I’m Stewart Godden, your Greens candidate for Dawesville this election.
Growing up I spent a lot of time in Falcon and have fond memories of adventures out crabbing, fishing, boating and visiting the beach. My wife and I moved to Falcon five years ago and we have not regretted it for an instant.
I support The Greens because they encourage living sustainably, using only the resources we need and because they prioritise the protection of the environment.
We must act urgently to stop climate change, restore our natural landscapes, and prevent the looming mass extinction of many species - for in saving them, we also save ourselves.
Rapid development in Mandurah has led to environmental degradation, risking the sustainability of the Estuary that attracted so many people to live here. I am a member of several environment groups, regularly taking part in tree plantings, clean ups, and giving feedback to business and all levels of government. The Peel region has excellent solar and wind resources, plenty of available land and an educated population. This makes it an ideal location for the well-paid, renewable energy-powered industries of the future.
I also have a great deal of compassion for unemployed youth and the long-term unemployed because I have been in their shoes. I have spent time unemployed and underemployed, even with a university degree in applied science with honors and a graduate diploma.
I know what it’s like to work and study hard yet still feel unvalued and let down by the system. To have the goal posts shift on you repeatedly without warning, be on benefits long-term, have Centrelink unfairly treat you with suspicion, and to live with your parents well into adulthood because you have no choice financially.
As a result of my life experiences I believe that the economy is there to serve the people, not the other way around. There is an urgent need for the government to ensure no one goes without high quality basic services.
Mandurah has both the highest unemployment rate and highest youth unemployment rate in the nation. There is also a lack of secure, well-paid work. Covid-19 has made more apparent many of the flaws in our economic models, our health system, and our social welfare system. Many insecure jobs in retail, accommodation and food service have been lost. Local levels of mental health issues, domestic violence and alcohol abuse were already high, and they increased rapidly when economic pressures mounted.
I support The Greens because they are the party with the biggest social conscience, and they have the will to tackle economic inequality. The Greens realise that we all have the right to a dignified life. We are fighting for universal free health care, free education, high quality aged care, affordable social housing, and good secure jobs for everyone. I look forward to talking to the community about building a future for all of us, see you out there.