Candidate Canvass: Marcus Mariani – Labor for Lake Macquarie
What would be the single most pressing issue in your electorate?
There are some very important issues. Residents have their own ideas about what is most important however there are a variety of needs in the area that will have to be addressed as the population grows. Health and Policing are the standouts.
What would you hope to achieve for your electorate in the coming term?
I want to build a stronger case for the needs of the electorate and ensure that sufficient planning is being done not just for Lake Macquarie but the Hunter region. Given that the Coalition will very likely win the state election it will be important to give them the scrutiny they will need, rebuild and change Labor’s direction so that it gets back to its roots, hence my slogan of putting people first. Finally I am looking forward to contributing to Labor policy and showing what I can do. The more valuable I am to Labor, the more influence I may have and the greater my ability to deliver for Lake Macquarie.
What would you hope to contribute to New South Wales as a parliamentarian?
I think it’s fair to say most people are cynical or disillusioned with politics in general. We need politicians to restore people’s faith in democracy or else it will be threatened. To do this, politicians need to be more considerate of people, responsible and transparent. Despite the Coalition’s promises, we are two weeks out and we still haven’t seen major policies. This is the kind of behaviour I would like to stamp out.
I have ideas for the state as a whole, not simply Lake Macquarie and the Hunter and I really don’t care if such ideas were adopted by the Coalition, so long as New South Wales benefits.
Do you believe in anthropogenic climate change and should we act on it?
Yes and absolutely. I have already forwarded a number of ideas to the State and Federal Ministers for Climate Change as a Labor party member, as far back as 2 years ago, and as a candidate.
What are your thoughts on New South Wales’ water security?
Water is the most critical natural resource – forget gold, forget coal, forget uranium, whatever – without water life cannot exist, after all it is also needed for agriculture which feeds us. That said we must ensure our water sources as a priority. I am alarmed by coal seam gas mining that has the potential to spoil water supplies, I live very close to the site of a (former) smelter which polluted Lake Macquarie for many years. I would do everything within my power to prevent such activity from threatening water sources and bodies within Lake Macquarie and the rest of the state.
What are the public transport needs in your electorate?
A greater network of bus services including weekend services. We are fortunate to have a rail line that runs right through the electorate however many settlements have little or no public transport. To provide services to all of them is impossible however services will need to be improved and expanded as the area grows. If we can at least link orbital bus routes to railway stations it will give residents far greater mobility.
Do you support gay marriage?
Yes. If a person supports same sex civil unions then I don’t see what difference using the term marriage is going to make. Certain religions or deities may not necessarily recognise such marriages, however that is a matter for them. It will be legal however and equal in the eyes of the law.
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement in life (family not included)?
Probably gaining entry into Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Federal Police. Both processes were highly competitive and very thorough. Regardless of the current situation I am very proud to be representing Labor, a party which has existed for over 100 years, at this election.