Federal Election 2022

We will all head to the polls on Saturday May 21, to elect the next leaders for our country.  To assist our locals understand who is standing and what they believe in we have asked every candidate key questions of importance to Yarrabah.

You can read through their responses and make your decision as to who you wish to vote for after you understand that is on offer.


HOW DO YOU PLAN TO IMPROVE THE TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES IN YARRABAH

Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

 Labor will fix the NBN and provide better connectivity for rural and regional Australia, we will boost NBN speeds, deliver better mobile coverage and improve connectivity for regional communities this will have a great impact on the Yarrabah community and black spots. $200 million will be put towards place-based regional telecommunications projects, to meet community needs, such as mobile or targeted fibre. We will expand full-fibre access to a further 660,000 homes and businesses in the regions currently relying on copper wire, and we undertake an independent audit of mobile coverage to better identify black spots and guide investment priorities.  All of this will mean that telecommunication services in Yarrabah will be much better under a Labor Government.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy

Telecommunications is and has been a major issue for both Yarrabah and many other areas of Nth Qld for as long as I can remember. Issues such as this impact everything we do in our daily lives personal, safety, business, employment opportunities etc. I feel confident that I have the ability to lobby and extract the support from both sides of government necessary to address this issue should I be elected. The current level of telecommunication coverage afforded to Yarrabah is not acceptable.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

The equipment needed to improve telecommunications is readily available on the market and its installation and maintenance is relatively simple. All that is required is for the sitting federal MP to request a small community grant to pay for it. Frankly, I’m surprised that the incumbent Member for Kennedy has not already done so. Should I be elected I would promptly get the grant paperwork in and get the issue fixed.

Bryce Macdonald - LNP - Kennedy

Under our $750 million upgrade initiative announced in March, up to one million premises in regional and remote Australia will have access to higher speeds on NBN fixed wireless services or greater data limits on Sky Muster services.

This includes around 19,000 homes and businesses served by fixed wireless and 12,000 served by satellite across Kennedy, including Yarrabah.

Given its remote location Yarrabah is serviced by NBN Skymuster Satellite. It thus stands to benefit directly from these upgrades.

By extending the range of NBN’s fixed wireless towers by up to 50 per cent an additional 120,000 premises nationally will be able to shift onto the service from NBN Skymuster. The exact number of premises in Kennedy will be determined as the upgrades are rolled out.

However, because the upgrades will take a load off of NBN’s satellite service, those remaining on Satellite, such as the community at Yarrabah, will enjoy a significant uplift in performance, with more data and less metering of traffic for longer during the day.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

Everyone should be able to access the NBN. It's time we finish the NBN as it was originally designed, to support our future economy, jobs, education, health and way of life.

The Greens will:

  • Fix the NBN by 2025 with the best fibre and 5G wireless technologies to secure our economy, jobs, education and health
  • Ensure the NBN remains publicly owned
  • Provide free broadband internet access for one million households with a healthcare card, including carers, students, low-income families and the unemployed.

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

Telecommunications is constantly one of the top three issues raised when I travel around the Kennedy Electorate.

The fact Yarrabah has intermittent internet when it is so close to a major city in Cairns, is a national shame.

Our health centre cannot even access patient records, and we need the internet for education and business. 

We must have fibre optic cable within the community itself, and there must be fibre optic connection to Cairns.


Overcrowding in housing is an issue in Yarrabah, how do you propose to address this issue?

 Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

We know that we need to build more social housing and upgrade existing housing. Labor will create the Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years. We will allocate an additional $200 million to fund the repair, maintenance, and improvements to housing in remote Indigenous communities. Labor will work with First Nations  communities and governments to make housing a central part of our efforts to Close the Gap.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy

The matter of overcrowding in community houses in Yarrabah has been argued to have influenced the disadvantaged outcomes you speak of, and I agree are reflected in many of the social, emotional and economic challenges, faced every day in the lives of this beautiful community. We all know that having a sense of belonging is critical to our humanism, and underpins our personal safety and security. My job is to negotiate real time solutions and this may mean with all levels of government.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy 

Overcrowding will become far worse in Yarrabah under a continuation of federal LNP policies due to the effect spiking interest rates and high inflation will have on existing homeowners. As they default on their mortgages and lose their homes, competition for rental properties in Yarrabah’s neighbouring towns will increase and that will send indigenous people back to Yarrabah to stay with family.

The federal ALP’s policies will have the same effect, except it will happen faster.

 Only the UAP has a plan to cap mortgage interest rates at 3% for five years to save homes, and to pay off the trillion-dollar ALP-LNP national debt to ease the inflationary pressure. We also have a plan to return 25% of the wealth generated in a region to the region that generated it, which will make more money available in Kennedy for all types of community infrastructure.

