CANDIDATE Q & A – Rod Holding, Independent candidate for Newcastle

rodholding What motivated you to run for the seat of Newcastle?

I decided to run in this crucial election after many years of feeling unrepresented by this political system and believe there are many important issues for Newcastle future that are not recognised by the Labor/Liberal party.

Is this the first time you have contested a Federal election?

Yes this is the first time I have run for an election as a politician although I was elected as a fire brigade captain a decade or so ago.

What issues are important to you in the electorate?

The empty buildings throughout Newcastle’s CBD, should be considered an asset that can bring creative and vibrant people together from around the Hunter region to work their crafts and produce inspirational industries.
Infusing our local talent with people from around Australia and the world will open this space up to a creative artistic community that would be the envy of the world. What has happened in other cities supporting this kind of innovation is that commercial developers follow to set up businesses and cities come alive.

What would be your first priority if elected?

Removing Orica’s extremely dangerous Ammonium Nitrate storage facility away from Newcastle’s residential and industrial infrastructure is an urgent priority before a disaster occurs.

What will people be getting if they vote for you?

If people choose to vote for me, they get a representative in Canberra that will listen and take action over the many environmental concerns of residents. I’ll demand a fare share of the valley’s wealth returned to Newcastle and support all wishing to build a healthy regional living hub with exciting prospects for our children’s future. I’m also not afraid to stand up for the infrastructure programs needed for Newcastle to transition forward from the coal industry into the new technologies needed to power the world.

How do you rate your chances of winning?

Not very likely, but people in Newcastle have been taken for granted for so long and may surprise themselves and the Labor/Liberal apathy machine and vote for Independence.

Who will you be preferencing?

I believe that the Labor/Liberal party are different factions of the same political process of establishing corruption. Of the parties that have best thought out their platforms for taking Australia into a fare, free and prosperous future, I think the Socialist Alliance has shown a real plan that moves the whole planet toward peaceful coexistence, this essential for all people around the world. Also the Greens have a vision to reform a very destructive corporately dominated parliament that is total subservience to the United States, Greens do stand up for a much fairer system.

Can you tell us a little about your background and what skills you think you can bring to the role?

I have been an Activist for environmental and social cause for many decades; I am now 50 years of age and have worked traveling around Australia and the world extensively. Working as a Shearer, Driller and jack
of trades in many diverse occupations, I believe this gives me the ability to do anything that comes my way. I am currently a full time student at Newcastle University studying Biology and Sociology and work in an
assortment of part time jobs. I have three children from a previous marriage and live with my partner in a loving relationship in Cooks Hill.

What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this election?

Being taken seriously as an alternative voice to this media dominated labor/Liberal circus.

Two highly publicised issues in this election have been the issue of same sex marriage and the asylum seeker issues, where do you stand on these issues?

10. Australia has played a major part in many unjust wars and war with its associated economic exploitation is the major cause for the 25 to 50 million refugees who have lost their roots around the world. Refugees whether escaping the potato famine of Ireland, world war two or the unjust attack on Vietnam have all greatly increased the vibrancy in Australia’s cultural. Since the initial invasion of this continent, Australian foreign
policy has created many of the reasons reason for the present refugee intake. Starting with the falsified and illegal attack on Iraq by the Howard government. The United State’s supply of weapons to the Mujahideen and the CIA’s original structuring of Al-Qaida tore Afghanistan apart causing constant war and the subsequent refugee arrivals in Australia. In Sri Lanka Australia financed through aid budgets a very ruthless, corrupt
and racist Sinhalese government. The atrocities and war crimes are directly linked to Australian government programs and responsibility must be taken for those fleeing for their lives. Solving humanitarian issues for refugees means Australia needs to take an Independent approach to world affairs and advocate for a just distribution of the new energy technologies. Development assistance should provide opportunities for community based assets as self help at home is the best way to alleviate the global refugee disaster.

I find it incredible that in 2013 marriage equality is still an issue in which the government refuses people the ability to legally commit to each other in a loving marriage ceremony. It is a sad indictment on the minds of
a cruel, vindictive minority still trying to inflict an archaic belief system on the rest of the community.