The Greens candidate for Pearce
THE community wants sustainable growth in the outer townships of Pearce, according to Greens candidate Lee-Anne Miles.
"My key areas of focus are on small business, locally produced and grown, fair and equitable taxation across the board, renewable economy with a focus on transitioning to renewable energy and the jobs that sector can provide," she said.
"Throughout the campaign, I've been meeting with owners of small businesses in the electorate with a focus on country towns.
"I would love the chance to focus on drawing more tourism to the beautiful areas we have just an hour or two out of Perth."
Ms Miles said it was important that more jobs were created locally with a focus on locally grown, made and sold produce, manufacturing of Australian goods being encouraged at a local level and tourism into towns where tourists don't normally go.
She said it was important to find out what really matters to local people and work with them towards outcomes they were happy with.
Ms Miles said she would like to create accessible town sites where people could move about easily and create community engagement.
"(I want) to have better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the electorate and ultimately, my vision is for vibrant and sustainable communities regardless of whether they are in Ellenbrook, Gingin, the Swan Valley or Lancelin," she said.
If elected to parliament on July 2, Ms Miles said telecommunications would be her top priority.
"Pearce is a large and diverse electorate including city and country," she said.
"The National Broadband Network (NBN) is already in place in several towns and suburbs in Pearce, as far as the implementation of new communication is concerned, better mobile phone coverage is key to connectivity.
"Ensuring all people have affordable, consistent and accessible phone services, no matter where they live, is the minimum standard for communication that we support."
Ms Miles said more work was needed to identify and address blackspots on roads in Pearce.
"Only part of the problem is road infrastructure, there is a strong need for driver awareness and education as well," she said.
"Rumble strips along the edges of roads in blackspot areas could be one solution, however, the core of the issue is working with the public and finding a way to educate drivers on ways to get out of difficult and dangerous situations effectively."
While communications and road infrastructure were important, Ms Miles said health and education was a higher priority for the Greens this coming election.
Ms Miles said the party had released a National Rural Health plan focusing on meeting the needs of rural and regional Australia.
"This includes the development and funding of a National Rural Generalist Framework, which encompasses ways to promote and sustain rural general practices, encouraging and retaining staff in rural areas and trying to ensure GPs are fully prepared for rural medical practice," she said.
"The policy also includes access to mental health professionals, dental care, protecting rural hospitals and supporting their needs and ensuring rural women have safe and equitable access to sexual and reproductive health services.
"The Greens see affordable, universal health care as an investment, not a cost.
"Education is a right not a privilege and differences in educational outcomes should not be the result of a difference in wealth, income, power, possessions or location."
As Pearce has a large tourism and agricultural sector, Ms Miles said rural research and development into sustainable agriculture was needed, with a strong focus on new technology and better outcomes delivery.
"We would like boosted funding for Landcare projects as they make a real difference to farms, waterways, coastal areas and forests," she said.
She said a resolution of the backpacker tax issue was important to help farmers and growers, boost regional farming economies and assist .
"Upgrading the regional rail system and providing an expanded public transport system into regional areas would also help to boost tourism and make moving about easier for communities," she said.
Ms Miles said one way to create more jobs in the agricultural sector, would be to create locally-owned and run abattoirs which employed staff with the appropriate skills.
"Animals could be processed locally and the meat certified and approved before being chilled for shipping," she said.
"This would create jobs locally, but still provide high quality Australian meat to overseas customers and would be less stressful for the animals concerned.
"The transition from live export to chilled meat export would be phased in over a number of years so there is less economic shock to communities."