 In the case of Yarrabah specifically, the unavailability of freehold title is like a handbrake on development. Yarrabah people wishing to invest in their own home would get greater cooperation from the banking sector without the burden of leasehold title.

 When it comes to community and state housing, it’s high time the federal government took action to correct the crippling incompetence of the responsible agencies – which can be done via the purse strings, and I would set events in motion to achieve those objectives.


Bryce Macdonald - LNP Kennedy

The great Australian dream has always been to own your own home. The Coalition Government is committed to this goal with a range of support to make it easier to purchase a home of your own.

The Coalition has a strong record of prioritizing home ownership. We understand that owning your home is important to the living standards enjoyed by retired Australians. We know that 85 per cent of renters aspire to own their own home. Home ownership offers security and stability for both individuals and families.

Supporting home ownerships is not just good policy for individuals, it makes economic sense. Supporting home ownership is not just good policy for the individual, it makes economic sense. Over the last three years, the Morrison Government’s housing policies have supported more than 300,000 Australians into home ownership. In particular, first homebuyers have benefitted, with over 160,000 first homebuyers in 2021 – a 70 per cent increase on the average of the previous decade.

We have supported almost 60,000 first homebuyers and single parent families into home ownership through the Home Guarantee Scheme with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent or 2 per cent, respectively.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

Everybody deserves a roof over their head and in a rich country like Australia no one should have to be homeless or live in overcrowded housing. Consecutive governments have not invested in public housing for many years and have in fact sold public housing to private development. The Greens plan to build a million houses to clear public housing waiting lists, make housing more affordable, end homelessness, and ensure everyone has a roof over their head. 

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

We cannot get a freehold title to land. The State and Federal Governments have refused to give First Australia community residents access to freehold title deeds. How can they refuse us the right to own a piece of land just because we live in a First Australian community?

 I deserve no credit at all for the freehold title deeds in Queensland being called the Katter leases. I remain modest about the infamy of my name simply just asked the people what they wanted. The Katter leases were phased out by the incoming ALP Government in the 1990s. Should I be re-elected to parliament to represent this great community once again, a key priority will be  dusting the Katter Lease legislation and reintroducing it federally.

 To their shame the Federal LNP cut the funding for public housing. Whoever forms Government must restore funding. The housing models put forward by the Uni of NSW and JCU with multiple dwellings on one block appears to be a good model for future housing which overcomes overcrowding.


What do you propose to do about the funds lost by Indigenous Australians after the collapse of the ACBF?

 Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

In March Stephen Jones, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer for the ALP, met with Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service about the impact of this collapse on First Nations communities. They told us the financial devastation it has caused is wide and it is deep.

Following the Banking Royal Commission, the Government removed the regulatory loophole which enabled funeral expenses 
products to avoid regulation under the Corporations Act. We wrote to the Government back in 2019 and said, this fund is going to fail! ASIC has confirmed it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the insolvency of the ACBF funds. The spokesperson said it was too early to say whether any action would be taken. Irrelevant of the outcome of the ASIC investigation we will establish an inquiry into the collapse if elected.  It’s just not good enough that Indigenous People can lose their savings and no action is taken.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy 

This is horrific that so many First Nations people have suffered such an economic loss. Our democracy rest on Integrity, and so as an independent I am confident having spent years at the table with many politicians it is very unsettling that some politicians are capable of acts that are so close to fraud. The integrity of parliament must be restored and the people’s trust be regained if we are to again operate as a truly democratic society.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

This is an appalling situation which should have been addressed promptly by those in power at the time, including the incumbent Member for Kennedy, with a Senate inquiry at the very least. If it was any other banking entity that had collapsed taking people’s savings with it, the losses would have been covered by legislation and returned to the people from the Treasury while recovery action was taken against the responsible persons via the courts.

 Should I be elected I will be initiating that Senate inquiry to get the ball rolling.

Bryce Macdonald - LNP - Kennedy

Successive state and federal governments have been after this shonky business for 30 years. We have finally put a stop to ACBF and their predatory behaviour. In 2020, as recommended by the Hayne Royal Commission, the Morrison government introduced licensing requirements for funeral expense service providers. ACBF was not granted a licence.

My first priority is that the people responsible are held accountable. To this end, ASIC is taking legal action against ACBF alleging misleading and deceptive conduct.

