FEDERAL ELECTION

FEDERAL ELECTION 2022: Meet the Fowler candidates

FEDERAL ELECTION 2022: Meet the Fowler candidates

The Fowler electorate was first created in 1984 and covers a 60-square kilometres of the Fairfield and Liverpool local government areas.

After several boundary changes, the Fowler electorate includes the suburbs of Abbotsbury, Bonnyrigg (part), Bossley Park (part), Cabramatta, Cabramatta West, Canley Heights, Canley Vale, Carramar, Chipping Norton, Edensor park (part), Fairfield East, Greenfield Park (part), Lansvale, Liverpool, Mount Pritchard, Prairiewood (part), Wakeley and Warwick Farm.

The retiring Labor member is Chris Hayes.

  • Candidates (in ballot order)

Kristina Keneally (Labor)

Kristina Keneally (Labor)

Kristina Keneally (Labor)

I am a strong and experienced leader and I know how to deliver for our local community.

As Premier of New South Wales, I delivered for South West Sydney: improvements to local transport, schools, roads and hospitals.

As a Senator for NSW, I have fought to fix the crisis in aged care and hold the Morrison Government responsible for its failings during the COVID pandemic.

As Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs, I will be a voice for Fowler at the most senior levels of an Albanese Labor Government.

I am also a mother of three, a practicing Catholic, I love to cook, and I love living in Liverpool with my husband Ben.

Why are you running for the seat of Fowler?

Families in Fowler deserve a government that is on their side.

For the last nine years of this tired, Liberal Government, South West Sydney has been left behind.

The cost of everything is going up, but wages aren't. Work is less secure too. Childcare is too expensive for families in Fowler, and seeing a doctor is getting harder and medicines are getting more expensive. TAFE and university in Fowler have been cut. House prices are simply out of reach for too many families. Rents are getting higher too.

We can do so much better than this - and as a senior minister in a Labor Government, I will be a strong representative that can deliver for South West Sydney.

Fowler deserves a better future from a Labor Government - cheaper childcare, cheaper electricity, cheaper medicines, help to buy a home, and good secure job that get wages moving again.

What are the three key issues for the area?

The biggest issue for families is Fowler is the rising cost of living, low wages, and insecure jobs. Food, petrol, and other costs are soaring. People are working two and three jobs to try to make ends meet. The unemployment rate is more than double the national average in Fowler, and the Morrison Government has cut education and training. Manufacturing jobs are disappearing.

Here in Fowler families face rising housing costs. Multiple generations of a family are often living in one home. Parents are worried that their adult children will never be able to buy a house.

The Morrison Government's 900 cuts and changes to Medicare are making it harder to see a doctor in South West Sydney. Medical costs are a big issue for families who tell me that sometimes, after they pay $70 to see a doctor, they must choose between whether they buy food or medicines.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

Labor's plans will deliver cheaper childcare, cheaper medicines, and cheaper electricity. Our plan will deliver more secure, good jobs and get wages moving again. Labor will provide fee-free TAFE and more university places in Western Sydney. Labor will bring manufacturing back to Western Sydney and ensure that Australia is a country that makes things here at home again.

Labor will ease the housing pressure families in South West Sydney face - for renters and home buyers. We will build 20,000 new social housing dwellings and 10,000 new affordable homes. Labor's Help to Buy plan will help local families buy a home with as little as 2 per cent deposit - giving them the chance to get into the housing market.

Labor created Medicare and we will always protect it. Labor's Urgent Care Clinics will make it easier to see a doctor and our plan to cut $12.50 off prescription medications will save people hundreds of dollars per month.

Lela Panich (United Australia Party)

Lela Panich (United Australia Party)

Lela Panich (United Australia Party)

From the United Australia Party website:

Born in Australia in 1971, Lela is of Serbian descent and having grown up in Fairfield City is a true local of the Fowler electorate.

Lela is a hard-working mother of five who is passionate about mental health and youth unemployment and a prime example of a confident and strong independent woman.

Lela attained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics from the University of New South Wales in 1992 and pursued a career in Marketing.

With experience working for multiple iconic brands across Australia, Lela has held various management positions throughout her career.

Lela has always had an interest and fascination in politics and says she is now ready to pursue the next challenge in my life to fight for the Australian people and the community of Fowler in protecting their sovereignty and rights.

Peter Runge (Liberal Democratic Party)

LDP Fowler candidate Peter Runge.

LDP Fowler candidate Peter Runge.

A 50 year-plus resident of the Liverpool-Fairfield area, I started forming opinions about politics in my teens. Despite growing up in a Labor-dominant community, I developed a conservative, small-government philosophy. In later years my convictions transformed into having less government interference in all aspects of people's lives, not just with economics.

I have 20 years of experience in Information Technology. I have worked for around ten years in my current industry as a security officer. Whilst serving in different volunteer roles in my Christian community at Inspire Church for nearly 30 years, I've made friendships with people of many cultures, typical of the demographic across Fowler.

