You can view our question list for all candidates here.
Greens Candidate for Chisholm, Josh Fergeus, responded :
Thankyou for your email. My responses to your questions are included below. If you have any further queries please feel free to contact me. Cheers!
What are your thoughts on asylum seekers?
The Greens are committed to a fair and just immigration system that upholds Australia’s commitment to international law and human rights.
We believe refugees and asylum seekers should be treated fairly and compassionately and oppose an overly-politicised approach that demonises asylum seekers.
The Greens support:
* the abolition of mandatory detention;
* an end to offshore processing of asylum seekers’ claims;
* the right to legal aid and judicial review of decisions for asylum seekers;
* increased resettlement of refugees and humanitarian entrants from offshore (e.g. refugee camps in foreign countries);
* enhanced specialised support services for refugees and asylum seekers, including English instruction;
* a new refugee visa for people displaced by climate change;
* programs that seek to eliminate racism, promote belonging and encourage connection between people.
What are your thoughts on public transport?
Smart transport infrastructure is integral to our environmental, social and economic wellbeing.
The Greens support:
* reform of the national transport plan to shift funding from roads to fast, convenient public transport;
* stringent fuel efficiency standards for new cars;
* alternative fuels;
* the abolition of Fringe Benefits Tax concessions for company and leased cars;
* an upgrade of our urban public transport and rail freight infrastructure;
* the removal of GST from public transport.
What are your thoughts on renewable energy? / What are your thoughts on climate change?
The Greens understand the urgency of the climate challenge, as well as the tremendous opportunities that transforming Australia into a carbon neutral powerhouse creates for new jobs and the health and wellbeing of communities. The Greens’ Safe Climate Bill is Australia’s first legislative package to truly achieve a safe climate.
The Safe Climate Bill aims to achieve net zero emissions for Australia by no later than 2050, and at least 40% cuts by 2020, by:
* introducing an effective carbon pricing scheme that makes polluters pay for the pollution they produce;
* establishing stronger targets and support for renewable energy;
* upgrading the energy efficiency of our homes, offices and industries;
* rolling out clean transport alternatives;
* protecting and building our forest carbon stores;
* creating green jobs.
The Greens will also:
* redirect the massive subsidies for fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy efficiency;
* assist coal dependent communities to move to sustainable industries as international demand for coal falls.
The Greens are the only political party opposed to all aspects of the nuclear industry – from uranium mining to nuclear weapons. Nuclear power creates the fuel for nuclear weapons and is no solution to climate change, especially when renewable energy and energy efficiency can reduce emissions faster and cheaper. Future generations must not be burdened with toxic nuclear waste for which there is no safe disposal. The Greens will phase out the mining and export of uranium and oppose the establishment of nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel processing, enrichment facilities and radioactive waste dumps.
Do you support or oppose the introduction of the R18+ rating classification for video games?
The Greens support the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games. The absence of this classification for video games means that games that are unsuitable for minors are refused classification and made unavailable for adults. This is inconsistent with our treatment of movies and other media.
Do you support or oppose the proposed internet filter?
Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has been the Parliament’s most vocal opponent of the Government’s proposed mandatory ISP filter.
Like the entire ICT sector, he considers that the filter will not achieve its stated objectives, but it will potentially cause problems with internet speeds and reliability, and it runs the risk of restricting freedom of information and expression beyond what is acceptable to much of our community. See footage of Senator Ludlam’s recent comments on the filter in the Senate at http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/tv/senator-ludlams-speech-internet-filter
However, Senator Ludlam is interested in measures that will truly crack down on threats to online safety, especially threats to children and young people. He is consulting with experts in the field as an active participant in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Cyber Safety. Senator Ludlam will be launching an alternative approach to online safety during the course of the election campaign; an approach based on optional PC-based filtering, online safety initiatives with young people, and law enforcement to tackle cyber crime such as child pornography.
Do you support or oppose gay marriage?
The Greens support gay marriage and have a strong track record of defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals & communities. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced a bill into Parliament to legislate for gay marriage.
What are your thoughts on abortion?
The Greens believe women should have access to safe and confidential health and wellbeing services, including reproductive health services; and will ensure that all women have access to legal, free and safe pregnancy termination services, including unbiased counselling.
Do you support or oppose the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia?
The Greens have a long record of supporting the right of terminally ill people to choose a medically-assisted death with dignity.
