Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson at the 2020 state election ballot draw. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson at the 2020 state election ballot draw. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Your questions answered by independent Murray Peterson

INDEPENDENT candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson has responded to questions from the public submitted for The Observer/Courier Mail Queensland Election 2020 debate.

As the debate was scheduled for 30 minutes, there wasn’t sufficient time to ask all the submitted questions.

Here are the questions submitted by our readers and responses from Mr Peterson.

Stephen Babbage, Trinity College Principal. What is the candidate’s stance towards legalising voluntary assisted dying?

“Firstly, I would like to clarify that assisted dying (euthanasia) is a lethal injection to kill someone who would otherwise live,” Mr Peterson said.

“I am opposed to killing an innocent person.

“I am not opposed to discontinuing futile medical treatment such as life support or administering risky levels of pain relief which may result in the patient dying.

“The way to understand this is to ask the question, “If the patient continues to live, what then?”

“If the patient continuing to live is considered a good outcome then I am for it.

“If the process requires that if the patient continues to live then a second attempt must be made to kill them, I am opposed to the process.

“In brief, I am against legalising voluntary assisted dying.”

Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson and his wife Janne at the 2020 election ballot draw. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson and his wife Janne at the 2020 election ballot draw. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Carol Holden, Gladstone. Anyone who has flown into Gladstone will be familiar with the pall of brown polluted air which lies like a blanket over the city. What will each of the candidates do to clean up the air here and make it safe for people to breathe again? More broadly, how do you intend to tackle the problem of climate change and what will this mean for the Gladstone electorate?

“Put simply, no one should be making a mess and leaving it for others to clean up,” Mr Peterson said.

“My long term goal is zero noxious emissions.

“The method of getting there should be the most reasonable, rational and logical as possible. “Some people emotionally say close down all coal fired power stations today, but the result of this would be businesses and residents using inefficient small generators that collectively emit more pollutants than the coal fired power station.

“In the case of NRG power station which is 56 per-cent efficient, replacing it with small generators would result in emissions more than doubling.

“On the other hand, converting NRG to deep geothermal power would result in employment for miners and the gradual reduction of emissions to zero without the sudden irresponsible increase of emissions.

“Regarding industrial leaks, the better regulatory approach would be court orders for specific performance with noncompliance resulting in the jailing of boards or CEOs rather than the government collecting fines that inhibit the company fixing the problem.”

Hugh Bridge, Gladstone. Currently we have more than 200,000 Queenslanders unemployed, unhappy, and unable to contribute to the economy. Other jobs are also under threat.

With interest rates on Government loans next to zero, it should be relatively easy to borrow billions of dollars to create tens of thousands of jobs building clean, green, Queensland owned wind and solar farms.

They could supply cheap electricity to keep thousands of people in jobs in the Gladstone aluminium industry making competitive, green, premium priced aluminium.

Would you support a plan like this which would create immediate new jobs to supply clean affordable energy and, importantly, keep the jobs we already have in the aluminium industry?

“We do have a substantial unemployment problem that needs to be addressed,” Mr Peterson said.

“Treating the whole of Queensland as the one biosecurity zone has greatly and unnecessarily increased this problem in regional Queensland.

“I am in favour of building solar and wind farms as well as other zero emission technology such as deep geothermal power.

“I do have concerns about the way loans are raised to finance Government debt.

“Particularly when loans are from foreign entities who often expect influence as part of the agreement.”

Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson.
Independent candidate for Gladstone Murray Peterson.

Dr Gaston Boulanger, Tannum Sands. – Vision 2030 CQHHS. “We will develop Gladstone Hospital as a centre for emergency care, medical inpatient and day surgery.”

This means Gladstone remains a CSCF Level 3 Hospital until 2030. Gladstone Hospital was recently doing CSCF Level 4 surgical operations that now has been stopped.

When would you like to see an ICU in Gladstone?

Do you reject the CQHHS Destination 2030?

“I am in favour of increasing the capabilities of Gladstone Hospital,” Mr Peterson said.

“At the moment, about 60% of taxes the Queensland Government receives are from regional Queensland but about 80% of Government spending is in Brisbane.

“This is not good!

“There are 93 electorates, so if 1/93 of government money was spent in each electorate, upgrading Gladstone Hospital would not be a problem.

“We now have patients being flown to Brisbane Hospitals because that is where the money is spent.”

Dr Gaston Boulanger, Tannum Sands. Evidence tells us that the earth is warming.

It also proven that the warming is man made caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.

The Great Barrier Reef has experienced five mass bleaching events since recording – 1998, 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020 – all caused by rising ocean temperatures driven by global heating.

In the 2020 our Bunker Group was also severely affected.

What is your vision regarding reducing fossil fuels and implementing renewable energy?

“My long term goal is zero noxious emissions in the most rational, logical and effective way in line with my answer to Carol Holden,” Mr Peterson said.

“For example, converting NRG to deep geothermal power would result in employment for miners and the gradual reduction of emissions to zero without the sudden irresponsible increase of emissions.”

Liana Walker, Gladstone. After Heron Island has seen its first bleaching in the reef surrounding the area this year and a recent report which indicated 50 per cent of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has been lost in the past 30 years, what does each candidate plan to do to ensure their policy will prevent further damage to the Great Barrier Reef and the wider Gladstone environment and encourage public and private business to reduce carbon emissions and their environmental footprint?

Mr Peterson gave the same answer to Liana Walker’s question as the reply above to Dr Gaston Boulanger’s question about the Great Barrier Reef.

Brett, Gladstone. Gladstone Area Water Board has paid dividends to the state governments since the Newman government.

The Newman government received $8 million and most recently Palaszczuk Government $31.85 million after having refunded $6.5 million in 2017.

These are profits taken from the Gladstone people.

Profits on an essential commodity – water.

Will candidates commit to returning the outstanding $39.85 million in a cash payment to Gladstone Regional Council? And support all future dividends paid directly to Gladstone Regional Council?

“Government taking money from Gladstone and spending it in Brisbane remains a major problem,” Mr Peterson said.

“In principle your idea appears sound but there may be some details I would consider revising if needed.”

Related stories:

Candidate’s dad involved in incident at Boyne booth

REPLAY: Gladstone’s election debate

Independent has how-to-vote cards rejected by ECQ


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