Who are you? Paul Toole, Member for Bathurst, Kelso
What is your political experience? Why are you running for the seat of Bathurst? What do you offer voters?
I have more than 25 years’ experience in politics. This includes serving on the former Evans Shire Council from 1995-2004. Serving on Bathurst Regional Council from 2005-2012. (Including Deputy Mayor from 2005-2007 and Mayor from 2007-2011). Member for Bathurst from 2011-present day.
I got into politics because I thought our community deserved better. I wanted to ensure we got a fair share of funding for the projects that matter to you and me.
I'm a local who was raised here and together with my wife Jo, we're raising our family here. I want the same things for my family as you do for yours - good schools, good healthcare, opportunities for our kids, services for my parents as they grow older and the right type of infrastructure for a growing community.
Over the past 8 years, people who know me, know I don't accept people telling me something is too hard. With your support, I'll keep fighting for you.
Please outline what you see as the three main issues at this election for the people of Bathurst and NSW.
- Water security: The drought has highlighted the need for better water security across the State and here locally. That includes looking at raising dam walls, increasing the capacity of weirs and connecting our towns and villages with pipelines.
- Transport networks: We need to continue to provide better connectivity for our community with upgrades to the Great Western Highway of $2.5 billion, improving the road from Kelso to Raglan ($30 million), a new second Bathurst Bullet daily train service, new trains, and better bus services providing better links to our smaller villages and towns.
- Cost of living: Everyone is watching their household budget and it’s important we continue to provide savings for the elderly and families right across this electorate. We are providing $200 vouchers to help kids become more active, $100 voucher for creative kids and a yearly $250 transport card for seniors.
Should the Sydney stadiums knock down/rebuild go ahead? Why? Why not?
Yes. We want to see major events continuing in NSW and not being lost to other States. Our total investment in stadiums amounts to less than 2% of our planned health, education and transport infrastructure spend over the next four years - and is significantly less than what we're planning to spend upgrading the ($2.5 billion) Great Western Highway and improving the road to our region.
NSW deserves the best schools, the best roads, the best health services and the best sporting facilities. We've worked hard to manage the budget, to bring it back into the black and to grow the economy - and that means we can now invest in the future.
Want to know who else is on the ballot?
Do you support the creation of a solar farm on private land at Brewongle?
Not when it impacts on prime agricultural land and impacts on surrounding neighbours in that locality. I’ve also not seen how it will benefit or reduce energy costs for people living in the Bathurst region.
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?
We've done the hard yards to fix the budget and secure funds for roads, a second Bathurst bullet, a second track for Mt Panorama, a major police station upgrade, more police, more nurses, so this is an opportunity to do something on top of that.
I'd invest in a technology park to create jobs of the future and ensure we keep young people in the region and additional health services so that more people can be treated locally. I would also keep some money aside to assist volunteer organisations who are the backbone of our local community and give so much back to the local area. Sometimes people forget how much of a difference small grants can make to the hard working community groups across the region.
Will there ever be a Bells Line Expressway?
Yes, but in the longer term as it will need significant investment from the Federal Government, State and possibly private sector to become a reality
In the short to medium term we've prioritised the upgrade of the Great Western Highway because we want people to travel safely to Sydney and to reduce as many of the speed changes that are frustrating to motorists. What people want is a fast road that you can travel on at 100km/h as soon as possible.
How will your how-to-vote flyers advise your supporters to cast votes 2-6?
I will have the ‘just vote 1’ message on our how to vote cards because I believe in our values and our vision for Bathurst.
Who is your preferred premier - Gladys Berejiklian or Michael Daley? (Please choose one.)
The choice is clear - anyone who has met Gladys on her many trips to Bathurst knows she is a genuine, hard working person who wants the best for the people of NSW.