Who are you? My name is Tim Hansen. I’m a composer, musician, educator and youth arts worker. I live in Carcoar.
What is your political experience? Why are you running for the seat of Bathurst? What do you offer voters?
This is my first time in politics, although I have been paying close attention to what goes on in politics at all levels ever since I was a student at CSU. I’m running for Bathurst because I believe the Central West is a great example of what happens when local communities are allowed to develop their own culture without government regulation or external interference. Sydney is a great city but it has a bad habit of dismissing the nightlife and culture of regions over the mountains, which I think it does to its detriment. Right now, Sydney needs some guidance as to how best develop a vibrant nighttime culture that is safe and inclusive, and I think that the Bathurst electorate is a perfect example of what is possible in this regard.
Please outline what you see as the three main issues at this election for the people of Bathurst and NSW.
Dealing with and mitigating the effects climate change will have on the local economy and environment, poor broadband in rural areas, and recognising that the arts and culture industries are just as important as any other and deserve respect and government investment. I feel that the established parties are dragging their feet in a rapidly changing world. Therefore I believe the main issues for the people of Bathurst are ensuring we are an electorate poised to take advantage of the opportunities and rise to the challenges the next twenty years will present.
Should the Sydney stadiums knock down/rebuild go ahead? Why? Why not?
The Sydney stadiums knock down should absolutely not go ahead. It is a gross waste of tax payers money. My issue is not that the government builds stadiums - sport is a huge part of Australian culture and deserves to be supported by government. It’s that the government’s priorities are completely upside down when it comes to investing in culture. Yes, we need state of the art venues for all cultural products, from sport to opera, to theatre to live music. But currently there is no clear way for a young person who dreams of being anything from a footballer to a singer to develop a sustainable career because the government throws all its money at the flashy, eye-catching end of the cultural industry and invests a paltry amount into developing the careers and skills of the young people who aspire to be a part of that industry. That $700 million could support a lot of dreams.
Want to know who else is on the ballot?
Do you support the creation of a solar farm on private land at Brewongle?
I believe the biggest challenge facing us all is climate change, and the absolute priority of all governments from local to federal should be to do all they can to mitigate its affects and prepare us for the future. I support solar farms and wind farms being built wherever they are viable. I understand landowners fears of such infrastructure lowering property values, however if we don’t accept that we must do something and that some sacrifices need to be made by us all, then the effects of climate change will mean we have much bigger problems than lower property prices in the not-too-distant future.
The treasurer's office has called you to say they've found $100 million to spend in the Bathurst electorate. How should it be spent?
The bulk of the money would be spent on grants and projects that allow the region a smooth transition to green energy, particularly when small communities are especially effected. The power plant at Wallerawang is coal-fired, and no doubt many locals in the area are concerned about what will happen if the coal plant ever closes. That money could be used to both improve the efficiency and reduce reductions of the plant for the interim while we develop our green power infrastructure, as well as investing money back into the communities that rely on the power plant for jobs to develop new industries, including sustainable cultural events. A smaller portion of that money - even just 10% of it - would go a long, long way to developing the cultural opportunities available in the Bathurst region. Investment in programs that support classroom teachers' and schools’ abilities to nurture performing arts skills in their students from K-12, and then community arts organisations that continue to allow young adults that are interested in pursuing a career in the arts a chance to develop their skills and reputation without having to leave the area.
Will there ever be a Bells Line Expressway?
I hope not. The Blue Mountains are a unique part of the world, and the Bells Line of Road is spectacular. The current highway is in the final stages of development - let’s wait and see what opportunities that offers before we start spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing a road that is operating perfectly fine right now.
How will your how-to-vote flyers advise your supporters to cast votes 2-6?
I always encourage people to investigate candidates’ policies and vote for people in the order they feel best represents their interests and who offers the best vision for their electorate. But for the record, Keep Sydney Open preferences in the Bathurst electorate are
- Keep Sydney Open
- Country Labour
- Sustainable Australia
- The Greens
- Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
- The Nationals
Who is your preferred premier - Gladys Berejiklian or Michael Daley? (Please choose one.)
Is there any question? Michale Daley, hands down. While Labor hasn’t exactly offered anything in the way of spirited opposition to Ms Berejiklian’s sustained attack on the civil liberties and culture of NSW residents, the Labour party has offered some policies that move the state in the right direction in this regard. They still don’t go far enough however.