Candidate for South Perth
Mark Brogan is The Greens (WA) Candidate for South Perth in the 2017 State Election.
I grew up in a working class family in East Victoria Park and now live in South Perth, having lived in other states and abroad. I'm passionate about climate change and I have also been a heritage activist, coordinating a grassroots campaign with the Art Deco Society that played a role the creation of the WA Heritage Act in the 1990s.
I studied science and technology policy at Murdoch University and have a PhD in information science. I taught information science, information technology and information management in the School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University before retiring from academic work in early 2016. At ECU, I was also Vice President of the Academic Staff Association and National Tertiary Education Union, ECU Branch. People are at their most creative and productive with fair conditions of work.
My career has given me an appreciation the transformative power of good, affordable education. I went to University at a time when tertiary education attracted no fees and students were free from the distraction of finding part time work to make ends meet. I was privileged in a way that students today would find hard to comprehend, as they wrestle with the financial burden of an expanding HECS debt and scarce, poorly paid part time work. The problem isn’t just a problem with University education. In WA, the cost of TAFE vocational courses has risen sharply since 2013, posing an obstacle to accessibility.
The continuing evolution of our higher education system along a pathway that places increasing burden on students, is no way to run an education system or create the human potential we need to build strong communities and to transform our economy.
Science has also been an important part of my professional life. When I first took an interest in climate science, Perth received 20% more rainfall on average than it receives today. Temperatures are rising, creating a climate which is fundamentally unsafe for future generations. The science is unequivocal about the need for measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change, if we are to preserve the best features of our beautiful state and way of life. We are adaptive clever people and by working together, we can achieve meaningful change.
In my South Perth campaign I want to show how small steps can make a big difference. We have the amenity of the Swan River and the beginnings of an urban village. But we are also in the front line of increasing road congestion and planning decisions that threaten the things we value most about our community. By 2031, Perth will be home to seven of the ten most congested road corridors in the country. South Perth is currently bisected by the third busiest road corridor in the State as measured by delay cost, the Canning Highway corridor. This corridor is bounded on the West by the Kwinana Freeway Corridor which ranks 10 of the 21 most congested corridors as surveyed by Infrastructure Australia. We also have major feeder roads such as Mill Point and Manning Roads. The lousy decision making of the old parties that has given us Roe 8 and endangered the Beeliar Wetlands, is now threatening South Perth.
The Greens vision of WA 2.0 shows how in the medium term we might transform the Canning Highway corridor into an urban village supported by light rail, easing congestion in our area. The Greens offer people-focused solutions that will make a difference to carbon emissions and our everyday quality of life.
We can also make a more livable sustainable city by expanding our cycle network. I'm a keen biker and improving South Perth's cycle ways is also important to me. The State Government's plans for cycle ways will only expand the network from 172km to 850km. This is not ambitious enough and the Greens have a better more ambitious plan. The Greens plan is to expand the network to 1800 km of safe routes for schools and a further 2000 km of protected, cross town bike paths to enable point to point travel anywhere in the Perth metro area.
I am also committed to protecting our biodiversity and passionate about social justice. I am proud to stand with The Greens in opposition to Roe 8 and also to oppose growing inequality that threatens the social fabric of WA, Rising unemployment and underemployment, stagnant salaries, housing affordability and homelessness are major issues for our state that must be addressed.
The fact is that the WA State Government has dropped the ball on economic management and has no idea how to transition our currently resource-dependent economy to provide more jobs. WA needs change and it is great to be part of a team that has a bold vision based on the issues that matter and a determination to make a difference.