The Leader invited candidates in the seat of Hughes to speak directly to voters, providing an insight into their background and why they should be elected.
The candidates were asked to keep their responses to about 350 words and provide their preferred photo.
The responses appear below in order of where the candidate's name appears on the ballot paper.
Jenny Ware (Liberal Party)
Thanks for this opportunity to speak with directly.
You, the people of Hughes deserve a strong and sensible local representative, who is one of your own.
I have lived in the local community in the Sutherland Shire all of my life. I am a mum to twin teenage boys, a border collie cross kelpie, and I'm a practising lawyer. My supportive husband, Mike, is a sales rep.
I've been a small business owner in Como and I've served as a volunteer on the boards of Sylvanvale, my boys' community preschool and I was president of our local P&C.
I strongly believe in an evidence-based responses to community concerns, and I'm committed to practical solutions to solve problems in Hughes, devoid of unnecessary political dogma.
As I have worked in both the private and government sectors, I believe am uniquely qualified to navigate bureaucracy at all levels of government, and deliver smart solutions for all our communities.
My passion is education and I feel it plays a pivotal role in preparing our children for a positive future.
I believe that Australia needs to stay the course with a strong Liberal government, to protect and guide our economy.
I would be privileged to serve you in the federal parliament and I am asking for your support as your local Liberal candidate for Hughes.
You have my word that you will be selecting yourself a capable and tireless champion.
Peter Thompson (The Greens)
Hi I'm Peter Thompson, a true local of Sutherland Shire. I grew up here and feel a great need to preserve the beautiful, natural environment here for our children and grandchildren! I shall ensure the Shire is fully resourced with new cycleways , electric vehicle charging stations etc.
To protect the environment of Australia and Globally we need true and immediate:
1 Climate Action right NOW. 100 year events are now happening every 2-3 years ( Mt Gosper fires , Lismore floods etc). Extinctions are happening at an alarming rate - even our beloved koala is now on the endangered list. The Greens have a comprehensive , fully- costed 'Just Transition ' away from polluting fossil fuels to a happy , sustainable future ...our plan is to cut emissions by at least 75% by 2030 using clean, green renewable energy and transitioning the workforce by creating thousands of new jobs in the renewable and related sectors .
2 Both Dental and Mental health care are now proving too costly for the average person . The Greens have already ensured that dental care for children is free . They will now extend that to adults under Medicare cover . With 2 years of Covid there has been an explosion of community anxiety and a huge increase in the need for counselling services. The Greens will now provide free counselling under Medicare cover .
3 There is a huge housing and homelessness crisis engulfing Australia and rents are skyrocketing. The Greens will build a million new homes in both major cities and the regions. They will then sell them to people under a super- cheap shared equity, mortgage scheme - the maximum price in Sydney or Melbourne will be $300,000.
The Greens will finance these initiatives by making the huge multi-nationals and billionaires pay their rightful, lawful tax like you and I and everybody else. (The ATO states that a full 36% now pay no tax and others pay minimal tax).
Let's vote for a creative, sustainable future for our children and the planet.
Georgia Steele (independent)
First things first - what do I stand for? I stand for real action on climate change and a robust, sustainable economy. An urgent but orderly transition to renewables will set Australia on a path to becoming the renewable energy superpower we can so easily be.
I stand for support for small businesses in their recovery from the pandemic; and I stand to address corruption in politics. We desperately need a federal corruption commission and truth in political advertising laws.
I have lost count of the conversations I've had with locals who are tired of political games, who want a return to the sensible centre, and a representative who will hold the major parties to account.
So, why vote Independent? Independents only have one boss - their communities. In the great Menzies tradition, every vote I cast on the floor of the House will be a conscience vote. In Hughes, if we elect a major party candidate, we'd be electing a newbie, someone who's never been elected to office. Just like me, to be sure, but those candidates will go and sit on the back bench of parliament, probably for a decade. On the other hand, I could be elected to a powerful cross-bench, and the people of Hughes could have a representative who can have an immediate and ongoing impact.
When I set out on this adventure in October, I wanted to ensure I ran a campaign that was enough to rival the major parties, to prove I was a safe, capable pair of hands.
Since then, our campaign has attracted so many truly impressive, passionate volunteers - more than 300 of them. We continue to be powered by our community.
I've been a corporate litigator for 15 years all over the world. My core skills are listening, negotiating and advocating. And if elected, I will be expert and research-led. I will be consultative, community-driven and collaborative. I will continue to be accessible and available to my constituents. I will answer your questions, listen, and take your concerns directly to Canberra.
For the first time in a generation, we have a chance to get the representation we all deserve.
All we have to do is choose something different, and vote Independent. After all, we can't keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Craig Kelly (United Australia Party)
Since 2010, I have proudly represented our local area in the Federal Parliament standing up for traditional Liberal values. I believed what the Liberal Party still states on its website;
"We believe ... in the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives... we simply believe in individual freedom and free enterprise"
I want you to know that I still believe in those values and always will.
However, over the past two years it became obvious to me that the Liberal Party had abandoned those values and my conscience would not allow me to continue in silence for mere political expediency.
