The field to contest the May 22 by-election for the seat of Upper Hunter just got bigger.
Sustainable Australia Party will be represented by Singleton bron adn bredlocal civil engineer Calum Blair. Mr Blair represented the party at the 2019 NSW state election candidate for Upper Hunter.
Sustainable Australia Party president William Bourke said "We are pleased to again endorse Calum Blair for the Upper Hunter electorate. Calum was born and bred in Singleton and knows the importance of balancing environmental and job issues. The 2021 Upper Hunter by-election will offer a real opportunity for local communities to have their say on planning and environment issues that affect their quality of life."
Mr Blair said "Growing up on Lake St Clair, the local water supply for Singleton, I spent a lot of my childhood on the lake and surrounding foreshores as well as the neighbouring Mt Royal National Park. I have a passion for our natural environment and want to see that protected from overdevelopment.
"Communities across the Hunter Valley are looking for a new style of politics that will protect our environment, stop overdevelopment and stop corruption. Rather than ever-expanding mining, this can be achieved through both an environmental job guarantee and better support for manufacturing.
For starters, a combined state and federally funded environmental job guarantee should be introduced for all workers transitioning out of the coal industry. Projects would include rehabilitation of abandoned mines, humane reduction and eradication programs for high risk feral species and conservation land management projects to help relevant farmers and rural land owners manage biodiversity values on their properties.
"Ultimately, the projects would be determined through the input of local communities and be run by local councils. This would be underpinned by developing employment and training in conservation and land management, particularly through local TAFE in the Hunter Valley.
"Given my work in the rail industry, and the fact that today's Tangara trains were built in Broadmeadow near Newcastle. NSW can and should build our own trains, right here in the Hunter Valley. This would help to reinvigorate local manufacturing and economic innovation.
"Importantly, creating sustainable environmental and manufacturing jobs in the Hunter Valley means investing in TAFE, not closing it down or privatising it."