Why should I vote for an independent?
Independents have the ability to lead national debate and policy as they have the freedom to introduce bills to parliament and do not have to adhere to a tightly controlled party agenda. For example, Helen Haines MP’s leadership on the federal ICAC; Zali Steggall MP’s leadership on climate action and Andrew Wilkie MP’s leadership on political donation reform.
Independents play an important role in providing oversight and hold governments accountable to deliver on their election promises while they can also genuinely represent their community without being beholden to donors or being directed how to vote on crucial issues by their party.
Who will you support in the event of a hung parliament?
Mackellar deserves to have their voice genuinely represented in Parliament. The policy priorities I am taking to the election reflect the issues that are most important to the people of Mackellar.
In the event of a hung parliament, it will be up to each party to gain my support. Before making my decision, I need to see the full policies of the Coalition and Labor, and what they are offering on the issues that matter most.
I would then seek the views of my community and assess which party will best represent and act on the issues that are important to Mackellar.
Where will you direct your preferences?
I will not be directing preferences.
I'll ask the people of Mackellar to vote 1 Dr Sophie Scamps and to make sure to number every box. When it comes to allocating preferences, I respect that the people of Mackellar can make up their own mind on how to allocate their preferences.
Do you support lower taxes?
Yes - but they must be targeted. For example, I support lower taxes for small businesses however I also support cracking down on tax avoidance by large multinationals so they pay their fair share.
Australia has spiralling national debt, so I want to improve the budget bottom-line by ending wasteful, party political rorting of grant schemes and redirecting subsidies currently propping up fossil fuel industries to clean energy opportunities.
What are your education priorities?
If elected, I will support:
- Ensuring all Australian children have access to quality education, regardless of their background or where they live.
- Teachers being fairly rewarded and supported for the crucial job they do for our children.
- Funding for mental health practitioners in our schools.
- A strengthened TAFE system.
- A strong university sector where students are not punished for wanting to pursue study in the arts or humanities.
How will your policies support housing affordability?
I want to increase housing supply here on the Northern Beaches through, for example, investment in more affordable and diverse housing options while maintaining strong planning controls to prevent poorly planned over-development from undermining our way of life on the Northern Beaches.
What is your position on donation reform and disclosures?
Donation reform, the creation of a federal anti-corruption watchdog and bringing integrity back into politics are all central to my campaign.
I support reforming political donation and expenditure rules to improve transparency and limit the influence of donors and lobbyists.
I also support Introducing a strong federal anti- corruption commission to promote the highest standards of integrity and accountability for federal politicians.
Do you support more funding for the ABC?
I support more funding for both of our national broadcasters (ABC and SBS) as I believe having strong and independent public broadcasters is essential to a healthy democracy
Do you support establishing an Indigenous Voice to Parliament?
Yes. I support the establishment of an Indigenous Constitutional Voice to Parliament as described in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
I also support a Makarrata Commission which would help First Nations people and State and Federal governments to negotiate agreements as well as developing a ‘truth-telling’ process to help create a path for true national reconciliation.
Do you support equal pay for women?
Yes, I support eliminating the gender pay gap including necessary legal reform. I also support other measures to help improve equality such as universal affordable childcare, increasing support for community-led family and domestic violence services and gender-neutral paid paternity.
Do you support universal childcare?
Yes, I support universal affordable childcare. Not only is this crucial for our children to reach their full potential but it also allows parents to return to work and boost both household income and the national economy. Every $1 spent on affordable childcare, the GDP grows by $2.
What is your position on Australia’s refugee policies?
I support ending the cruel indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers and would work with all parties to ensure Australia meets its obligations under the UN’s Refugee Convention.
What is your position on negative gearing?
I am not proposing any changes to negative gearing arrangements.
What is your position on Capital Gains Tax?
I am not proposing any changes to Capital Gains Tax.
What is your position on defence spending and national security?
I support a bi-partisan approach to national security and defence spending. There is bipartisan agreement for defence spending to be increased to around 2% of GDP, which I support.
I am however very concerned about Australia’s record in defence procurement as we have been left exposed without world-leading submarines until 2040, at the earliest.
What is your position on the proposed Lizard Rock housing development?
I stand with the community and do not support the Lizard Rock development proposal as it stands. It conflicts with the Northern Beaches Council’s 2040 housing strategy and does not address bushfire risk
There are other options on the table - including the NSW Government leasing the land from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) and incorporating it into the Garigal National Park and the creation of a metropolitan Indigenous Knowledge and Visitor centre. This solution ensures a steady stream of income for the MLALC while protecting precious bushland, wildlife, and our way of life in Mackellar.
Do you support vaccine mandates?
I believe vaccine mandates should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
I support the NSW Government’s mandate for workers who work with vulnerable people including health care workers and aged care workers.
I do not support vaccine mandates for children.
What is Climate 200’s role in your campaign?
Our campaign springs from grassroots community groups who want a better brand of politics for Mackellar. This involved nearly 2 years of organising from local volunteers, including hundreds of kitchen table conversations held across the community and thousands of volunteer hours.
Climate200 does support our campaign and matches donations we receive from the local community. C200 was set up to help community-backed Independents compete with the fossil-fuel backed Liberal Party. C200 only support Independents who have demonstrated widespread grassroots support from their communities and for action on these 3 issues - climate change, gender equity and integrity in Parliament. Additionally, their funding is not from a single entity but made up of over 10,000 individual donors - everyday people who want real action on climate change.
What is your view on Australia’s approach to China?
When it comes to China, we must advance and defend our interests with respect to both national security and trade. To do that, it is important that we listen to our national security chiefs, stay unified as a country, and not politicise the issue.
To maintain national unity, it is also important that we reject racism in all its forms, including against Australians from China, and their children. Both the major parties have similar policies when it comes to China, and I will support the government of the day when it comes to defending our national interests.
What is your position on Julian Assange?
Julian Assange needs to be afforded his rights as an Australian citizen. The physical and mental health consequences of Mr Assange's long incarceration are unacceptable. As a medical professional I cannot abide such practices.
Do you support a ban on live animal exports?
I am opposed to live animal exports and note that the practice is systemically cruel and lacks widespread support in the community. If elected, I would advocate for the government to develop a plan to cease live animal exports.