Candidate Canvass: Gavin Rees – Greens Candidate for Mildura
What would be the single most pressing issue in your electorate?
It would be a toss-up between getting the passenger train back and the reform of the Murray-Darling – I’ve heard a lot of anger and passion about both.
What would you hope to achieve for your electorate in the coming term?
I hope we can make Mildura a more marginal electorate and use the Greens’ influence in parliament to achieve a return of the passenger train.
What would you hope to contribute to Victoria as a parliamentarian?
I’d hope to contribute real motivation for a change from politics as usual.
Do you believe in anthropogenic climate change and should we act on it?
Of course. We need to get ahead of the world, and not have to catch up later at much greater expense. Mildura has great capacity for solar power generation, which if implemented could be a boon for local employment and investment.
What are your thoughts on Victoria’s water security?
The Murray-Darling desperately needs reform. The MDBA, as a statutory authority, is the right body to do it, but the way the Plan’s been carried out is appalling. We need to include local communities from the beginning in a discussion on how to best save the river system.
For Melbourne, I’m disappointed that the government has gone to such expense to address the symptoms of water shortage with the loathsome pipeline and desal plant, and not attempted more systemic reform, like stormwater harvesting and local rainwater catchment.
What are the public transport needs in your electorate?
Mildura desperately wants and needs the passenger train back. Not only would it connect some 300,000 people in the tri-state area to the state capital, it would reduce emissions, road trauma and the exodus of young people, who must leave to find employment and education opportunities.
Do you support gay marriage?
Absolutely, as do most people. It’s political expediency and cowardice more than popular will that keeps a whole group of people from accessing a basic human dignity.
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement in life (family not included)?
Putting myself out there in advocacy of what’s right.