Independents focus on their electorates
After the events of the past week and with the history of the past decade at State and Federal levels, Mathew Dickerson calls on all politicians to focus on their electorates first.
Mathew Dickerson continues his travels around the 17,352 square kilometres of the electorate talking to people in a variety of situations and from a variety of backgrounds. Despite the drought and crime and power prices and mining and Inland Rail all being high on the agenda for discussion points, the last week has seen every conversation gravitate to the events occurring in Canberra.
“The greatest frustration I have heard over the last week,” said Mr. Dickerson, “was that the community thinks that it elects leaders to best represent their community, but that has not been the case recently. When they see in-fighting and untrustworthy behaviour, they lose confidence in their elected representatives. What the community really wants to see is a local representative who is absolutely committed to the electorate and not just trying to gain an internal position in a party. I have spent decades of my life listening to my community and representing them in a variety of ways. Since announcing I will run as an Independent, I have been listening to people and community groups to learn more about their concerns and priorities. If elected as the Independent Member, I will be extremely effective in identifying and championing these community concerns.”
There is no doubt that the events of the last week, and in fact the last decade, have confused people and caused the public to lose confidence in the party system. Party politicians spend too much time looking inward and not enough time is spent in the electorate speaking with people to stay in touch. People are taking to social media to express their frustration with the focus of our current party politicians who seem to have more turf wars than in an entire series of Breaking Bad. When new Ministers are appointed, more money and time is wasted with staff and Ministers taking on new responsibilities.
Mr. Dickerson continued, “During my almost five years as Mayor, it was obvious that we were able to achieve a lot more as a Council when we were all focused on delivering exceptional outcomes for the community. The Councillors and Council worked together as a team. Of course we didn’t all agree on every decision, but we debated issues and put forward what we thought was best for the community, voted on the issue, and then moved on. The last Community Needs Survey that was undertaken before my time as Mayor showed Councillor satisfaction at a low 40 per cent; satisfaction with Council at 53 per cent and Council engagement satisfaction at 74 per cent. After I became Mayor I promised the community that I would focus on improving the confidence people had in Council and improve the levels of communication. I also worked hard to ensure the eleven individuals worked better as a group. The last Community Needs Surveys showed that those strategies were successful with satisfaction with Councillors improving to 69 per cent; 82 per cent were satisfied with Council and 93 per cent were satisfied with our engagement. This was achieved with eleven individual Councillors working for the community with no party politics in sight.”
The thoughts of the community are definitely backed up by the raw data.
At the Federal level from December 2007 to August 2018 – a timeframe of just ten years and nine months – we have seen six changes in Prime Minister. The series was Howard à Rudd à Gillard à Rudd à Abbott à Turnbull à Morrison. That is, on average, a change in Prime Minister every one year and nine months. If you compare this to the previous six changes in Prime Minister you see a markedly different scenario. The six previous Prime Ministers covered a timeframe of March 1971 to December 2007. This is thirty-six years and nine months or, to put it another way, on average the Australian public could expect to see more than six years served for each Prime Minister. The last six Prime Ministers shows a reduction of seventy-one per cent in average time served.
The State Government does not fare much better when it comes to changes in Premier. The last six Premiers reads Carr à Iemma à Rees à Keneally à O’Farrell à Baird à Berejiklian which spans eleven years and six months or a change every one year and eleven months. Again compared to the previous six changes in the Premier sees the names of Lewis à Willis à Wran à Unsworth à Greiner à Fahey à Carr span a period of twenty nine years and three months or a change, on average, every four years and ten months. The State has seen a decrease of sixty one per cent in the average tenure of a Premier.
With the revolving door of leaders and the resultant continual change in Ministers, there has never been a better time to elect proven leaders across electorates in NSW who are focused solely on the electorate.
On 22 May 2018, Mathew announced he would be standing as an Independent for the State electorate of Dubbo at the election on 23 March 2019. Mathew is a self-made businessman who served twelve years on Dubbo City Council including five years as Mayor. He is a fourth generation local married to a fifth generation local and, with his wife Katrina, they have raised their four children locally. Mathew is a true Independent listening to the electorate and giving people a voice.