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Youth, tourism, water top issues: CDP candidate

Saturday, 24th January, 2015

Christian Democratic Party candidate Ian Hutchinson believes employment and water are key issues for the electorate. PICTURE: Emily Roberts Christian Democratic Party candidate Ian Hutchinson believes employment and water are key issues for the electorate. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Andrew Robertson

Given his over 20 years in the education system it’s hardly surprising young people form a major part of Ian Hutchinson’s vision for the electorate. 

The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) candidate for Barwon believes employment is key to solving many of the issues facing today’s youth, as it provides them with not only a wage but also “decency and dignity”.  

“I had over 20 years in special education and one of the greatest joys was seeing former students around town in some form of secure employment,” said Mr Hutchinson, who sees a link between lack of job opportunities and increasing drug abuse and mental health issues among young people.

He wants to see more training made available to the young and believes tourism is one area that could be focussed more on “particularly now that Broken Hill is heritage listed”.

“I trust the developing new (tourism board) will be able to creatively expand employment opportunities in tourism, and (believe) the State Government should direct its resources into working together to stimulate this as an area of growth for Broken Hill. 

“That bridge from school to employment is something we have to look into.”

With the State election just two months away Mr Hutchinson said the main issue on the minds of Broken Hill and the far west voters was water ñ or the lack of it.

“We only have enough water in our reservoirs and system for another 10 months.

“Planning cannot assume winter rains because this was presumed last year and did not come, and we are now on water restrictions and approaching a crisis.”

He said a pipeline to the Murray would provide vital water security not offered by the ageing Broken Hill-Menindee pipeline, which needed replacing anyway.

“For an extra 150km we could have a new pipeline to bring us River Murray water from Wentworth.

“Taking our water from the River Murray would give authorities more flexibility with the Menindee Lakes system, provided there is a guarantee that the amenity of the Darling and Menindee Lakes would be preserved.”  

The Baird government has said it would fund the proposed Murray pipeline through the sale of the State’s electricity network, which the CDP opposes. 

But Mr Hutchinson, who is opposed to Broken Hill being supplied with bore water, said the pipeline should just be built and “the issue of how to pay for it is really secondary.” 

Water-related issues are a theme right across Barwon, according to Mr Hutchinson, who is planning to travel around the enormous electorate at least once before the March 28 poll.

A coordinator with the CDP for the past 20 years, Mr Hutchinson said some newfound freedom since retirement had prompted him to run for the seat. 

Describing the party’s leader and upper house MP Fred Nile as “dynamic” and “exceptional”, he said the CDP supported scripture classes in public schools, educating children about the dangers of paedophiles and was a “pro-life party”.

“Babies feel pain in the womb. So we’re opposed to them being cut up and removed, unless the doctor says it’s necessary.” 

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