Further, other senior and long-standing Liberal members reached the same conclusion. Liberal Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells recently stated,
''There is a putrid stench of corruption emanating from the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party"
Sadly, the Senator is correct. The Liberal Party has lost its way and sold-out their values to factionalism, cronyism, and political expediency. It is no longer the party that I originally joined and once had faith in.
With the factional party games, trillion-dollar debt, support for freedom-crushing rogue State governments, and the UN globalists - the Liberal Party simply does not deserve your vote at this election. And interestingly, Labor (who would be no better) have decided to preference the Liberals ahead of myself. They are just the same.
While many have suggested that I should have stood for the Senate, as this "would be easier", I am staying to fight in my seat of Hughes.
Although you may not agree with me on every issue, you know from my record that I will not be beholden to lobbyists nor factional party bosses, and I will continue to fight for what I believe are the best interests of our local area and our great nation.
Therefore, at this election, I'm asking for your vote to return me to Parliament, to continue as your Federal Member for Hughes, to hold both the Liberal and Labor parties accountable. I will not let you down.
Narelle Seymour (Pauline Hanson's One Nation)
Unable to be contacted and photo unavailable (a previously included photo is actually of the party's Senate candidate).
The One Nation website says:
"Narelle Seymour was born in Southport where her father served in the RAAF and her mother was a nurse.
"Narelle raised her four children here in NSW before starting her career in the aged care sector. Narelle has been an active volunteer in the NSW SES for 13 years, assisting the community in some of the state's darkest and most trying times.
"While it's not the easiest of jobs working in aged care, I've always been drawn to the service of caring for others. Each of my aged care patients has made wonderful contributions to this country and I see it as my privilege to assist them through this stage of their lives."
"Narelle believes all Australians deserve equality, no matter what age, gender, or culture - everyone deserves a fair go."
Linda Seymour (independent)
I grew up in the Sutherland Shire. My childhood memories are full of swimming, riding bikes, dancing and attending my local public schools.
I am proudly TAFE educated, where I studied architectural drafting. I built my skills locally then moved to London and trained in high end architectural technology; I have won international awards for my work. When I moved back to Sydney, I met my husband Ross, an architect, and we started our family. 21 years ago, we moved to Bonnet Bay.
For over 25 years I ran a successful business and worked on major infrastructure projects including Olympics all around the world.
I am very aware of the impacts government decision-making can have on small business, I have lived the rewards and challenges of a running small business.
In 2020, like a lot a lot of people in Hughes, I was frustrated with the way we were being represented, I felt like our community had no voice. With a few like-minded people, from across Hughes, from Bundeena to Wattle Grove we formed the community group "We Are Hughes".
We asked the people of Hughes the type of person they wanted as a representative. Almost unanimously people wanted someone to represent them with integrity, who was informed about the impacts of their decisions, who was part of the community and who was inclusive of everyone. I am now proudly the 'We Are Hughes' endorsed independent candidate. I am already part of the change in Hughes, I want to continue to elevate our community's voice.
As your local member I commit to behaving with integrity, being informed about the impacts of my decisions, being an active part of our community, and being inclusive of everyone.
As your Hughes MP I will advocate for a robust Federal Integrity Commission, protection of our Natural Environment, serious political donation reform, a Code of Conduct for politicians and staff, action on Climate Change, improvements in bureaucratic processes for small businesses and community organisations, strengthening Support for aged Care, Medicare and the NDIS and equitable funding for education.
I care deeply about our community, I will bring integrity, dignity, and constructive politics to the Australian Parliament on behalf of the people of Hughes.
Riley Campbell (Labor Party)
My decision to run for the seat of Hughes has come from lived experience.
My experience as a carer and seeing family members suffer neglect and cuts to the NDIS and in Aged Care.
I grew up in a single parent family and experienced the pressures of trying to keep a family together on a single income. I
worked in Local Government and experienced the impact of the pandemic on the community and on my role within Local Government.
My own lived experience is what drives me to deliver for our community in Hughes. Because I know what scraping by feels like and I don't want your family to experience the same.
I know that we are doing it tough. Families across Hughes are struggling to keep up with the cost of living in our fantastic area. Young people are having to leave just to be able to afford housing, jobs that pay the bills and opportunities to get ahead.
We can't continue to allow this to happen in Hughes. For too long we have been neglected by this government and our current MP.
Our fully costed plan for Hughes will deliver Cheaper childcare - to help families right here in Hughes, Cuts to power bills - by increasing renewable energy into the national grid, local secure jobs for our kids, fee free TAFE to upskill our local workforce, more University places, cuts to fees for small businesses and cutting red tape, Full Fibre NBN across Hughes, upgrades to local roads, building things in Australia to kickstart job creation, more sport on free to air tv, restoring dignity and respect in Aged Care by implementing all recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission, help to buy housing scheme - to get more people into their first home sooner, and a National Anti-Corruption Commission - by Christmas.
My policies are designed to give more opportunities and help all of us succeed. I am determined to deliver a better future right here in Hughes and it starts with voting for Riley Campbell and Labor.
Together we can deliver a better future.