Why are you running for the seat of Fowler?

Over my lifetime, I have seen the government in this country tax people more, spend more of their money, and exercise more control over their lives. The government has become part of the problem, not the answer, in many areas of our lives. If elected as the Liberal Democrats member for Fowler, I plan to take a different approach to governance. Let the people take back control of their lives.

The major parties try and win votes by promising to spend money on many different programs. It is easy for politicians to "play Santa Claus" as they have for decades. We want people to keep more of what they earn. No longer should they be excessively taxed and then bribed with their own money at election time. The trend of over-regulation of people's lives, whether COVID restrictions or everyday things like ever reducing speed limits, needs to be reversed.

What are the three key issues for the area?

The COVID-19 lockdowns imposed last year had a massive impact on Fowler. Healthy people were being locked up and told to stay at home. Some government vaccination mandates have continued and have done more harm than good. The mandates should come to an end. People should be free to make their own choices. Businesses can set the rules on their premises, balancing health concerns with business needs.

People in Fowler deserve lower taxes. Once you make above $45K, you start handing back one-third of your money to the government. Liberal Democrats want to change this. We say you can have $40,000 tax-free and then pay only 20 per vent for every dollar above that.

Religious freedom matters to the people of Fowler. I will advocate for freedom of religious (and non-religious) expression. I will support the right of all faith-based schools to hire staff and enrol students based on the school's values.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

I am determined to improve the life of the citizens of Fowler by advocating for the above initiatives and the other policies we are promoting in our Freedom Manifesto. Less regulation and tax on business. Allow alternative energy sources to the renewables forced upon us, giving Fowler access to cheaper energy. Enshrine free speech in our constitution. Fix the debt and deficits which devalue the money you have saved. These and other policies will give you the freedom that successive governments have taken from you.

The major parties have taken Fowler for granted. For example, Fowler has high long-term unemployment. Whatever the major parties have tried has not worked so far. The Liberal Democrats and I want to do things differently. Have a government that taxes less, spends less, and is less. Letting the people of Fowler take control of their destiny.

Dai Le (Independent)

Dai Le (Independent)

Dai Le (Independent)

I'm a mother, daughter, wife, sister and business owner.

I arrived in Australia with my mother and two younger sisters from refugee camps in South East Asia in the late 1970s, after my mother escaped war-torn Vietnam. We eventually were resettled in Bossley Park.

After I finished my HSC, I got a job as a cadet journalist with the Liverpool Champion. Working as a journalist gave me the opportunity to dive into the stories, the issues, and the lives of our community.

I later helped set up the Fairfield City Champion in Barbara Street Fairfield. Growing up in this area, and covering the stories over the decades, I understand too well how much our are has been neglected when it comes to federal resources. I've been a local councillor now for more than ten years since 2012.

Why are you running for the seat of Fowler?

I have nominated because many residents have asked why our area can't have its own local representative who understand us.

This is one of the most critical elections that could bring a lot of opportunities for our community in Fowler. We need a local candidate who is local to represent our area. Someone who will always fight, speak up and be here for us, in good and bad times. I have been part of this community for a very long time, and I understand through my lived experiences the challenges our families have faced, and know that the deserve better for the future.

We need someone who's allegiance is to the people and their needs, and will work to put the community's interest first before the needs of their Party who they are answerable to.

What are the three key issues for the area?

Non negotiables for me, will be federal funding:

  • to fix and upgrade Fairfield Hospital and our health services in the area.
  • to upgrade roads, public transport and infrastructures.
  • job creation initiatives that will upskill our unemployed and support small businesses to help alleviate the high cost of living for the people of Fowler.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

Since being elected on council in 2012 and elected as deputy mayor, I have worked tirelessly with Mayor Frank Carbone to deliver on many initiatives, at a local level.

The differences can be seen across our area. But that's at local level. I plan to use my local knowledge and experience to continue to get the much-needed federal resources into this city so that we can do more for our families and businesses.

This area is part of me, and that's why I am committed and care deeply for this community. No matter what the results, win or lose, people know I will be here to continue to fight for them, after May 21.

Courtney Nguyen (Liberal)

Courtney Nguyen (Liberal)

Courtney Nguyen (Liberal)

Born in Siagon, Viet Nam, I came to Australia when I was 13. I have lived in Cabramatta and then Edensor Park. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Western Sydney and have a Diploma in Business (Real Estate Management).

I am an active volunteer member of the Cancer Council New South Wales and a supporter of Meals on Wheels in Liverpool.

My dad has always voted for Liberal and when I joined the Party I felt the great pride to be wearing the blue T-shirt. I am honoured to be the Liberal candidate for Fowler.

Why are you running for the seat of Fowler?

