Queenslanders on the social housing register. “It has never been tougher to rent in Queensland, rents are rising and there is almost zero availability,” QCOSS said in a tweet.

Ferguson said “there’s always solutions” with any crisis. She said her party has a future housing fund plan based around major areas in the crisis, which include social housing, housing for women of domestic violence and older women facing homelessness. This plan will differentiate from current social housing through its detail focusing on maintenance, which she says is lacking from the current Government.

Ms Ferguson said Labor’s solution to the housing crisis also includes supporting young regional people and first home buyers The plan aims to reduce the mortgage insurance rate in regional areas. First homeowners will need only a 5 per cent deposit and the Government will guarantee 15 per cent.

Ms Ferguson said she also aims to help stabilise the cost of living. Labor MP Amanda Rishworth proposed a matter of public importance in late March to the House of Representatives, outlining “the Government’s failure to support Australians with cost of living expenses”.

Ms Ferguson says she will “fully support” the measures to reduce petrol tax to allow a break for Australians from its increasing price. The Government has halved the tax of petrol for six months, allowing for a reduction in price as 30-40% of the total petrol cost is tax. The Government’s petrol tax cut is set to end on September 28.

Petrol has not only been subject to a steep increase, with tuition fees also going up. Notably, university fees have seen a massive increase in education fields that the Government has deemed less essential. Labor member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek said in the House of Representatives that within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Australians pay some of the highest university fees.

To help counteract inflation, Ms Ferguson says she wants to see a rise in the minimum wage to help balance the cost of living. She said the current Government does not support the application currently in commission for a 5% wage increase, however the Labor party does.

An issue arising in Fairfax is the CAMCOS heavy rail corridor, which aims to connect the existing Beerwah line to a new station in Maroochydore’s CBD. Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Federal Minister Paul Fletcher said in a media release the $1.6 billion investment benefiting the CAMCOS railway is significant for the future of the Sunshine Coast. “This $1.6 billion investment shows that the Morrison Government is serious about delivering for the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Fletcher said.

Current Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien said in the same media release connectivity, population growth and Australia’s newest greenfield CBD would all benefit from the rail plan. Ms Ferguson said there has been no work from the Federal Government for the process needed for the CAMCOS corridor. She said now it was an election year Mr O’Brien has come “forward with a bundle of cash” and a 600-page report.

A crisis individuals are facing on a larger scale is climate change. Ms Ferguson said it was an issue important to everyone. She said climate change was an undeniable crisis and it was important to listen to the scientists. “We could have an entire conversation with corporate greed and the terrible state of affairs with our climate and the lack of moral compass,” she said.

NASA said on their Global Climate Change website that since the industrial revolution climate change has seen a drastic increase. Ms Ferguson said it was important to gradually move people into areas of employment where new technology and renewable energy were being used.

But Ms Ferguson faces a tough battle to beat Mr O’Brien on May 21. Mr O’Brien holds the seat on a margin of 13.4% and a Labor MP has never won in Fairfax.