The role of Independent MPs, listening to the community and integrity issues were front and centre at a Q&A event between Hughes Deserves Better and Independent candidate for Hughes Georgia Steele.
The online event on Tuesday, December 7, was the first of its kind since political group Hughes Deserves Better (HDB) announced their endorsement of Ms Steele as an independent community candidate for the 2022 federal election.
HDB president Alli Grimison said the group was "thrilled to find a candidate of Georgia's calibre".
"The combination of Georgia's extremely high standards of preparedness, strategic and communication skills, demonstrated commitment to a community centric policy platform, and a clear sense of integrity, aligned perfectly with our HDB philosophy and strategy, making her an absolute standout for our seat of Hughes," Ms Grimison said.
The Q&A event provided Hughes locals with an opportunity to ask questions about Ms Steele's key campaign promises.
Ms Steele said that if elected, an Independent MP has to represent the interests of the community in a way which party politicians do not, as they only have one boss - the people who elected them - rather than party bosses, donors, or lobby groups.
"Especially in the last few years, the major parties have proven themselves incapable of dealing with the very complex challenges that we're facing at the moment," Ms Steele said.
"The issues that I care about - climate change, integrity, and gender equality, especially with what we've seen in Parliament - have been left for so long.
"I firmly believe that action is urgent, and that the surest and quickest way (to get this) is for there to be more Independents on the crossbench ... It's a way to reshape Australian democracy in a profound and exciting way."
Ms Steele also explained her commitment to establishing local advisory committees. Hughes locals would have the opportunity to join a number of these committees, which could include Youth Affairs, Small Business, Climate and Women.
"I will listen, I will understand the concerns, and then I will advocate those issues in Canberra," Ms Steele said.
Ms Steele said she is committed to introducing a federal ICAC with powers to investigate and conduct open hearings, and that she is supportive of a limit to political donations and campaign spending.