Greens candidate for Lyne Julie Lyford wants voters to stop talking about political personalities and start thinking about what each party stands for.
The former registered nurse, councillor and mayor has clocked up 17 years experience in local government, has held a string of positions in the community, and is ready to tackle the federal political arena, if elected.
She says this experience, as well as a position on the regional development advisory board for the Hunter and prior chair of Hunter Councils, has exposed her to the issues within the Lower Hunter.
Experience in grassroots democracy and lobbying the state and federal government has also enhanced her desire to make a difference.
Ms Lyford said the biggest issue voters in Lyne face was paving the transition to a renewable economy and creating employment and social equity.
“It’s about making sure there is a safety net built in wherever we go to make sure the vulnerable are looked after,” she said.
“I’m well across those key issues for the Lower Hunter and every community is different. I’ve been working for many of the communities through my local government role and being prior chair of Hunter Councils.
“I think you need to be continually meeting with the members of those communities to understand their needs and aspirations.”
Ms Lyford said she was eager for a minority government because it got things done. She referred to the success of the last minority government in Australia which passed 151 policies including the education funding program Gonski and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
She urged voters to focus on policies instead of a politician’s personality.
“People talk about policies first and politics and personalities second,” she said.
“If people understood the policies of the parties they vote for then I think there would be better outcomes for society. “We wouldn’t get bogged down in the personalities and the bickering - people are sick of it.
“We need to talk about what the policies are and what they mean for the public good for communities.”
Ms Lyford is optimistic about Australia’s future and wants to make a difference.
“I would like to be part of the change in conversation at the federal level because Australia has a very positive future, however we are bogged down in a discussion surrounding Labor or Liberal,” she said.
She said voters should not fear minority government. She said it was the normal outcome after elections across the world, and when the last minority government was in place here, 151 policies were passed and became legislation.