BORN in Melbourne Gympie Family First candidate Kathryn Hawke moved to Western Australia with her family when she was very young.
Her family relocated to the Mary Valley when Kathy finished high school, but she remained in WA until about five years ago, pursuing work in agriculture and entomology near Perth and up in Kununurra, and taking on volunteer roles with St Johns Ambulance, the rural fire brigade and Rotoract.
About 16 years ago Kathy married her husband Tavis, and the couple now has three children who Kathy home-schools.
Her parents still live in the Mary Valley and were deeply involved in the battle to stop the Traveston Dam. It was the treatment of land owners in the Valley by the State Government that helped convince Kathy to become involved in politics.
"I am faced with a choice: I can sit back and just let someone else make the decisions that affect my life and those of my family or I can stand up and remind people what values our society was founded on and why we have the freedom that we hold so dear while other countries do not," she says.
Kathy and Tavis own and operate a small business in outdoor laser-skirmish, and have designed and created their equipment from scratch. During school holidays Kathy also works as a childcare provider for primary school students.
Since settling in Gympie she has been involved in the local squash competition, the Dagun community group, Dagun train station projects and the Imbil choir. She is vice-president of the Chines Orphans' Assistance team (COAT) that manages six foster homes for 65 abandoned children in central China.
Kathy has a wide range of qualifications and experience in agriculture, small business management and the fitness industry. Her hobbies include painting, canoeing and reading.
Kathy sees the biggest issues facing the Gympie district as the renewal of the Mary Valley, freedom of choice in education, and supporting farmers and small businesses.
If Kathy wins the seat of Gympie she says she will do the following for Gympie residents:
1) Support Small Business and Agriculture
- Small farming endeavours being provided a guaranteed minimum seasonal price for their products sold to large corporations.
- Improving taxation arrangements for small business should be such that they provide reward for effort and encourage both the growth of small businesses and their opportunity to employ others.
- Re-establish families, businesses and farms back into the Mary Valley after the Traveston Dam fiasco so they can rebuild their lives and community
- Push for the actual commitment to the sale of the Mary Valley properties that are currently held by the state government so this to happen.
2) Ensuring Families Have Access to Essential Services Without Undue Financial Burden
- Incentives and training opportunities to encourage people to enter the workforce as front line medical staff - doctors, nurses and paramedics.
- Subsidies and incentives for front line medical staff who re-locate or work at least 25 hours/week in rural and remote areas to provide Gympie families with improved access to essential medical services.
- Palliative care in Queensland is severely under funded, especially compared to other states and an additional $40 million needs to be added to palliative care immediately.
- Affordable licences and registrations, on par with other states
- Finishing what the GST was supposed to do by removing all other fees and stamp duties.
- Affordable public transport, operated by the public trust and for the public
- Pushing for safer roads and better management of funds received by registrations.
- Bruce Highway Cooroy-Curra Upgrade timetable committed to an immediate specific year and month for full completion with provision in place to ensure minimal impact strategies on the families and their properties that are being built through as well as minimal environmental impact.
- Lowering the cost of living, especially water and electricity charges.
3) Education with a real freedom of choice
- Parents have genuine choice about their children's education options.
- Vital funding and support, regardless of choice of education provider should they choose public, private, distance, home-based or religious based education provision, ensuring the education needs of families of children with special needs and those who are in rural and remote areas are not left out.
- Allow families to choose their education provider without being locked-in to a school due to the fear of losing funding if they reconsider their education options.
You can contact Kathy be emailing email@example.com, calling 0412 525 737 or writing to P.O. Box 630, Gympie.
Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.