Durack candidate speaks out on key issues

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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Greens candidate Johani Mamid will contest the seat of Durack at the next Federal Election.
Camera IconGreens candidate Johani Mamid will contest the seat of Durack at the next Federal Election. Credit: Picture: WA Greens, WA Greens.

Last month the Greens became the first party to announce a candidate to take on incumbent Durack MHR Melissa Price at the next Federal Election.

Johani Mamid is a Yawuru ranger of indigenous and Malaysian descent. He was born and raised in Broome and last year had a tilt at a position on the Shire of Broome Council.

The Pilbara News had a chat with Mr Mamid to canvas his views on key regional issues identified ahead of the election campaign.

Should we be boosting the defence presence in the North West to assist with population growth and increase protection of assets?

The Greens support an independent foreign policy that is not determined by the US, particularly considering recent trends of brinkmanship and escalation in the Pacific with regards to the South China Sea.

We want to see foreign policy that prioritises peaceful solutions in Southeast Asia with de-escalation and co-operation between nation States.

Whether this is conducted through organisations such as the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) or increased bilateral co-operation with countries we have existing security and trade relationships with, the focus of Australia’s foreign policy should be demilitarisation wherever possible.

VideoTensions in our government relations with China has been aired in public, as China's Ambassador admits to struggles with Canberra.

What role should the Federal Government be playing in funding for remote community housing and services?

Your home is the foundation of your family and if people aren’t in affordable or appropriate housing then this will most likely be one of the foundations of social issues.

The buck-passing is certainly a problem, and right now there is a Bill in the WA Parliament put forward by (Greens MP) Robin Chapple which would guarantee services and prevent the closure of communities without consent.

State efforts need to be backed with appropriate funding from the Federal Government, which is clearly not a priority for them.

Do you agree with calls for the Federal Government to boost funding for preservation of Aboriginal languages?

The invasion of country and subsequent dispossession of Aboriginal people and their land has inflicted an extreme amount of damage onto the culture of the First Nations people.

Because of this, it is my view that the Australian Government must play a role in revitalising and strengthening Aboriginal cultures in line with the wishes of traditional owners.

What are your views on World Heritage listing the Burrup and the State Government’s ambition to introduce more industry to the peninsula?

The Burrup rock art is ancient and very significant to the traditional owners of the area, and it should of course receive World Heritage listing and the protections afforded with that.

There is a clear alternative for industrial expansion in the Maitland Industrial Estate, which is gazetted for development after the Burrup is at capacity.

Maitland should have been the first port of call, and I am hopeful that further industry will be located there so that we can preserve the world’s largest collection of rock art.

Where should the Federal Government’s northern infrastructure spend be prioritised?

Funding for Northern Australia is certainly needed, and something Greens politicians have a history of supporting, particularly with regards to service provision in remote areas.

The Karratha to Tom Price Road is a good example of infrastructure spending that benefits the regions.

However, we have also seen the (Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility) has been used to try and fund unsustainable, damaging projects like Queensland’s Adani mega coal mine.

A dedicated fund for Northern Australia has the potential to really help regional Australia, but not if it is used to prop up developments or projects that go against the wishes of locals and traditional owners.

Should we look at attracting migrants to live in the outback to fill specific skills shortages experienced by individual regional towns?

I support the principle of targeted migration to regional areas with skills shortages, and we must make sure these programs assist the local communities. Australia has a rich history of immigration.

This country was built up by migrants and they contribute so much to the fabric of society.

What we must ensure is that regional migration complements rather than detracts from employment programs or opportunities that benefit Aboriginal people.

Your views on the alleged corporate tax evasion by the multinational companies operating in our region?

The Liberal Government is committed to corporate tax handouts cuts for the big end of town, when we know that many of the largest corporations are paying little or no tax in Australia.

We need well-funded services, schools and education, that rely on funding from the Government.

The choice between tax cuts and better healthcare and education could not be more stark. Shorten’s Labor party have also voted for these tax cuts.

The Greens believe that it is vital that we fund critical infrastructure as well as services. This means clamping down on corporate tax avoidance, and making them pay their fair share.

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