Greens Macquarie candidate wants to see dental and mental health on Medicare, and 700% renewables
Updated: Feb 7
Blue Mountains resident Joel MacKay has been chosen as the Greens candidate for Macquarie in the upcoming 2022 Federal Election and says he wants to see “dental care and mental health care covered by Medicare, truly free and universal education, free childcare, and the real solutions that will deliver affordable housing to our region”.
Interestingly, Mr MacKay was a member of the Liberal Party back in 2016, when he was Vice President of the local branch of the Young Liberals, but he left in 2019, just before the last Federal election, once he saw - as he puts it - they weren't, "interested in real action that would protect us from the climate emergency, or uphold human rights".
"As a member of the Liberal Party I fought for climate action and human rights," he told the Post.
"I fought so hard from within but it became clear that no matter how hard I worked, the Liberal Party wasn't interested in real action that would protect us from the climate emergency, or uphold human rights."
"Instead of just letting politics happen around me, I am taking action. I left the Liberals to stand up for what I believe in and to do what I know is important to our community. And I am asking people to change their vote to send a strong message to both Liberals and Labor, because our community deserves better”.
As Macquarie's Greens candidate, he wants to see 700% renewables and explains that mean 7 times more than 100% renewable energy so Australia becomes a global powerhouse.
“700% renewables means not just 100% renewable electricity as we replace coal and gas power stations, but switching transport and industry to clean energy too, as well as becoming a renewables superpower, exporting our renewable energy to the rest of the world through renewable hydrogen, solar electricity and green metals. We will attract massive new international investment in clean manufacturing and industries to Australia, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he says.
On specific local issues he says, “importantly, this is our community’s opportunity to have a voice when they vote for the Greens and show the government that the community is for keeping the floodplain safe, protecting the World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park and opposed to the Warragamba Dam wall and Western Sydney Airport.”
We still don’t know the election date – that’s up to PM Morrison to announce – but it has to be by May 21, and political parties are starting to pick their candidates for the seat of Macquarie, currently held by Labor’s Susan Templeman.
Greens candidate MacKay wants to see Australia become a global powerhouse using renewables
Mr MacKay grew up in the Blue Mountains, and now lives in the lower mountains with his family.
A proud husband and father, say the Greens, “Joel is passionate about his community and the impacts the current government is having on the wider social and natural environment of Macquarie, that includes the wider Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains areas”.
“Growing up in Blackheath, I was connected to good people who care about each other, our unique way-of-life and our beautiful world heritage listed local environment,” says Mr MacKay.
“Our community is where I learnt the importance of education, and of effective community services that serve all of our needs equally. This took me in the direction of working to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people, I now work as a justice reform adviser for a humanitarian organisation.”
“I now live in the lower mountains with my wife Katy and our young child. Living in this unique environment, which includes the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains, I want my children to have the best opportunities and experiences that I believe the rest of the community should have.
“I want them to have free education, accessible health services, feel as though they are part of a caring community that treats everyone equally regardless of their background, and to enjoy our beautiful environment.”
Mr MacKay says his first ever community-win was as a teenager supporting the local campaign to keep Blackheath Pool open. He then went on to fight and win the abolition of solitary confinement of children in WA prisons, exposed human rights violations in Queensland police stations, and walked alongside First Nations communities, Kashmiri, Tigrayan, Kurdish and Papuan people, to raise awareness of the issues that they face.
The Greens say, “through Joel’s past and current employment, he is recognised in the area of human rights, particularly LGBTQIA+, Indigenous and children’s rights”.
“I am passionate about people and community and have spent my life standing up for vulnerable people. Now I am standing with the Greens in Macquarie to actively demand more for the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains,” said Mr MacKay.
“I’m the only candidate in Macquarie who wants to see the health of our community prioritised by demanding that Medicare cover dental care and mental health care, truly free and universal education, free childcare, and the real solutions that will deliver affordable housing to our region.
“Our future relies on us addressing the global issue of climate change. We are in a climate emergency that threatens to catastrophically overwhelm our society and economy. The Greens in shared power will be able to set a goal of 700% renewable energy and have a government- led clean energy revolution that will deliver thousands of new jobs over the next decade to fight the climate emergency.
“Our community needs to Vote 1 for The Greens to send a strong message to Labor and the Coalition that the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains want more from our political representatives,” he says.
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