Keith Williams

I am standing for election because I want to change what is happening to politics in Australia.

Instead of being a contest of ideas, politics has become a battle over money. It has become a contest of marketing budgets, where principle can be abandoned in the interest of donors.

Politics has given us Tony Abbott and a NSW Government so corrupted by money that it will sell out its community to keep the cash rolling in. The Nationals policy on Coal Seam Gas in the Northern Rivers is merely one example.

I came to Ballina 7 years ago to help my wife Rochelle ensure that the work of her father, Lance Ferris, continued on through Australian Seabird Rescue, the organisation he founded. I cannot unlearn what I have seen in this time.

I promise you, if elected, there could be no stronger advocate for the removal of fishing from our Marine Parks and real action to address the dreadful impact of plastic in our oceans.

A former CEO in the non-profit sector, I have spent my life advocating for the disadvantaged, for better health and aged care services, and for the protection of our environment. Improving mental health services in the Ballina electorate must be a real priority.

I'm not driven by money, but I do know its' value.

I hold a degree in Environmental Science majoring in Economics. We do not have to accept high unemployment and poorly paid work as a natural consequence of living in regional NSW. We can develop industries that create jobs without trashing our highly valued environment.

We need to build on our base of agriculture and tourism. We need real broadband and the business opportunities it brings. We need a renewable energy industry, not CSG.

I have vigorously pursued these issues as a Councillor for Ballina Shire.

A lack of decent public transport and State infrastructure investment are holding us back. We need to make better use of the unused rail corridor to Byron and improve marine facilities in Ballina.

Education, science and innovation are the key to our future prosperity, not lower wages. We must stop the damaging cuts to TAFE in NSW and ensure the full roll-out of the Gonski reforms through our schools.

I joined the Labor Party 3 years ago. Labor has a history full of achievements in health, education, disability, keeping our economy strong through financial crisis and protecting our environment.

But we also need a better, more responsive Labor Party to ensure this work continues. The election of the Leader by members and the conduct of community preselections, such as this one, are a great start.

I am proud to stand beside those in the Labor Party who have fought for reform, who insist that honesty, integrity and democracy must be the foundations upon which we build a better Labor Party and a changed political landscape.

I'm standing for Preselection because I care about our environment, the state of our oceans and rivers and the need to address the influence of money in politics.

I'm standing for Labor because I care about people, about education and health and about jobs.