Secondly, I want to make sure that the people affected are aware of the help available across the country. No Australian will be left unable to bury their loved one with dignity. The liquidators have secured the group’s assets, met with the regulators including Fair Trading NSW and ASIC, and are currently working to assess the financial position and liquidate the company. We understand that one of the past directors of the business is no longer in the country. If it is found that funds have been misappropriated or stolen, I would expect the perpetrators to face the full force of the law.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

Greens Senator and DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman Linda Thorpe has committed to pushing for compensation for families left out of pocket by the collapse of an Indigenous-focused funeral insurance provider, Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund, trading as Youpla. Lidia says “My nan, Edna Brown, founded the Aboriginal Funeral Benefits Fund to stop First Nations people being buried as paupers in unmarked graves. That was in the 1960s. In 2022, our family members are being left in morgues while the community saves for sorry business, or they face being buried as paupers! It’s devastating.”

The Greens are proposing two forms of relief:

  • For the Government to honour the policies to cover funeral expenses for any death of a First Nations policyholder of the Youpla Group.
  • To repay insurance premiums paid by all other First Nations policyholders over the past decade so that they can have a reserve available to meet funeral expenses.

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

My office wrote to the Treasurer and Minister for Superannuation requesting an investigation with a view to assistance for all those affected by the failure of YOUPLA and its associated entities to ensure they do not lose their funeral plan savings. 


How do you propose to increase community services in Yarrabah - e.g.: Meals on Wheels

Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

A Labor Government will support a stronger, more diverse, and more independent community sector. Many community sector organisations have been working with less money, less funding certainty and increased stress. If elected, Labor will change this. We will end the Coalition’s attacks on the community sector, by scrapping gag clauses  and restoring the freedom to advocate. Grants will reflect the real cost of delivering quality services, ending the practice of competing on wages. Contract terms will be longer so that organisations can plan for the future, workers will have certainty, and services can become part of the community they serve. We will also ensure grant funding flows to a greater diversity of not-for-profits, with a renewed priority of partnering with trusted community organisations with strong local links. We know that Australian charities work hard to give millions of Australians a fair go and the ALP will support Australian charities.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

There are quite a number of issues that can be funded with small community grants, including Meals on Wheels. It is UAP policy to bypass incompetent and wasteful state and local government entities (as we’ll be doing with hospital funding) where that is required to achieve an effective result in a cost-efficient manner.

 Again, I’m surprised that this has not already been done when the readily available mechanism exists to do so.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy 

As I travel the electorate I am deeply saddened by the stories that communities tell me regarding their lack of community services. Whether this be meals on wheels to primary healthcare. I believe these basic human rights have been allowed to be eroded, due to the current incumbent’s inability to fathom their importance furthermore achieve the outcomes critical to community wellbeing.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

In an ideal world there wouldn't be a need for charity services, but the Greens will continue support for services like Meals on Wheels. 

The Greens also want to: 

  • Provide $6 billion per year to strengthen aged care - Aged Care for All
  • Raise income support payment rates above the poverty line to $88 a day 

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

A politicians’ promise during an election campaign is worth very little. In late 2018, I received a promise off Prime Minister Morrison for community market gardens in Yarrabah and Mornington Island to provide fresh fruit and veg at an affordable price. Four years later and the Government is still doing a feasibility study. Modern Governments do not act. If I am in a position of power after the election I will be setting deadlines for the completion of these projects.


NAPLAN scores were not strong in Yarrabah. How do you propose lifting literacy and numeracy skills in Yarrabah?

Jason Brandon - ALP Kennedy

Labor believes that a great education, from early learning and schools right through to TAFE and higher education, is the ticket to a lifetime of opportunity. A Labor Government will develop and implement a whole of government Early Years Strategy. Currently, the programs and funding that impact early childhood development are scattered throughout departments – including Education, Social Services, Health, and the National Indigenous Australians Agency. This strategy will examine the range of programs and funding delivered across the Commonwealth Government that directly impact on early childhood development.

Labor established the first Closing the Gap framework in 2008. We will work with the Coalition of Peaks and all levels of government to raise ambitions and ensure sustained progress on the current National Agreement. We recognise that improving the condition and safety of housing in remote communities is essential for people and communities to thrive and has direct and indirect impacts on childhood education; 
the ALP will fund housing improvements, maintenance and repairs in remote indigenous communities which will hopefully have an impact on school attendance.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy

Firstly, we need to understand that Yarrabah is unique, and so while I believe that NAPLAN has advantages and can be used as an informative tool regarding educational levels. I question has it in Yarrabah’s unique case taken up the opportunities exposed.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

NAPLAN has been a disastrous failure everywhere, as is to be expected from a central command agency policy. If I’m elected, I’ll be working to abolish NAPLAN and the national curriculum and to return to school-specific curricula designed with local school community input to achieve the desired objectives of each community. That is the only way that literacy and numeracy issues can be addressed in Yarrabah – and pretty much everywhere else.