What are your thoughts on stem cells research?
The Greens have no agreed policy on stem cell research. The issue is subject to a conscience vote. Personally, I do not oppose stem cell research utilising embryos already slated for destruction.
What are your thoughts on education?
A strong public education system underpins a fair, successful, productive and cohesive society.
The current generation of political leaders benefited from free university education, only to subsequently de-prioritise education funding in the national budget. The Greens believe that every Australian is entitled to free, high-quality public education and training, and we would restore education’s place in our national priorities for the benefit of today’s students and our future society. Personally, I believe that our public education system should be our top priority.
The Greens propose:
* increased funding for all levels of public education;
* access to relevant information about our schools and education without ‘league tables’;
* funding for at least two years of public preschool education for all Australian children;
* a more equitable system for funding private schools to prioritise public education;
* to abolish university fees and forgive HECS-HELP debts;
* an adequate living allowance for all full-time students;
* a vibrant student life through student controlled and funded student services.
What are your thoughts on campaign finance disclosure?
The Greens support full campaign finance disclosure. The role of the Parliament is to serve the best interests of all Australians. The Greens do not accept political donations from big business, and we support public election funding to stop the practice of buying political influence.
To further strengthen the integrity of the Parliament, the Greens also advocate an independent national anti-corruption commission to hold federal politicians fully accountable. We also want truth in political advertising laws to lift the standard of election campaigns.
What are your thoughts on water?
Australia is the driest inhabited continent, yet Australians are the world’s highest per capita users of water. In a changing climate, Australians need water security – and the Greens know that we cannot rely on run-off dependent dams, mega-pipelines or energy-hungry desalination plants. To protect our precious water resources we want water-sensitive building and urban design principles, efficiency targets, storm water harvesting and re-use, and agricultural systems that are responsive to our climate and soil conditions.
The Greens will:
* push for a truly independent national authority to manage the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)
* fast track the MDB Plan to ensure that adequate water is returned to the river system
* fund sustainable new industries in basin communities and upgrade inefficient infrastructure
* ensure that adequate environmental flows are allocated to save South Australia’s Lower Lakes
* introduce water recycling and demand reduction initiatives
* support incentives to retrofit buildings with rainwater tanks and grey water systems
* set water efficiency standards for new developments and appliances
* ensure that all land-use planning addresses the impacts of climate change
* keep major water resources and infrastructure in public ownership
* ensure that mining projects do not go ahead on productive farmland without assessing their likely impact on ground water and other essential water resources.
Do you support or oppose standing order 50?
The Australian Greens oppose Standing Order 50 as it stands. In 1997, Senator Bob Brown gave notice of a motion to amend SO 50 to remove the Lord’s Prayer and replace it with an invitation to senators to pray or reflect on their responsibilities. The Greens still believe in amending SO 50, including an acknowledgement of the traditional owners.
Are there any local issues you are trying to highlight with your campaign?
The Australian Greens are a national party. Our policies address numerous local issues. In Chisholm, I am focusing on health care – better access to mental health services, preventative health measure, Denticare – as a primary issue. Also, with two universities in the electorate, support for students is a priority. The Greens have announced that we would forgive HECS/HELP debts and raise the Youth Allowance to the level of a living wage in order to allow our students to focus on their education.
All of our national policies are at
http://greens.org.au/policies. You can also visit each candidate’s individual website for information on the specific local issues they are each seeking to address.
Though group voting tickets have not been submitted yet, do you have an idea on where your preferences will be going?
In Chisholm, we have not entered in to any preference agreements with other parties. Although we will be issuing how-to-vote cards on election day, I urge voters to decide for themselves where they would like to allocate their preferences.
Senator Brown has been at pains to remind voters that it is their decision where their preferences flow. Voters should number all candidates in the order they prefer. How-to-vote cards are simply a guide. For more information, see
All political parties must lodge a preference arrangement for the Senate with the Australian Electoral Commission. Senator Bob Brown has attempted to have this system abolished, but his efforts have been voted down by the big parties.
The Greens have made a much-publicised preferences deal with the ALP in some seats. Preferences in other seats are being decided by local Greens branches on the basis of local issues. However, again, it is up to voters whether they wish their preferences to flow in accordance with these deals – they can always choose to number each candidate and their preferences will flow accordingly.
All preference arrangements are available on the AEC website:
Australian Greens Candidate for Chisholm
0488 505 752