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Gissane and Wallace face off in online debate

Gissane and Wallace face off in online Q & A

Lloyd Copper | 24th Jun 2016 2:07 PM Updated: 3:00 PM
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WHAT do asylum seekers, the National Broadband Networks and sub-contractors all have in common?

They were all topics pitched to Bill Gissane and Andrew Wallace last night as the Fisher candidates answered questions that was streamed live on View News’ Facebook page.

On some things they agreed: the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport, rail duplication to Nambour and a six lanes upgrade for the Bruce Hwy.

A Year 12 student asked why he should stay on the Sunshine Coast after graduating and not leave to study in Brisbane.

Mr Wallace said he saw value in considering a trade instead of higher education.

“If you become a plumber, you’re going to make more money over your lifetime than you would if you did some other degree,” Mr Wallace said.

“We have this fascination in this country that if you want to make something of your life, you should go to university.”

Mr Gissane said funding was essential for the next member for Fisher to ensure the Coast could provide training and education.

“We know that our youth unemployment is shockingly high,” Mr Gissane said.

“There is almost a backwater approach to the Sunshine Coast and the government investment is not forthcoming for larger and smaller businesses.”

“Institutions like the hospital and university need adequate funding and I think the government has a role in providing for large scale infrastructure projects.”

On the topic of the Bruce Hwy, Mr Wallace said he was in the best position to improve the accident-prone road.

“We are delivering the $1.1 billion upgrade of the Bruce Hiwy, and this will likely start towards the end of this year,” Mr Wallace said.

“That project will see three lanes either way from the Caloundra road intersection to the Sunshine Mwy.

“As LNP member for Fisher, I have a much better opportunity to open doors then what a sole ALP member would.”

Mr Gissane said that they had to break the nexus that has led the area to being considered safe LNP territory.

“When the last Labor government was in power, nearly $5.6 billion was committed to the Bruce Hwy,” Mr Gissane said.

“The Albanese slogan is, we’ve spent four times as much in half the time as when the LNP predecessors had control.

“That says to me we are an infrastructure party.”

A question was then put forward to them about the NBN.

“The challenge is providing the best form of internet we can get for a reasonable price,” Mr Wallace said.

“The NBN under the coalition government’s plan will deliver 100 megabytes per second.

“The average download speed with our current NBN rollout is about 70 megabytes per second.

“We will deliver the finalisation of the rollout by 2020 and the costs of Labor delivering fibre to someone’s front door will be somewhere between $8-30 billion.”

Mr Gissane said that it was worth spending more to provide a better system.

“The rationale behind the re-jigged program is to increase the capital installation costs and reduce the actual running costs,” he said.

“Given that is an off budget project that’s being run as an overall return on investment calculation, the lower running cost of not having power to the nodes is where the savings come from.”

The candidates were asked about another hot-button issue: asylum seekers.

“The Turnbull government has an off-shore processing policy and I support that,” Mr Wallace said.

“If Labor wins, they will be dragged to the left by their power-sharing party The Greens, and we will see a reversal of their current policy and our borders will become porous again.

“We have one of the greatest per-capita entrance of allowing refugees into this country through the proper processes, and for every person that comes to this country that tries to circumvent the appropriate model, they are preventing someone else coming to this country.”

Mr Gissane said that, while the Labor party had learnt from the people who had drowned as a result of coming to Australia via people smugglers, there was a moral obligation to help refugees.

“We’ll seek regional co-operation, increase funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deal with people in camps and take a more pragmatic view on how to deal with the 60 million displaced people around the world,” Mr Gissane said.

Regarding the issue of sub-contractors and Mr Wallace defended his recommendations that had led to changes in the Building Constructions Industry Payment Act.

“There has been misinformation that my reforms led to the collapse of Walton’s,” Mr Wallace said.

“Walton’s collapsed 14 months prior to the Wallace report amendments came into place.”

Mr Gissane said that he had spoken with sub-contractors who said they were materially worse-off as a result of the implementation of the State Government’s revision of the Act.

Mr Wallace said he would be pushing for a nationally based legislation framework that would ensure the best possible security for payments, to which Mr Gissane pointed out that they already had a policy introduced by from MP Michelle Roland last week.

The video can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/viewnews/videos/10153678968323715/.

(originally published http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/gissane-and-wallace-face-off-in-online-q-a/3051393/)

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