Name: Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Political affiliation: Liberal
1. Why are you running?
Being a member of parliament is a privilege and honour and I don’t take that lightly.
One of the reasons I want to continue as a parliamentarian is the immense sense of joy I feel when I help or resolve an issue for a constituent.
As the Member for Hasluck for the past six years, I believe I have done great work for the electorate but I am always conscious that even though I’ve achieved some amazing results, there is still more to do.
I also believe the Turnbull Government has developed and implemented some great policies for Australia and being a part of the ministry as the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care is very rewarding. I hope to retain a portfolio.
2. What do you want to achieve?
My first measure of achievement is to ensure all my constituents feel like they can come to me with any issues and that I will be able to help them solve them.
Everything I do is to ensure better outcomes for families and to work on creating stronger local communities.
Specifically for Hasluck, communications is a huge issue with regards to both internet access and mobile phone coverage. In the next few years, all Hasluck residents will have access to high speed broadband internet and mobile phone coverage. This will be achieved through the NBN rollout and through programmes such as the Mobile Blackspot Programme.
3. Is your Aboriginality important in deciding what policies you want to pursue?
My Aboriginality, just like anyone’s culture and heritage, is a big part of who I am and has helped to form the person that I have become.
While I am always interested in Aboriginal affairs, I do have to consider what policies are best for the people of Hasluck. At the end of the day, they chose me to represent them in parliament and I need to make sure I do that.
Since 2012 I have been involved with the Expert Panel and the chair of the Joint Select Committee on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A large part of why I have pursued this issue is because of my heritage and I am confident that within the next year we should have a way forward to achieve constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Other committees I have served on include Health and Ageing, Procedures, Public Accounts and Audit and the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights as we looked at proposed legislation to ensure they were compatible with the key UN conventions as identified in the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 which established the committee. For example migration legislation and social security, specifically looking at fair incentives to work.
4. Treaty, Sovereignty or Recognition?
At the moment my leaning is towards recognition.
I think trying to simplify this very important issue into three silos is a difficult task. In the final report handed down by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee that I was chair of, we reflected the idea of treaties, sovereignty and recognition.
In December last year, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition appointed 16 eminent Australians to the Referendum Council to advise on the path to a referendum.
Sometimes, when something is very important and there is a lot of passion associated with an issue, we can be impatient and want change quickly.
What we need to remember is the Referendum Council will provide advice on their consultation plans to ensure we will succeed at a referendum.
We want to respectfully recognise our First Australians in our nation’s founding document and we want to get it right the first time.
The council will lead a national consultation and engagement process: this will include a series of Indigenous-designed and led consultations.
Ultimately, the Constitution is owned by all Australians and they must consent to the proposed changes in a Referendum.
5. It’s July 3, the day after the election, and you have been elected, what is the first thing that you want to get a move on?
If I am completely honest on July 3, I will be trying to catch up on sleep and spend some quality time with my family.
An election campaign is a very busy time and regardless of the outcome, I will spend some time with my family and catch up on the odd jobs around the house that I haven’t been able to get to.