On Saturday 23rd March we get to vote for the 57th Parliament of New South Wales. This includes all 93 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Plus 21 of the 42 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council.
In the lead up to the election, there can be a bit of information overload. But it can also be hard to find out about our local candidates and what they stand for. Chances are most of us won’t get along to a meet the candidates forum. So to make it easier to get to know the candidates, we developed a set of 10 questions. And asked each candidate in the Auburn electorate to answer them. Plus seven other electorates – Blacktown, Epping, Granville, Parramatta, Prospect, Ryde and Seven Hills – that cover where our readers are mostly from.
Candidates listed on the Electoral Commission website were sent the questions on 3rd March and had 10 days to respond. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that candidate nominations were still open for a few more days. And we have since emailed the candidates that nominated later our questions. We sent reminder emails to candidates on the 12th March. We strongly believe it’s in everyone’s interest for all candidates to provide responses. And we welcome your support in encouraging them to do so.
We appreciate candidates making the time to respond, particularly given how busy it is for them in the lead up to the election. Candidate participation was purely voluntary. The responses have been provided by the candidates themselves and have only been formatted, not edited (even to correct spelling or grammatical errors), except where the response exceeds the question limits. Where a candidate did not provide information, we have written NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.
ParraParents is not aligned with any political party or candidate. We have collected this information to help you make an informed decision when voting in the 2019 State Election.
About the Auburn Electorate
The Auburn electorate is 39 square kilometres. It includes the suburbs of Auburn, Berala, Chester Hill, Guildford, Lidcombe, Merrylands, Newington, Regents Park, Rookwood, Silverwater, South Granville, Sydney Olympic Park, Wentworth Point..
Meet the Candidates for Auburn
Here are the 5 candidates running in the Auburn electorate. Here they are, listed in alphabetical order by surname.
- Luke Ahern – Independent (no response received)
- Janet Castle – Greens (response received)
- (Christina) Kyoung Hee Kang – Liberal (no response received)
- Kieron Lee – Keep Sydney Open (no response received)
- Lynda Voltz – Labor (no response received)
We have provided the responses below in the order they were received.
Janet Castle (The Greens)
1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?
I live outside the Auburn electorate. My connections to it are that:
- I have advocated successfully for several people seeking asylum who live or previously lived in the electorate. This has caused me to visit the area often over the last 11 years.
- I also head up an organisation that provides living allowances/rent support to otherwise destitute people seeking asylum. In Parramatta/Cumberland LGAs we have provided $75,375 in support this financial year.
I love the multicultural nature of Auburn. In the past I have sat at a sidewalk cafe just drinking in the vibrancy and the huge variety of cultures represented there.
2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?
- I am a social worker by training.
- I am a person with disability and have worked extensively with people with disability.
- I have slept the night, alone, in an Israeli army truck. Not a recommended activity.
3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Auburn community? (limit to top 5)
- Poorly planned overdevelopment without the community infrastructure, green spaces or public services (transport, education, affordable housing and health) needed for the population growth.
- A lack of quality, secure, safe and well paid jobs.
- The high cost of living
4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?
- Provide secure, affordable housing and access to free, high-quality services, including health and education, to every resident
- Transition to clean, renewable energy
- Tackle political corruption/End privatisation
5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?
Property prices/ Mortgage and rental stress
With median weekly household income at $1,407 and median monthly mortgage repayments at $2,000/mean monthly rent at $1740 (2016 census figures) the recommended ratio of 25% of one’s income being directed towards one’s mortgage/rent is far from reality for those residing in the Auburn electorate. It used to be very affordable to buy, or rent, in the Auburn electorate but many people have been driven further west or to regional areas.
- By providing secure, affordable housing and improving renters’ rights
- By advocating to the Federal Government for an end to negative gearing
[Additional issues were made by the candidate however the question only asked for the key issue]
6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)
I have advocated successfully for several people/families seeking asylum who live or previously lived in the electorate. This has caused me to visit the area often over the last 11 years. I also head up an organisation that provides living allowances/rent support to otherwise destitute people seeking asylum. In Parramatta/Cumberland LGAs we have provided $75,375 in support this financial year.
7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?
Absolutely! Right across Sydney and specifically in Auburn electorate. Development is currently developer driven rather than driven by the needs of local people.
