Tristam Smyth | Liberal Democrats

Tristam Smyth.
Tristam Smyth.

Your age and experience in politics?

“I have no experience in politics. I consider my lack of political experience a virtue.” 

What is your heritage and citizenship status?

“I am an Australian citizen exclusively.”

Why are you running?

“The Liberal Democrats (LDP) is the party that promotes individual responsibility, limited government and personal freedom. It offers practical policies that can put these ideals into action in Australian society. Implementation of these policies will make for an environment where all Australians have a greater chance to flourish.

“The LDP does not seek to deliver a particular pork barrel to a particular electorate. It seeks to reform and reduce the role of government so that people across the nation have a little bit of surplus cash left in their wallets to build whatever they need in their community.”

I have no experience in politics. I consider my lack of political experience a virtue.

Tristam Smyth on his political experience

What are the top three issues the electorate is facing?

“The sorts of policies which may appeal more particularly to the voters of the New England electorate include:

“Reduction in taxation: The primary producers of rural Australia compete with farmers across the world with minimal government support. They provide taxation dollars to the government and export earnings. Much of the government provided health and education facilities easily available to people living in urban centres are difficult to access owing to distance. Leaving more money in the hands of the people will allow them to find solutions to these problems by themselves, reducing the disincentives to live in rural regions.

“The energy market: should operate in the private sector, competing in an environment of limited regulation which does not seek to pick winners. It is hard to believe that the increases in energy prices are due to anything but government interference in the sector. Coal prices have decreased recently, and the cost of building power plants (although expensive) will not have increased over the past 50 years. Leaving the energy industry (both fossil fuel and renewable) free of government interference is the best option in getting cheap electrons to your meter box.

“Allowing the recommendation of cannabis or its derivatives for medical use by authorised medical practitioners. United in Compassion, the campaign started in Tamworth for the legalisation of medical marijuana has been wildly successful. The LDP believe that people can be trusted to decide for themselves whether marijuana may offset some of the side effects of chemotherapy without the threat of imprisonment.”

Why should people vote for you?

“People may choose to vote for me (a representative of the LDP and their policies) if the policies of the LDP resonate with them. They may agree that a political party that limits the role government, allowing people to make more decisions for themselves will be better for the whole country.”

Where do you stand on the balance between the region’s mining and agriculture industries?

“If the mining industry and the agriculture industry could be left alone for a minute to sort out a deal between themselves, I would predict that the correct decision on whether mining should go ahead in a certain place will be made. In most trade there are many winners in an agreement – the farmers will receive compensation for access to their land, there will be use of business and facilities in the neighbouring town, and the world will receive minerals and energy to improve global prosperity.

“I would suggest the negotiations between the coal seam gas industry and the farming industry in the Narrabri area provide an excellent example of how this can be achieved.” 

Our survey has found renewable energy to be a big concern in the region, what are policies around renewable energy?

“All government subsidies of both renewable and fossil fuel energy should be stopped. The source of energy whether from renewables or fossil fuels can be decided by the market. People who would like to pay more for electricity sourced from solar or wind sources might be provided the opportunity to do so if they wish, they should not inflict this preference on the rest of the population. There are people who have come to the conclusion that CO2 may not be particularly likely to cause the apocalypse, and they might quite like to buy cheaper electrons from the coal industry.

“I am a personal fan of the nuclear industry, although this may be economically unviable in the Australian setting.”

How do you propose to bring more jobs to the electorate?

“The New England region is resource rich in agriculture, mining and because it has an industrious population it does not need Government to bring more jobs to the region. It needs Government to go away, and more jobs will come to the region. Less regulation and less taxation will produce more jobs in the region than any half-baked central planning.

“Government should not be spending money to subsidise inefficient industries, it should be leaving people alone so they can work out where there are opportunities in the market. There are opportunities in the region which will emerge when people are given enough freedom to explore what they can provide using their own initiative.”

What is your view of the NBN?

“The NBN is a textbook example of why government should not be involved in private life. This is what happens when you vote for someone who thinks they know what is best for everyone. A connection fee of $4000 for people to watch streaming TV and play computer games is not a wise use of taxpayers’ money. If your business had a genuine need for this sort of internet availability you would gladly pay it. If the main use is for your children’s computer games, you may wish that it had never been provided.”

This story MEET THE CANDIDATE: Tristam Smyth first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.