For Greg Baines he has adopted the ‘underdog’ status as the Labor candidate for Hume.

Mr Baines thinks it’s a two horse race between Labor and the Liberal. But, is “happy to see a strong independent, because it gets people thinking about their vote. 2022 is a very serious election and everyone has a very big decision to make.”

“It’s been a conservative seat for 50 years,” the teacher from Gunning said.

Coincidentally, he turns 50 this year and seems the right time for a change.

“I think Hume has been neglected, I think we have a member of parliament here who often absent and people complaint that people don’t see him.”

Mr Baines thinks politics should be done differently and is prepared to go out and meet the people when needed and engage with residents and business.

He said the climate change is real and is an issue that needs to be addressed in government.

The top three to do on his list includes:

A green and connected Hume, eliminating mobile blackspots and greater NBN fibre to the premises connection; mitigate against environmental change and developing green industry with a jobs focus, and; to do politics different ICAC is the first step and caps on campaigning and make sure politicians are out and about.

“Often politicians tell us what we think we need to hear; I want to be the politician that travels and understands the electorate and represents them in parliament, even if that means some difficult conservations with my own party.”

When asked if Labor has lost its grass roots, he said the party is adapting to the changing demographics.

“The Labor Party of 2022 is a Labor Party that does address those changes. We are offering free TAFE courses in areas of skills shortages for tradies and small business.

“I think our telecommunications and infrastructure policies are great for the farming community. I think we have changed, but demographics has changed as well.”

Mr Baines said his party has real polices to reduce “costs of living”. He recollected his own adolescences trying to make ends meet and said in “a country as rich as ours I think that is unacceptable.”

“We have practical policies…to lower electricity with solar banks and community batteries…there are very concrete things…it will take time to address the problems.”

“Most Australians work very hard, yet they are being left behind. It make me angry to see that. The gap between rich and poor which is growing motivates me.”

Mr Baines appealed to conservative voters to look at Labor’s “strong policy platforms”.

“We are the strongest option in Hume.”

Macarthur candidates in order of ballot positions

1. Jayden Rivera – The Greens

2. Binod Pauder – Liberal

3. Mike Freelander – incumbent, Labor

4. Rosa Sicari – United Australia Party

5. Scott Korman – Liberal Democratic Party

6. Adam Zahra – Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

When voters go to the polls on Saturday, May 21, they will be deciding who will be their representative in Macarthur. Here is a snapshot of the candidates who responded to requests from this newspaper.

The Greens Macarthur candidate Jayden Rivera has lived within the electorate for the majority of his life.

“I have also been working in the community for over 12 of those years in various hospitality jobs as well as being active in the local sporting community.”

Mr Rivera is no stranger to politics having had a go at the 2019 federal election.

“I am running again this upcoming election because I am passionate about seeing necessary change in our community including pushing for free dental and mental healthcare being covered under Medicare for all.

“Free public transport, increasing minimum wage and support payments to align with the cost of living increases and tackling climate change and protecting our local wildlife. “The Greens have a plan by ensuring everyone pays their fair share,” he said.

Incumbent federal Labor MP, Dr Mike Freelander is recontesting the seat for a third time. He was first elected in 2016.

Dr Freelander, a paediatrician, moved to the Macarthur area in 1983 has been in Campbelltown for nearly four decades and has been committed to giving kids the best start in life. In his many years as a paediatrician in the Macarthur region, Dr Freelander has seen more than 200,000 patients; and his interest to enter politics stemmed from his patients and their families.

He said they were trying to navigating access to healthcare, access to work, access to housing and access to education.

He would like to see – a child development unit in Macarthur and better healthcare, child care and aged care services. He is also pushing for better infrastructure such as a heavy rail link from Macarthur to the new Western Sydney Airport and upgrades to Appin Road.

Dr Freelander has also been working to develop policies and combat attacks on Medicare, the NDIS and aged care residents.

He is also focused in protecting the local environment by preserving the koala population and “calling out the poor development policies of governments and developers”. He has been successful in securing upgrades for Wedderburn Bridge and the newly built Passfield Park School.

Adam Zahra, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate has a vested interest in ensuring Macarthur can provide his three daughters children the same, if not greater opportunities for their future.

He wants to ensure Macarthur gets its fair share of federal support. “For too long Macarthur has been underfunded,” he said.