 It’s not just Yarrabah that is dissatisfied with the current system – it’s a widespread phenomenon, which identifies it clearly as ineffective and even damaging. Until literacy and numeracy issues are addressed, including a range of social issues, we cannot get the best possible outcomes for our children – so NAPLAN has got to go and curricula must be local and I’ll be working hard to achieve that because the rot starts in our schools.

Bryce Macdonald - LNP - Kennedy

It’s been an incredibly tough two years for our schools. Thanks to the professionalism of our teachers and students and parents adapting, our children have continued to receive a world-class education.

As we emerge from the pandemic, only the Coalition Government will give teachers and families the support they need for even stronger schools – with record funding and a commitment to boost standards. We have a plan to lift student achievement to the top of the world. We have locked in $318.9 billion in Federal school funding to 2029, including $25.3 billion in 2022.

With this record investment, we can focus on ensuring better outcomes for all Australians students. We want every Australian child to reach their potential.

Jennifer Cox - Green Kennedy

The first few years in School is critical for a child's education. 

  • The Greens will invest $19 billion to make childcare and early learning free for every family and child  
  • Extend universal access to early childhood education for all 3 and 4 year olds to 24 hours a week
  • Strengthen early learning for First Nations children through support for First Nations community-controlled services 

The Greens plan to make the largest investment in public education of any party.

 $49 billion to fully fund public schools, making school genuinely free for all students with the resources every student needs to learn

  •  Ensure there’s no expenses for parents for out-of-school-hours activities such as sport and music, which should be considered essential parts of the public curriculum
  • Increase building and infrastructure funding to $400 m a year  and ensure that the majority of funds go to public schools
  • Invest $68.5 million to provide free period products in all schools to improve students’ health and wellbeing, reduce period stigma, and ensure that no student has to skip school during their period
  • Fund a national roll out of Our Watch’s successful respectful relationships program in all public schools, including pilot programs to help tailor training to address local contexts and maximise the impact

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

Only 50 percent of the houses in Yarrabah are connected to the internet, the service is very intermittent. Internet is key for education in 2022.

For residents who want choice of education. We have to make bus transport affordable to be able to connect to schools in Gordonvale/Cairns. It’s currently $50 per child per week.


RHD is a disease of disadvantage and poverty. What do you propose to do about tackling RHD in Yarrabah?

Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

The current gap in First Nations health is profound; this gap will never be closed without extra effort by governments working in close partnership with First Nations people and organisations. Labor will work with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), community-controlled and other health services to close the gap in First Nations health outcomes.

We will invest $52.9 million for a First Nations Health Worker Traineeship Program to train 500 new First Nations health workers. Labor will also double federal funding to further our goal of eradicating Rheumatic Heart Disease with a $12 million investment in prevention, screening, and treatment, including $1.5 million for portable echo-cardio machines and training to support vital screening efforts.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy

It is not acceptable that First Nations people are suffering RDH in our country. When we all know that RDH has not been seen as a major health condition in Anglo Australians for generations. I have worked and travelled many Indigenous communities in my life and been disappointed and challenged that this serious health condition has been blatantly ignored by our governments and must be addressed. 

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

At some point we’re going to have to sit the medical science community down and point out all the things they’re wrong on – and it’s quite a long list (although the covid mandates are their most egregious failure and executive over-reach to date).

 There needs to be an acknowledgement that prior to the arrival of Europeans on this continent, the indigenous diet was almost entirely protein and a small amount of fat. The indigenous gut microbiome is not attuned to a western diet, particularly not modern convenience foods. Health problems such as rheumatoid heart disease are the result of an unsuitable diet. We should be looking to farm as many animal species as required to meet the specific gut microbiome needs of indigenous people, not just in Yarrabah but all across Australia.

Bryce Macdonald - LNP - Kennedy 

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and acute rheumatic fever (ARF) affect too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – particularly young people – each year. Ending RHD is critical to closing the gap in Indigenous life expectancy and improving quality of life.

The Morrison Government has committed to end RHD by 2030.

The Morrison Government provided $35 million from the Medical Research Future Fund over 3 years from 2018-19 to address RHD by accelerating the development of a Strep A Vaccine. The development of a Strep A vaccine would have enormous benefits for Australia’s Indigenous population.

