Hi, I’m Lyle.
I live on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. I love the rainforest, the reef and the creativity and solidarity of our wonderful community. I moved here eight years ago to get away from the congestion and pollution of the city and have made this my home.
But there's no reason we shouldn’t have access to all the health, education and broadband services that city people enjoy and take for granted. Rural and regional areas like ours have been neglected by short-term thinking and city-based power centres. It seems to be getting worse, and we’ve have had enough.
Our region can have a prosperous local economy built on sustainable agriculture, tourism and clean energy that gives our young people the opportunity to stay here.
By making both TAFE training and University free again and abolishing fees, we can re-skill workers and transition away from a coal-based economy into something new. Making education free for all - not just kids, but also adults who want to retrain will ensure everyone has a second chance.
Like many, I’m angry about the creeping corruption in our political system. As long as mining corporations, developers and gun lobbyists are allowed to donate to political parties, politicians will never represent our communities - only the interests of their big donors. Their decisions are utterly compromised. It must end.
The growing gap between the rich and the poor is literally killing people faster in rural areas. We live shorter lives and have poorer health. I want us to have a truly universal health care system that includes free dental and mental health care, and quality, accessible services in regional areas.
I heavily rely on my NBN Satellite connection for work - but it's not the right technology to bring rural businesses into the future. We deserve a forward-looking NBN to prepare us for the future and bring us in line with the capabilities of other countries. And it should always remain publicly owned.
There’s just no future unless it’s a future for all of us - no matter if we live in rural Queensland or the power centres of the big cities. I believe we can build such a future. It will take energy and persistence. We must continue to try, now.