“We are part of an enormous growth belt in in south western Sydney. With an international airport under construction, we do not have the infrastructure to meet the growing demand.”

He said Macarthur, which has around 174,000 people, is set to double by 2040.

“The greater Macarthur area needs a second public hospital.”

He said the area also needs a children’s hospital.

“It is unreasonable for the greater Macarthur community to continue to travel 45-60 minutes to get specialist emergency care for our kids.”

He believes there is a lot of work to be done to get Macarthur out of the blue and into the black – with new energy, orange energy.

Hume candidates

Order of ballot:

1. Greg Baines, ALP

2. Garry Dollin, United Australia Party

3. Rebecca Thompson, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

4. Sheneli Meneripitiyage Dona, Independent

5. Ross Seller, Shooter, Fishers and Farmers Party

6. Karen Stewart, The Greens NSW

7. Angus Taylor, Liberal (incumbent)

8. Joaquim De Lima, Liberal Democratic Party

9. Penny Ackery, Independent

When voters go to the polls on Saturday, May 21, they will be deciding who will be their representative in Hume. Here is a snapshot of the candidates are – at least those who have responded to requests from this newspaper.

Rebecca Thompson, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate is eager to make a difference in Hume.

Ms Thompson’s served in both state and federal customer service positions for more than 13 years, assisting tens of thousands of people, navigate and understand tedious government policies and processes.

She is passionate about preserving the Australian way of life and values for future generations.

“Affordable cost of living is one of the key issues for me this upcoming election,” Ms Thompson said.

She said one in six Australians are experiencing food insecurity with 1.2 million Australian children living in severe food insecure homes.

“This is an issue that we should not be experiencing in a great country like ours.

“In addition to this, another key issue is to abolish the mandates and allow Australians to get back to work.”

She would also like to see Family Law reformed.

“I can confirm how broken the system is and how the child’s best interest is not always at the forefront of decisions made by court systems and processes.”

For The Greens candidate Karen Stewart her childhood and young adult life has shaped her awareness of the challenges facing our society including climate.

“Droughts, fires and my community’s flooding, all intensified by climate change, have impacted the lives of so many, Ms Stewart said.

“We cannot continue avoiding action on climate. The science is very clear and the government has a responsibility to act in accordance with this. I am determined to amplify the voices of Hume to ensure action is taken to address this.”

She is also critical of the government’s lack of transparency

“A federal integrity commission is vital, and it must be capable of undertaking effective investigations.”

Other issues she is dedicated to addressing include Australia’s lagging social and financial policies regarding tertiary education, housing, and female participation in the workforce as well as housing affordability pressures, rising childcare costs and insecure work amongst local families and households.

“I am dedicated to addressing these funding and policy issues that will assist in alleviating overall financial pressure on households.”

Incumbent, Liberal Angus Taylor has served Hume since 2013 and is proud of what has been achieved in the electorate.

“And I want to continue to make it an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” Mr Taylor said.

“Our (coalition) plan for Australia’s recovery includes tax relief for workers and small businesses; more funding for roads, rail, water infrastructure and renewable energy; record investments in health and other essential services; and a stronger defence force.

“We are helping families and pensioners with the cost of living with one-off payments, a reduction in the price of medicines and a 50 per cent cut to the fuel excise.’

He said he is delivering Picton bypass and safety upgrades for Picton Road as well as $14 million to upgrade Silverdale Road and $1.6 billion to upgrade The Northern and Bringelly Roads.

“We’ve built new netball courts as part of the Tahmoor District Sporting Complex, and we’ve invested over $8 million to build Stage 1 of Ferguson’s Land Cricket Facility.

“I’ll continue to deliver on my plan for more local jobs, delivering important local infrastructure…”

Joaquim De Lima, Liberal Democratic Party candidate, it’s his eighth time running. Mr De Lima has been spurred to run again because of the “increasing comfort governments have had with utilising more coercive measures more frequently to meet their aims”.

Mr De Lima, an IT professional with more than 20 years’ experience had worked for NSW Health until recently, when he was stood down due to vaccine mandates introduced September 2021.

He believes that a government that has to constantly resort to coercion, does not represent the will of the people. He wants to protect individual rights, which are the most important ingredient of a prosperous and peaceful society.