- Name: Stephen Bisgrove.
- Political party: Liberal Democratic Party.
- Age: 57.
- Family: Married to Dorota, four children from a prior marriage. My wife introduced me to Orange Electorate and I have never looked back after embracing the region as my home.
- Where do you live? Orange and Canowindra.
- What do you do for a living? Business consultant.
- How long have you lived in the Orange electorate? Three years, and I have been involved in business in the area for 10 years.
- What is the best part of living in the Orange electorate? The best fact about Orange electorate is we are surrounded by opportunity with the greater west including Dubbo, Mudgee, Cowra and Bathurst providing access to 160,000 people and facilitating a prosperous community. The hard work laid by the community over the past 30 years has developed a thriving food and wine culture along with a sense of pride. The councils have laid a solid foundation for the region and it is a beautiful feeling coming home each day to enjoy the spirit of goodwill in this area. I love how the electorate is humble and modest and see the potential for an ever-evolving vibrant community.
- Why are you running for the state seat of Orange? I am running as I believe I have more drive and fight in me for the region than the type of people who traditionally enter politics. I am used to negotiating difficult positions on behalf of clients where a bank or receiver is breathing down their neck and seeking terms or restructuring of saving small business. I love solving problems on behalf of people and feel that I have a unique ability to seek what this electorate requires in improving day-to-day life and ensuring the facilities match the growth of the region. I will be an advantage to the electorate, not a useless overhead.
- In the past couple of years Orange has received far less government funding than the Bathurst and Dubbo electorates. How do you propose to redress that imbalance and, if elected, what would you spend the money on? I will spend a short period of time finalising the list of needs for the electorate but say this: it is my role to attend to the whole electorate needs, to ensure Parkes, Canowindra, Molong and Forbes is included in the list and not just fall behind Orange. I will study the Fiscal Budget and identify where funding is available and put forward and negotiate our needs. I will be setting up focus groups for education, youth, business, wine and other agriculture, sporting, building, hospitality and culture that liaise directly with me to push community needs. My initiatives will be first-rate porting and entertainment facilities, roads program and increased focus on enlarging education facilities to grow jobs and opportunity. As stated earlier the focus groups will fine tune the list of priorities but I will do whatever is best for our agriculture industries. No longer will agriculture be the forgotten part of our electorate, and rest assured that our smaller town will be featured.
- The new XPTs are in the pipeline, but there have been no meaningful commitments on track upgrades to straighten the line between Orange and Bathurst. Meanwhile, the push to extend the Bathurst Bullet train to Orange and build servicing facilities for the train here is yet to yield results. If elected, what will you do about these much-needed service upgrades? I will succeed in the program as it is a disgrace that our train travel opportunity and needs are not better addressed. To me this is a priority in providing greater opportunity to our electorate. I will be a busy candidate making the necessary noise and putting forward the appropriate business cases.
A 25-bed facility at minimum should be available. I will support a full-time facility and will hound the health minister till the result of full-time care is provided.
- The Northern Distributor Road is taking the lion's share of Orange's freight traffic now. If elected, will you fight to make the Northern Distributor Road a regional road to shore up its maintenance funding, and if not, what will you do to ensure Orange City Council receives help to maintain it? I will fight for regional road status, and I will ensure we have the necessary maintenance long-term calculations in place (sinking fund) to support dedicated funding, not just when problems arise.
- If elected, what measures would you support to tackle to ice and illegal drug issues in Orange? Is the solution as simple as increasing the number of police in the city? The solution is not as simple as increased police numbers. It is education, not the traditional do-not-do-it type, but the improved method of treating it as a part of education on issues facing youth in schools. It is all our community’s problem, we all need to take ownership and with improved sporting, health and activities for all. I firmly believe this will address the significant mental health issues that lead to drug use. I would also support improved and increased rehab facilities.
- Do you support the proposed Mount Canobolas mountain bike trail centre? If so, and if elected, how will you help Orange get the required funding to make the project a reality? I support the project in principle subject to management plan that supports the integrity of the Mount Canobolas. I am additionally concerned of the poor presentation of the top of the mountain and the lack of facilities for the quiet enjoyment of visitors and residents. My preferred position is improved facilities of the lake and development of facilities to support the commercial viability for that facility. As to funding I would develop a funding model where an operator can be responsible for the project and supported by state, federal and local government funds.
- If elected, will you support replacing the palliative care 12-month trial with a full-time facility, and with more than the current four beds? This item shows the incompetence of the existing government to allocate a trial only with four beds. As stated earlier with Orange having a first-class health facility and the hub of the greater west with surrounding population of 160,000, a 25-bed facility at minimum should be available. I will support a full-time facility and will hound the health minister till the result of full-time care is provided.
- What are the major issues facing the villages and small communities in the Orange electorate, and if elected, what steps would you take to improve them? The challenge of the small villages is to be respected by government. As I stated earlier small focus groups will be sought for the issues in this electorate to address needs. I have ideas for better representation but will refine those ideas with the focus groups.
- If elected, what measures would you introduce to decrease the up to six-week-long waiting lists for people seeking support for mental health issues in Orange? All governments talk of mental health, but never address the fact that when mental health issues develop, often it is immediate response required, not six weeks. In many instances adverse outcomes have eventuated due to time delay. I will be working with government to see necessary funding introduced for adequate health professional coverage introduced. I will also be chatting with councils and the federal government to address funding and innovative measures.
POLL: Have your say …
Poll conducted by polldaddy
- The crippling effects of the drought continue to be felt in the Orange electorate. Assuming you are elected and the drought continues, what relief measures would you fight for in the first weeks and months of your term? The immediate needs-basis interview process instead of an operator being required to complete 27 pages of forms and financial statements, a declaration process introduced where an inspector assesses needs immediately and decision made immediate for financial aid. At same time the inspector will have authority to allocate resources that might be required to assist the operator of the property. As an example: if feed is required immediately, it will be provided.
- There is a possibility the next state Parliament will have a conscience vote on decriminalising abortion in NSW. Where do you stand on this issue? I believe in the right of choice. The Liberal Democratic Party is a party of personal liberty.
The Liberal Democratic Party support a no-tax policy on first $40,000 of income and a flat 20 per cent tax on income thereafter. That policy itself ensures more funds available for childcare costs.
- Orange has an enormous amount of early education-aged children. If elected, what would you do to help families tackle the growing cost of day care? This question needs state and federal co-operation, as the Liberal Democratic Party support a no-tax policy on first $40,000 of income and a flat 20 per cent tax on income thereafter. That policy itself ensures more funds available for childcare costs. The over regulation of childcare facilities is pushing costs to excessive levels, along with private operators taking advantage of shortage of place to push prices forward. Rate pegging for childcare rates may be the first response, along with elimination of over-regulation. Red tape does not improve service, frontline care does.
- If elected, would you be willing to speak and vote against your party's policies and platforms if if was clear that the majority of the Orange electorate's constituents held a contrary belief? Let me be clear here: the Liberal Democratic Party will never support increased taxes or loss of personal liberty and I agree with this policy. I cannot see that I would ever vote against the LDP platform, as the policies are for support of personal liberty and lower taxes. What I would guarantee is to listen to any argument the electorate puts forward and be honest in my approach.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …