Who are you?
My name is Michael Begg. I am a primary producer, real estate valuer and on-call fire fighter with Fire Rescue NSW. I live at Eglinton.
What is your political experience? Why are you running for the seat of Bathurst? What do you offer voters?
I was once an elected councillor. I was an effective councillor well regarded by my colleagues from all political points of view.
I am running for the seat of Bathurst to give voters the option of voting for someone who is very much in the middle of the political spectrum. I got fed up with Liberals/Nationals ill conceived, heady handed new laws. I don't like politics when there is argument for the sake of argument. I like compromise and making a deal that suits most people.
I believe in having an open mind and listening more than I talk. I am motivated by wanting to make all the Bathurst electorate a better place to live. Action needs to be taken to stop inappropriate development by giving communities more say over planning.
There is a chance of the election being very close and won by Labour or the Liberal National Coalition. Being in the middle, I can negotiate the best deal for Bathurst Electorate regardless who wins.
Please outline what you see as the three main issues at this election for the people of Bathurst and NSW.
- Too much many being spent in Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, just so infrastructure can be upgraded to meet the desperate needs of residents due to the millions of immigrants over the last two decades. The long term average number was 70 000pa. It is now running at 200 000 to 300 000 people pa who all need homes, power and transport. I am not saying stop immigrants and refugees, just slow it down gradually. The number of refugees allowed in should be increased as a proportion of total immigration. The money saved building infrastructure in Sydney would be better spent in rural NSW on transport and water security.
- The environment requires appropriate protection and restoration
- Cheap reliable clean power for NSW
Should the Sydney stadiums knock down/rebuild go ahead? Why? Why not?
NO, but it may be too late financially to change the redevelopment. Ideally the deal should not have occurred. Much higher priorities in rural NSW.
Want to know who else is on the ballot?
Do you support the creation of a solar farm on private land at Brewongle?
I support the modified alternative plan or a compromise involving the planting of thousands of trees to screen it. There should be as many solar farms as possible in appropriate locations and land. A study should be done earmarking appropriate sites in consultation with the community. It is much better to be proactive and plan for good sites close to suitable power lines without the negatives of interrupting views from neighbours and places of high scenic beauty. It can be done. Plenty of suitable land.
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?
I would firstly invite submissions from residents. It is their money. The money would be spread fairly around the whole electorate.
Ideally the money would improve quality of life and bring employment whilst improving the environment.
Some suggestions; plant thousands of trees; undertake fast tracking of the intermodal facility at Kelso/Raglan to move more freight onto rail; make the roads safer; build the southern bypass to get traffic out of Bathurst (depending on where it goes); build footpaths in the city so that parents can take their kids to the local park for exercise rather than having to drive or walk on the street; ensure that the villages have an adequate supply of water; reopen Oberon rail line if viable, other wise bike trail for tourism
Will there ever be a Bells Line Expressway?
Maybe in the future when the demand is there. In the mean time improve the Great Western Highway with a few appropriate tunnels bypassing traffic hot spots.
I’m a rail advocate - let’ improve the rail line, I would like to see travel times reduced for rail and road.
How will your how-to-vote flyers advise your supporters to cast votes 2-6?
I will not be directing preferences. I don’t prefer people or leaders. I prefer policies which will improve the quality of life for the people of the Bathurst electorate.
Who is your preferred premier - Gladys Berejiklian or Michael Daley? (Please choose one).
“6 of one, half a dozen of the other” I am from the political centre after all.
I could happily work with either. I prefer policies which will improve the quality of life for people. The leader doesn’t really matter.
Michael Daley and his party have not had a chance to make stuff ups like the Sydney Lock Out Laws that have nobbled the entertainment industry, Grey Hound Laws, land clearing laws, Council amalgamations, concert laws, football stadiums....... These laws that Gladys' and Paul Toole's government have introduced without proper consultation have taken their right to govern away.