Hi, I'm Phillip, your Greens candidate for the federal electorate of Leichhardt.
I was born in Babinda and grew up on a local family farm where I did weekend work, like other neighbouring teenagers. I went to school locally before completing an engineering education in Townsville and Canberra. I live in Cairns with my wife and son, who attends a state school.
I'm a research engineer/contract lecturer and have spent roughly half of my working life teaching computer science and engineering in Melbourne, Canberra, and Cairns. Like most of us, my experiences have shaped my view of the world – and how to make it better.
As an academic adviser at JCU Cairns, I found that students having too many part-time jobs to try and pay their bills was a major cause of failure. With job changes now standard across our working lives, we need to support young students to get an education and older Australians who increasingly need to retrain.
Now is the time for free, lifelong public education and training, from school, through TAFE and university for everyone.
I find it appalling that one-in-five children live in poverty in a wealthy country like ours, and a lack of affordable housing makes homelessness a real possibility for so many ordinary people.
For years, the Libs/Nats have gifted billions in public money to wealthy private schools, while our public schools are underfunded and under-resourced. It's plain wrong that teachers and parents have to put their hands in their pockets or rely on charity to cover classroom basics like textbooks and stationery.
The Greens will ensure public schools are funded to meet every student's needs, support teachers, and upgrade and maintain critical infrastructure that's sustainable and accessible.
From Cairns to Thursday Island, it's obvious to those of us who live and work here that climate change is already affecting our everyday lives.
As an engineer, my work has spanned projects in improving machinery for sugar cutting and crushing, improving digital video and printing systems, and creating lasers to target space junk for garbage collection. Currently, I help develop the computers in a precision industrial GPS exported to manufacturers of self-driving dump trucks and container cranes.
In all of these projects, I've seen how disruptive technologies can change everything instantly and when the new technologies are cheaper, systems that cannot adapt, die. The same applies to fossil fuels since almost all countries are already reducing their emissions and buying less coal and gas.
We have a once-off short term chance to take advantage of Australia's renewable energy transition and scale it up to create new jobs in areas such as clean hydrogen exports. We can drive hundreds of thousands of well-paid, long-term jobs, enabling workers in fossil fuel industries to transition and farmers to be paid to farm carbon and protect the land. We can plan and manage this transition for our local FIFO workers and communities in the far north and leave nobody behind.
When big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share in tax, everyone can have the services they need for a better life. We can build a better future with a high quality of life for our children and future generations.
By kicking out the chaotic LibsNats and putting more Greens in parliament, we can push the next government to tackle the climate crisis and build a future for all of us.