Please take a moment to introduce yourself. Hey, my name is Axel Beard. I’m a student, currently studying a Bachelor of Arts/Law, majoring in International Relations. I’ve lived in five different countries, and speak two languages. I’m engaged to a wonderful woman, and have been a local of Chatsworth for five years. I’ve attended school here, worked part-time, and been an active an involved member of my community for a number of years. As such, I feel that I have a grasp of local, as well as national issues, from a point of view that could be helpful for Queensland politics.
What are your thoughts on coal seam gas? Coal seam gas can clearly boost the resources of local centres. However, this should be done in within the scope of genuine consultation with the community, rather than engaging in tactics that split communities and marginalise individuals.
What are your thoughts on the dredging of the great barrier reef? The Great Barrier is a national and international treasure. I oppose the dredging of any large sections of the Great Barrier Reef without the appropriate Environmental Impact Assessments being fully completed.
What are your thoughts on water? Water security is crucial. An increased amount of dams in areas surrounding Brisbane would ensure that there is ample water for the residents of the South-East in the future, as well as offering some protection against extreme weather events, such as the tragedy of the 2011 floods.
What are your thoughts on climate change? Climate Change is an issue that the Australian electorate has spoken clearly and often about. It is something that matters. However, to increase an already large tax burden is to drive investment and jobs offshore, where environmental standards are almost inevitably lower. The net result therefore, would be the loss of Australian jobs and an increase in pollution. Global agreement on climate change action is and must be a pre-cursor to any taxation incentive by the Australian government to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
What are your thoughts on renewable energy? Renewable energy is an area that should receive significant government funding in order to investigate the possibility of reducing Australia’s dependence on fossil fuels.
What are your thoughts on nuclear energy? I do not support nuclear energy. The ability of man to screw things up is unbounded, and the consequences for any problem could potentially catastrophic. It simply isn’t worth the risk.
What are your thoughts on public transport? Public transport is an excellent way to get around, and it is a service that I personally frequent regularly. However, public transport needs to be efficient and cost-effective. As such, the steep price hikes that have followed the dissolution of paper tickets is something that discourages people from taking public transport. If elected Member for Chatsworth, I would seek to ensure that the funding system for Go Cards remains transparent and any rises in prices would mirror inflation.
What are your thoughts on public education? I support the right of parents to choose the education for their children that fits their personal beliefs. This means maintaining strong public, Catholic and independent schools.
What are your thoughts on the National Broadband Network? The National Broadband Network must provide excellent business and educational opportunities to justify the enormous cost that taxpayers are footing. At present, I am unaware of any such data that demonstrates the tangible benefits of the NBN in a way that could justify such an outlay of taxpayers dollars.
What are your thoughts on High-Speed Rail? It is a possibility that should be thoroughly investigated. High Speed Rail would greatly increase the ability of people to live outside major centres, thus easing congestion pressures within major developments, as well as allowing people to move to areas that are more desirable to them.
What are your thoughts on abortion? I believe that all life is sacred. That includes everyone. It is now demonstrably clear that the unborn child is a fundamentally different person to their mother. As such, they are a human being and should be afforded the full rights afforded any other citizen.
Do you support or oppose gay marriage? I support equal rights for same-sex couples in a financial sense. However, the transferral of ideational rights to raise a children is in opposition to an enormous number of studies that demonstrate that the best place to raise a child is within the supports provided by a mother-father relationship. Furthermore, the issue of gay marriage is one that has been comprehensively answered, with the vast majority of respondents being in favour of preserving marriage as between a man and a woman. Consequently, I do not support same-sex marriage.
Do you support or oppose the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia? The Netherlands model has demonstrated the slippery slope that can result from the introduction of voluntary euthanasia. What started out as a help for terminally ill patients has morphed into the killing of disabled children and an offer for depressed teens. Life is too precious and sacred to be thrown away. Furthermore, the pressure that can be felt by sick relatives is often immense. To provide a way out, and thus that pressure (whether real or imagined) would be abandonment of the most vulnerable in our society, just at a time when they need the assurance that our care is unequivocal.
Do you support or oppose the legalisation of marijuana? I oppose the legalisation of marijuana. It is a gateway drug that has ruined lives and families, and this includes people that I know myself.
What are your thoughts on campaign finance disclosure? Candidates should disclose where they got their money from. This ensures transparency in the relationships between the candidate and their subsequent policy decisions.
Do you support or oppose the reading of prayers to start each Parliamentary day, and why? I support the reading of prayers to start each Parliament. The Judeo-Christian tradition is part of our heritage, and part of many excellent things about our culture stem from the ‘crossified’ culture that we have inherited. To abandon that for the sake of political correctness would be a mistake.
On your particular electoral ticket, where are your preferences going, and why? My election preferences will be flowing to the LNP, as their candidate reflects more of the values that I and Family First adhere to.
Are there any local issues you are trying to highlight with your campaign? This campaign is also a campaign for greater local autonomy. People within the community of Chatsworth are very often far more informed about local issues, for the simple reason that they are affected by them. Consequently, the devolution of power from an office in the centre of Brisbane to locals within the community is something I wish to highlight.
What do you think about the media’s coverage of the election so far? The election coverage has focussed enormously on the personalities of the leaders involved, reducing the policy platforms of both parties to ‘Campbell versus Anna’, in a personality, presidential-style manner. Whilst not as pronounced in Queensland as it is on a federal level, this style of media coverage tends to inhibit genuine debate about the direction of the state under the Labor administration, and allows for poor understanding of policy platforms. Furthermore, it stops minor parties (like Family First) from being able to participate in the marketplace of ideas in a meaningful way.