Our current planning system gives ordinary people no say. I want to see the return of powers to local councils to make decisions about local development matters and the implementation of rigorous anti-corruption measures to ensure communities are not locked out of planning decisions. I, and The Greens in NSW, will call for the abolition of local and regional planning panels (Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels [IHAPs]) which lack democratic accountability and are are inherently biased towards development.
Levying developers to properly fund infrastructure.
8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools – with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?
Prioritise funding to build new schools according to local need.
9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?
Introduce policy measures that will help reduce the pollution going into the river and give local rivers space and assistance to ‘breathe,’ through a program of re-vegetation and regeneration:
- Monitor water quality in local rivers and lakes
- Fund river recovery
- Significantly increase fines for pollution of waterways so that they are a real deterrent.
10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?
I am a long term member of The Greens. Our campaign team is preferencing as follows:
2. Voltz Lynda Jane
3. Lee Kieran
NSW State Election 2019 – General Info
What Are We Voting For?
The 57th Parliament of New South Wales, including all 93 seats in the NSW Legislative Assembly. Plus 21 of the 42 seats in the NSW Legislative Council.
What is the Role of the NSW Parliament?
With three levels of government in Australia, it can be confusing to know who looks after what. The State Parliament makes laws on matters such as:
- schools and hospitals
- state transport, roads and railways
- housing services
- community services
When Do I Need to Vote?
NSW Election Day is Saturday 23rd March and voting is between 8am and 6pm. Some voting centre or polling place keep different hours so be sure to check. And don’t leave it to the last minute! You’ll need up to an hour to vote in busy times. You can also vote before Election Day – it’s called pre-polling (see Where Can I Vote? section below) but you must vote.
Who Needs to Vote?
Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens who live in NSW and are 18 years of age or older. Fines apply for not voting. You can check your enrolment to vote if unsure.
What Do I Need to Vote?
Take your licence or other photo identification, or something with your current residential address on it. You may also want to take some money to buy a famous election sausage sizzle. And bring a bottle of water in case you have to wait a long time. Comfy shoes are a good idea as well!
Where Can I Vote?
Voting in person on Election Day (23rd March) is the way most people vote in NSW. It’s generally quick and easy to vote in person at a voting centre or polling place, often at a local school. And election staff and officials are available if you need help. Plus you can usually enjoy a sausage sizzle or cake stall while you wait to vote.
If you would like vote in person, but you are unable to get to a voting centre or polling place on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote early or pre-poll. Early voting for the NSW State election opens from Monday 11th March until Friday 22nd March.
There is an early voting centre in Parramatta, at 23-27 Macquarie Street. And other centres around the local areas. Parramatta voting centre hours are: 8am-6pm Monday – Friday, 8am-8pm on Thursday 21st March and 8-5pm on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
You can also vote by post/ mail – call 1800 011 542 to arrange this.
There are two papers you will be required to fill out on Election Day to vote:
- Small paper is Legislative Assembly (lower house of NSW parliament)
- Large paper is Legislative Council (upper house of NSW parliament)
You will be given choices on each paper of which individuals or parties you would like to give your vote to. You may choose on each paper to simply put a 1 next to the candidate of your choice. But you may number more if you wish. It’s different for each paper.
- For Legislative Assembly ballot paper (small): A candidate has to receive 50% of all votes+1 to be elected. This is called an ‘absolute majority’. If the candidate you have voted 1 for, does not have enough votes to be elected, votes are re-sorted to the other candidates remaining, according to the second preference. This is why some people choose to vote by numbering their 2nd, 3rd and 4th etc preferences. See here for more information on voting in the Legislative Assembly (small paper).
- For Legislative Council ballot paper (large): You may vote above OR below the line, but not both. You may “Vote 1” for the party you prefer ABOVE the line (listed as “Groups”). This is the minimum you need to do to vote. But you may further empower your vote for other preferred parties by labelling 2, 3, 4 etc above the line, and preferences apply, as for the lower house. If you choose to vote BELOW the line you must number a minimum of 15 boxes. See here for more information about voting for the Legislative Council.
Some “how to vote” cards suggest preferences but you are free to vote for any candidate or party you wish. And give your preferences (2nd 3rd 4th choices) to anyone you wish.
What Do I Do After Voting?
Enjoy a (democracy) sausage sizzle, return your how to vote papers to the party for reuse and politely decline any more. A simple “I’ve voted”, or “no thank you” should keep unwanted party politics away.
If interested tune in to TV coverage after 6pm and have your own political watch party!! Results and trends often become clear on the night of election day.