Hi, I'm Paula, your candidate for Dawson.
Born and raised in Mackay, I've spent a great deal of my time and energy giving back to our community. During 12 years with Volunteer Marine Rescue Mackay, I towed hundreds of boaters to safety. I gave a hand to Mackay West Rotary Xmas Fair as a face painter for 15 years, and I help out at Slade Point Community Gardens and Mackay Conservation Group.
I'm currently an active member of SES Mackay and the President of Mackay 8-Ball Association (we play pool). I'm an avid litter picker around my local parks and beaches in my spare time. I'm passionate about the environment and issues affecting First Nations People.
Clocking up over 20 years locally as a Building Designer, I've seen developers come to Mackay to take advantage of the booms only to leave in the downturns, taking all their profits out of the region. At the same time, long-term local builders who couldn't compete went out of business. The City Heart, once a bustling hive of activity, now has shops that have been empty for a decade.
I was lucky enough to enjoy the era of a thriving local economy before the boom and bust cycle of the mining industry destroyed local jobs and businesses in other sectors. Coal mining employs less than 1% of people who work in Queensland, yet all Mackay locals feel the pinch of inflated prices we know locally as "miners' tax". It’s time for that to change.
I have many friends who work in coal mining. We owe these workers a debt of thanks for powering our country till now. I'd love to see them be empowered and supported to use their skills in related fields like clean energy and rare metal mining.
The Greens' plan for the government to subsidise half the wages of coal workers who transition into new jobs for a decade is a game-changer. It will bring more stability to our region's economy, address the climate crisis and make power cheaper. Nobody loses.
Locals are in desperate need of affordable housing, and job insecurity is rife, adding to daily stress on local families. The Greens have a plan to build a million public homes across the nation and protect renter's rights. To alleviate the drain on family budgets, we'll also push for universal free childcare, free education and training from prep to Uni and TAFE, and add dental and mental healthcare into medicare.
Everyone knows someone who has struggled to get to the starting line. It's not acceptable for Australian families to live in poverty while billionaires and corporations hoard money far beyond their needs. The Greens will make billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax to build a better future for the rest of us.
When I take on a job, I give it everything. I want to help create a better future for Dawson.
Together, we are powerful.