Concern about 'financial priorities' drives Labor candidate in Cook

Scott Morrison, Labor's Simon O'Brien, centre, and Jon Doig from The Greens are among the seven candidates.
Scott Morrison, Labor's Simon O'Brien, centre, and Jon Doig from The Greens are among the seven candidates.

Whatever the outcome of the federal election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is safe on his home ground.

The Liberal Party has a margin of 15.4 per cent in the seat of Cook, which stretches from Sutherland Shire across Georges River to the southern suburbs of St George.

Labor is represented by Simon O'Brien, a shire resident for 42 years, who is the operations manager at Woolooware Golf Club.

Mr O'Brien has also owned small businesses in Brighton-Le-Sands and Sydney CBD, taught TAFE part time, and continues to write and perform music. He is a father of three and resides in Caringbah.

Gaye Cameron (Pauline Hanson's One Nation), John McSweyn (United Australia Party), pictured centre, and Peter Kelly (Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party).

Gaye Cameron (Pauline Hanson's One Nation), John McSweyn (United Australia Party), pictured centre, and Peter Kelly (Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party).

The other candidates are Peter Kelly (Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party), Gaye Cameron (Pauline Hanson's One Nation), Jon Doig (The Greens), John McSweyn (United Australia Party) and Roger Bolling (Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group), who did not provide a profile.

Mr Morison said his government's plan for a stronger economy included the creation of 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years, maintaining budget surpluses and paying down Labor's debt, delivering tax relief for families and small businesses, guaranteeing investment in essential services such as schools and hospitals, and keeping Australians safe.

Locally, over the last three years, he had worked with the state government to secure $50 million for the Kamay Botany Bay National Park Masterplan in Kurnell, which would upgrade the visitor centre, BBQ areas and install a new Captain Cook monument.

The Cook electorate stretches from Sutherland Shire across Georges River to St George. Picture: AEC

The Cook electorate stretches from Sutherland Shire across Georges River to St George. Picture: AEC

"I have delivered nearly $6 million to redevelop the heritage listed North Cronulla and Cronulla Surf Life Saving Clubs, raised more than $1 million for 70 community groups through the Cook Community Classic, and delivered $650,000 in grants for community facility upgrades for groups such as Sans Souci Football Club and Sutherland Shire Netball Association," he said.

Mr O'Brien said he was standing because of his concerns about the government's financial priorities.

"As someone who has relied on penalty rates to support my family, I believe those on lower incomes have been neglected," he said.

Mr O'Brien said "the watering down of the Gonski education reforms and the de-funding of TAFE" provided further motivation.

He believes "an orderly transition to renewable energy is a priority" and "would like to see a federal ICAC.

Mr O'Brien said he had seen a shift in the burden of taxation towards working people and would like the major parties to address corporate tax avoidance.

"I acknowledge the growing environmental concerns of young people," he said.

  • Profiles of six candidates: theleader.com.au

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