Hi, I’m Tom. I'm standing for the Greens in Bass because the Greens fight for the things I hold dear – the environment, the economy, and a fair go.
I live in Launceston and work as a medical doctor specialising in anaesthesia.
Our national anthem perfectly describes our rainforests – “beauty, rich, and rare”. Before the Howard government gutted our universities we used to call ourselves ‘the clever country’, and I believe that a clever country has better ways to keep the economy ticking along than bulldozing our beautiful, rich, and rare rainforests to create woodchips.
I believe that the economy should work for all of us, but it doesn’t – it works for those of us who were born rich, and those of us who are donors or mates with the people in power. I see it at work every day. Launceston is getting sicker, but it’s not the doctors or lawyers or accountants that I spend most of my time treating – it’s people with low-skilled and insecure employment; poor quality housing; those have lost the faith that their children might have the opportunity to live a better life than they themselves have lived.
The way successive governments have pillaged our nation’s economy to enrich their donors and mates is not just about money – it has real human consequences. Every privatisation of essential monopoly infrastructure such as Basslink or the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline, every tax break to the rich impacts on the most vulnerable in our society and increases inequality. I deal with the outcomes of this every day at work.
The Greens made a decision early in their history not to take donations and hence become mates with corporations trying to buy influence, and I absolutely support this. Even in opposition, the Greens have held successive governments to account, and today we have a stronger economy and a wealthier, healthier, and happier society than we would otherwise have if not for the voice of the Greens.
Australia considers itself an egalitarian society; that if we work hard and study hard then we will succeed. However, in reality we have never been less egalitarian. I am very aware of the fact that, if I was 20 years younger, finishing Year 12 in 2015 instead of 1995, there is no way that I could have been a medical doctor. Firstly, I probably wouldn’t have got the marks I needed at my country public high school, and even if I did, my family wouldn’t have been able to afford to send me to the city for six years.
Being born wealthy in Australia has never been more valuable, and being born without wealth has never been as much of a handicap as it is today. Our two-tiered education system has become more divided, our low-skilled but permanent and secure manufacturing jobs have all but disappeared. Our tax system rewards people who earn money by ‘investing’ the money they already own and penalises labour income – getting up early and going to your job to actually work hard to earn money.
This is wrong, and I will fight to fix it.
I stand for the environment, the economy, and a fair go, and will fight to make Bass a better place.
Read more about our policies here and find how, together, we can build a future for all of us.
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