I will use local knowledge to secure our regions future and guarantee funding for the essential services that our community relies upon and ensure our economy is stronger - not weaker. I am passionate about ensuring that taxes stay low so that people in Fowler keep more of what they earn and wants to back local small businesses to create more jobs.

I believe there needs to be more Asian Australian representatives in Parliament to reflect our great country's diversity.

What are the three key issues for the area?

The biggest issues are cost-of-living pressures, health and roads.

The most important thing is that we have a strong economy to fund these measures. And only the Morrison Government has a plan to continue delivering a strong economy and a stronger future for the residents of Fowler.

We already have a strong track record on delivering on these issues.

  • Around 60,700 taxpayers in Fowler will benefit from tax relief of up to $1500 this year. We are also making petrol cheaper and providing one-off payments to help ease the cost of living.
  • Under the Morrison Government, funding for public hospitals in New South Wales continues to increase, up 99.44% since we came to Government.
  • In the last year the Morrison Government has funded 2,230,040 free or subsidised medicines in Fowler through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • $815,010,822 has been committed in Fowler since coming to Government for projects that will ease congestion, connect communities and improve road safety.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

I have a good work ethic and will put that to good use as the Member for Fowler. I had a humble beginning in Australia and am proud of how far I have come. I am grateful for the opportunities I have received in Australia and I want every resident in south-west Sydney to have the opportunities I have had. I know the community and because of those strong ties, I know what their wants and needs are. I will advocate for you and your family in Canberra.

Tony Margos (Pauline Hanson's One Nation)

Tony Margos (Pauline Hanson's One Nation)

Tony Margos (Pauline Hanson's One Nation)

From the One Nation website:

Tony Margos grew up in Revesby, Sydney, and moved to Fairfield in 1984.

He bought a block of land in the area and built his first home. Interest rates at that time went up to 18 percent and most people, he recalls, were working two jobs to keep up their repayments. So Tony can relate to young people today trying to buy a house. That's why he supports One Nation's policies on foreign ownership, affordable energy, and cost of living.

One Nation will extend its zero-net migration policy and focus on permitting only highly skilled migrants from culturally cohesive countries into Australia. Migrants must demonstrate a sound level of English for assimilation purposes.

Tony lives in Fairfield, worked in Fairfield, shops in Fairfield, supports local business in Fairfield, and he is standing as your One Nation representative for the seat of Fowler this federal election to make sure your voice is heard.

Avery Howard (Greens)

Avery Howard (Greens)

Avery Howard (Greens)

I'm Avery, a 20 year old non-binary anti-poverty activist and passionate young person. At 17 I was homeless, trying to find somewhere to stay whilst finishing high school, all while stuck on the abysmal rate of Youth Allowance. I was living in poverty, and it was incredibly stressful and demoralising. My life could have been different - and I'm standing to make sure other's lives are. I've stood outside Parliament House to fight for change, and I will stand inside and fight even harder. I want to show everyone that together, we have the power to make this country benefit everyone.

Why are you running for the seat of Fowler?

I'm running to help make my community a better place for everyone that lives here. Our communities aren't represented within Parliament. The future of us and our families are affected by the decisions made by the people in Canberra, and yet we hardly have anyone speaking for us there. I'm fed up with more of the same from the illusion that is the Liberal/Labor two party system. The major parties are only focused on the short term, getting elected and staying in power, with no regard for the effects that their long-term inaction has on us. They're fuelling the climate and inequality crises by funnelling money to billionaires and mining corporations, while we have supposed 1-in-a-100 year floods and bushfires, poverty rates of social security and the rising cost of living. With so many people struggling, it's disappointing to see that yet again we're left behind and forgotten about.

What are the three key issues for the area?

Health, the cost of living, and access to childcare and education. Dental health is vitally important to a good quality of life, and yet it's too expensive for most to even think about. Our teeth aren't luxury bones, and we should be able to see a doctor to help fix them. And as the prices of everyday items skyrocket, incomes aren't catching up. It's getting harder to afford the basics, and that needs to change. We need to make sure we can train the next generation of doctors, nurses and teachers, and make sure we have education available for everyone from childcare to university, no matter their background or income. The Greens have plans to help with all these issues, by getting dental and mental health into Medicare, increasing the minimum wage, bringing income support above the poverty line, and making childcare, TAFE and university free for everyone.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

We plan on tackling the inequality and climate crises, to fight for a better future for our community. Fowler knows the devastation of the floods and bushfires, and that's why we have a plan to tackle the climate crisis by stopping the 114 new coal and gas projects that have bipartisan support, boost our renewables sector and achieve net zero by 2035, in a plan that will also help bring electricity prices down. As we're in a vast and culturally diverse community, the Greens have a plan to build an anti-racist Australia and remove restrictions so that our Parliament can actually reflect who we are. And as someone who knows what it's like to not have much, we'll raise income support, build one million new homes and make education free so that we address the issues that matter to us the most.