In addition, the Morrison Government has provided more than $25 million to address ARF and RHD through the new Rheumatic Fever Strategy, which commenced in 2021-22. The key aim of the RFS is to ensure a joined up, nationally coordinated approach to activities that prevent and address acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Funding under the RFS includes $12 million to continue support for Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia to meet their obligations to register, manage and control ARF and RHD.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

The Greens have a plan to tackle income inequality by building houses, raising the rate and providing free education. We also want to fully fund public hospitals.  No one should have to have private health care to be given quality healthcare. 

  •  Reinvest the billion paid in private health insurance rebates back into the public system, slashing out of pocket costs 
  • Ensure everyone can get the care they need when they need it by funding our hospitals and clearing public hospital surgery waiting lists
  • Make telehealth a permanent part of our Medicare system, increasing access to essential care for all
  • Fund team based healthcare for people with chronic conditions, improving outcomes and quality of care
  • invest an extra $8 billion by legislating equal funding of hospitals between the Commonwealth and states, ensuring faster access and more services

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

Good hygiene is key to preventing RHD. If we have access to title deeds and the public housing funding is restored, we can overcome the overcrowding problems. How can we have good hygiene if twenty people are forced to live in one house with one bathroom and toilet.


Training and employment opportunities are lacking in Yarrabah. What are your plans to address this?

Jason Brandon - ALP - Kennedy

Labor will replace the Community Development Program with a new program with real jobs, proper wages, and decent conditions – developed in partnership with First Nations People. 

Under Labor, Australians studying in an industry with a skills shortage will be supported through the provision of Fee Free TAFE. This is good policy for jobs, good policy for people looking to train or retrain, and good policy for businesses, which need 
more skilled workers. Labor is committed to investing in the jobs of the future which is why our $100 million New Energy Apprenticeships will encourage and support 10,000 apprentices to train in new energy jobs and provide the additional support they need to complete their training.

Jen Sackley - Independent - Kennedy 

Meaningful employment is for many and can be empowering. Every opportunity must be afforded to our communities. Both major parties have highlighted they support training, education etc for our youth. I question what have they done in Yarrabah and why not. Lost opportunity in this area I would argue is due to all levels of governments lack of political will and my job is to negotiate real opportunities in real time with outcomes and not just give lip service to such a critical matter.

Peter Campion - UAP - Kennedy

Central planning always fails – always – and much of the money that is directed to Yarrabah is wasted on useless and wasteful bureaucracies that are often working against each other. We need to thin these agencies out and eliminate the red and green tape strangulation of sensible development.

 We could begin by opening up the local government level planning scheme to facilitate development of farming and manufacturing, which are two of the three ways to actually create new wealth (as opposed to redistributing wealth someone else created elsewhere). The third way is mining, however neither the resource nor the area looks to be available.

 If we begin by sorting out the school curriculum so kids actually leave school with useful literacy and numeracy skills and open up freehold title of land for home ownership, we can accelerate local construction projects and train local youth in the building industry. Families that pay off their homes and then are free of the burden of rent will have money (and equity) to invest in farming, manufacturing, and tourism opportunities – which in turn will create more local training and employment opportunities, and more wealth. That’s how it’s been done in every other successful society, and we know for a fact that what we’re presently doing in Yarrabah doesn’t work particularly well – so it might be time to try something that we know actually works.

Bryce Macdonald - LNP - Kennedy

Young Australians have been heavily impacted by the economic shock from COVID-19. But as our economy recovers, they have every reason to be hopeful and optimistic for a stronger future. In March 2022, there were more than 1.9 million young Australians employed, and Australia’s rate of youth unemployment dropped to 8.3 per cent – around the lowest level of youth unemployment since 2008.

We’re also making further investments to get young Australians ready for employment. ReBoot will create a jobs pathway for disadvantaged young Australians, building life and employment skills for the future.

Jennifer Cox - Green - Kennedy

The Greens will ensure free education for everyone, whether you are leaving school, changing careers, retraining later in life or looking to gain new skills and knowledge. Education is a right, not a privilege reserved for just those who can afford to pay for it.   ▲       Fund lifelong free education for all 

  • Guarantee every student a liveable income 
  • Reverse the Liberals’ cuts and boost university funding by 10% to enable quality teaching, learning and research 
  • Increase job security and slash casualisation at TAFE and uni 

Bob Katter - Katter's Australian Party - Kennedy

We must have access to freehold title deeds for land. Because we can’t get a freehold title of land we can’t open any private enterprise. That means we are dependent on Government jobs. If we have a beer in a First Australian community area, and everyone on Earth has a beer, we get a criminal charge and we can’t get a blue card. The only jobs in Yarrabah are Government jobs. But you must have a blue card to get a job. So we can’t own a piece of land and we can’t get  a job.

 The land is locked up. The White Fellas will never get it right. We must demand title deeds.