I HAVE a strong working background in the public sector as a child protection caseworker, which has given me an insight into many struggles that people face.
Newcastle has been abandoned by the major parties and has disappointed the people of this electorate. My vision for Newcastle is to maximise opportunities to provide a vibrant, diverse place to live, work, play and grow.
There are pressing issues that affect the community and, as such, my focus will be on the concerns that are most important to Newcastle. All decisions will be made in an honest, inclusive and transparent manner.
As an independent, I will be representing Newcastle to ensure it is to the benefit of all.
The truncation of the rail line is of major concern to residents.
Newcastle deserves an integrated transport system that will serve the community, now and into the future. Further investigation into transport should be conducted.
Many frontline and grassroots services are unable to meet the demand due to government cuts and loss of funding. The privatisation of government services is of great concern. The people of Newcastle will remain homeless, jobless and lack opportunities to access education if the major parties continue to put profits before people.
Newcastle is the gateway to the Hunter by air, rail, road and sea. It needs strong, creative and visionary leadership to remain as such.
I will also work towards projects that will significantly enhance the Newcastle CBD as a hub of core business, employment, entertainment and service provision for the Hunter.
I aim to build upon the many decades of investment and planning to utilise the infrastructure and resources to ensure that Newcastle is well connected and liveable.
My passion for people and politics is clear. I have a proven background in understanding community needs to deliver better results for the people of Newcastle. A few of these areas include marginalised families, people with mental health issues, those at risk of becoming homeless and the Aboriginal community. More services are needed for men and young male adolescents because of family breakdown.
I have seen the disadvantage, frustration, discrimination and dysfunction that people experience at various times in their lives.
We need to protect our Australian way of life and provide solutions to ensure we support the community and its well-being.
We need to invest in clear and commonsense policies to renew, revitalise and find that balance and empowerment from all groups.
Renewal and development of the CBD and surrounding suburbs is important but decision making needs to consider people’s wishes.
I prefer the term community representative to politician, as politicians and the major parties have proven their interests are driven by everything else but the people they claim to represent.
The Australian Council of Social Service says that one in six children live in poverty now.
Novocastrians are tired of political rhetoric. People need an integrated transport system by adding options, not truncation.
People should be the priority, not profit.
Privatisation is not the answer to deliver frontline public services as it should be used adjunct to services already in place.
We should not ‘‘sell off’’ electricity infrastructure or deregulate educational institutions.
This is unequitable and will cause further disadvantage to all sectors in Newcastle.
Jennifer Stefanac has been a child protection caseworker and is a Palmer United Party-backed independent candidate for Newcastle
Read more about the byelections and candidates here