State election candidates for Stuart

Where were you born?

Canberra (nothing to do with politics).

Where do you live currently?

Wilmington.

What's your association with the seat of Stuart?

I had lived or worked in most parts of the electorate over the 17 years before being elected and have been the member for Stuart since 2010.

What are your interests (both personal and politically)?

Personal: Sport, camping, bushwalking, fishing.  Political: Advancing regional and remote communities and Shadow Ministries of Police, Corrections and Community Safety.

The provision of ongoing secure employment is the biggest issue we face. 

Enabling people to work and earn an income creates economic and social strength throughout a community.  

Port Augusta is a very important regional centre based around both business and government services, but unfortunately this position has been diminished over the last decade.  

The Labor government’s “shared services” programme which has shifted jobs away from Port Augusta to Adelaide and the fact that we are now the highest taxed state in the nation mean that government and private sector employment opportunities have reduced.  

This must be reversed.

The government must restore services in Port Augusta and businesses must be unburdened of unfair restrictions so they can thrive - only successful businesses can provide secure employment for locals.  

I also hope that a solar thermal power station will be part of the solution because over 200 jobs in Port Augusta rely upon the supply of coal from Leigh Creek.

Born in Port Augusta, Josh spent his early life at the top of the gulf where his family goes back to the earliest days of the railways, with his great grandfather working on steam locomotives. 

After his parents moved to Adelaide, Josh continued to spend his summer holidays as a child learning to swim at the Port Augusta pool, as well as Easter and Christmas at the family’s westside shack.

He is now a manager in an electorate office where his passion for community engagement assists him in understanding the many challenges facing people as they negotiate their way around government departments, private companies and the legal system.

Outside of work and community life, Josh likes to wind down by watching and participating in just about any sport, and is both a player and committee member at his cricket and football clubs.

Together with partner Lily, Josh is the proud parent of a 16 week old boy and is well aware of the needs and issues facing families and working people. Josh has the experience and the passion to always put the community first and believes in providing practical solutions to real problems.

The people of Port Augusta face the same big issues as all South Australians, ensuring our healthcare and educational opportunities are world class and maintaining a vibrant and diverse economy so we and future generations can live and work here. Port Augusta also faces unique challenges that set it apart.

The eventual closure of our coal fired power stations presents both a challenge and a wonderful opportunity. 

That’s why this Labor government has contributed to the full feasibility study of solar thermal and hybrid generation options in Port Augusta. Fast and reliable broadband coverage is critical if we are to keep pace with the rest of Australia and Labor is the party that best understands the demands of the digital age. 

And of course transport infrastructure will always be critical to a major transport gateway like Port Augusta; only a Labor government is committed to building these essential projects.

Brendan sees the electorate of Stuart as an important part of the South Australian economy with unique environmental assets requiring balanced care. 

Following extensive travel throughout Stuart, he has developed a strong interest in renewable energy, land regeneration and water recycling systems. 

He has been involved in Indigenous community events in Port Augusta and it has become important to him to improve Indigenous education, employment, housing and health standards. 

Brendan supports research and development of sustainable practices for land regeneration and agriculture. 

He also advocates for the proposed solar thermal power station in Port Augusta and restricting fracking for coal seam gas extraction.

Port Augusta community has been the victim of toxic air pollution from its power station for several decades. While it has been an essential part of South Australian electricity infrastructure, this has been at the expense of the health of local residents. 

Apart form fumes generated by burning coal, asbestos dust from the lining of the chimney stack is emitted daily. 

The obvious solution is to close down this facility asap and replace it with the proposed solar thermal system. 

Additionally, Leigh Creek coal will be exhausted within five years. 

We must initiate replacement of the existing power station with this renewable energy option now. 

In doing so, Port Augusta can place itself at the forefront of new clean energy technology development in Australia with resultant health and economic benefits combined. 

The Greens are dedicated to fix the toxic air of Port Augusta and to assist the community to pave the way for major renewable technology uptake in Australia.

Sylvia has worked as a carer support worker based in Port Augusta outreaching throughout the Stuart electorate.  

She was the candidate for Stuart in the previous state election and she and her late husband have been regular candidates for Port Augusta and the far north.

Family First wants to focus on the solar thermal power issue as the major concern for Port Augusta this election.  It was a long-standing vision of the late mayor Joy Baluch to see this project come to Port Augusta, and Family First commends Repower Port Augusta for its work on the issue.  Many employment, economic and environmental benefits will flow from getting this project off of the ground.  

That is not to dismiss some of the serious social issues that need to be addressed in Port Augusta, but when asked about the biggest single issue, solar thermal fits the bill.

Liberal candidate for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Liberal candidate for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Labor candidate for Stuart Josh Vines.

Labor candidate for Stuart Josh Vines.

Family First candidate for Stuart Sylvia Holland.

Family First candidate for Stuart Sylvia Holland.

The Greens candidate for Stuart Brendan Fitzgerald.

The Greens candidate for Stuart Brendan Fitzgerald.

This story State election candidates for Stuart first appeared on The Transcontinental.