CANDIDATE Q & A – Lawrie McKinna Independent candidate for Robertson


What motivated you to run for the seat of Robertson?

It was just the fact that a lot if people seem to be disillusioned with the major parties and after speaking with John Singleton we thought it was important that a group of people like myself and Nathan (Bracken) for Robertson and Dobell put our hands up and just focus on local issues rather than national issues. Because you know, Deb O’Neil down in Robertson I think she has done a good job in Robertson, but I’m not saying that Liberal, Labor have not done nothing for the coast, I am saying we need to get more to help with infrastructure, with health, local GPS, universities, schools. We just think they’ve slipped further and further behind, so that’s the reason we’re standing.

What would be your first priority?

I basically put my hand up to stir the pot a bit. You know it’s to give people an option rather than go for Liberal or Labor – they could actually go for an independent group whose pure focus is on the Coast. It’s just getting recognition you know, I’m looking at Robertson and we all know we need jobs, we need to stop 40 000 people travelling. We would love to get a government department be relocated and the waterfront development, you now that would bring a vast amount of employment getting the waterfront development started. Plus if we get a lot of people jobs here it would save them travelling up and down from Sydney or Newcastle, you know that’s one thing. The other thing is that we would like to get some rules changed for local doctors, because our local doctors, we’re 12% behind the GPs across the state average. And Gosford currently…cannot recruit overseas doctors. But we can up in Dobell, we can in Wyong, but we can’t here. So it restricts what doctors we can actually get here and our demographic is slightly sewed to young people and old people. So it takes longer for treatment for the kids and for the elderly.

You’ve been involved in the community as Mayor as Gosford and your role with the Central Coast Mariners, do you think your profile will help you get votes?

When I stood for council, I’d never been in a council meeting before and I put my hand up and I got 22% of the primary vote, I got two people off my ticket and so obviously doing a lot of work in the community with the Mariners for… 5-6 years and then being in community a lot over the last 10 months as the mayor, I’d say having a profile definitely helps because people know me, people know I’m straight, and people know I’ll do my best. I’m not going to say we are going to solve all the problems, what I’m going to say is we aren’t going to take part in lying and just do as we are told by the government body because we are independents, as long as we beliee in something we’ll support it.

What will happen with your position as Mayor if you’re elected?

On the last Monday in September it’s the new Mayoral election and I’m hoping to stay on as Mayor, but with Federal Politics you can stand, you can keep your job as a councillor so the next three years if I did get elected I can still be there as councillor and I can still be the Mayor. So with federal politics it is slightly different from state, with state you have to step down…but I’m not even looking at that at the moment, we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks and then after that we’ll decide what’s happening because as I said I know we’ve come in late…we’ve got two more weeks to go and we’ll see what happens.

How do you rate your chances on getting in on September 7?

I don’t, I’m not one of these cocky guys and I don’t want to shout my mouth off because if I come out and say I’m going to get in people will think I’m daft.
I’m just looking to try and put the Central Coast on the political map for the first time, you now have a voice, both parties need to keep the two seats on the central coast so if we are going to get in then this is the time to get it.

Have you thought much about preferences and where they’ll be going?

We’ve blatantly said whatever party supports the Central Coast we’ll support them. So we’re not shying behind the fact that if Liberal or Labor come up with some pledges or promises for the Central Coast we’ll put our preferences there.

s there anything else you would like to add?

Just we’ve put our hand up, we’re going to be honest and straight we’re not hiding behind the fact John Singleton is backing us because he loves the Coast and wants to get a better outcome and we’re just doing this to hopefully make the big parties stand up and realise over the years we have slowly slipped behind the state average on things and we just want to recognise it’s the 9th biggest region in Australia and be treated that way.