This weekend Australians vote for members of the federal parliament — we have heard lots of campaigning but we want to know if they are the right people for the job.
So the Star invited two year 12 students from Penrith High School to grill Greenway political candidates for the position of Member of Parliament.
Olivia Bowman-Wall interviewed Labor candidate and the current Member of Parliament David Bradbury.
Here is what he had to say to her questions:
Olivia Bowman-Wall: Why do you think you're the best person for the job?
David Bradbury: I think as someone who has represented the community for almost 14 years I've shown I've got the experience to get results for our community. There are many things I'm proud of having achieved but I need people to vote for me so I'm re-elected and can keep delivering.
OB-W: Why do you want a career in politics?
DB: I've been representing the community for more than a third of my life. I was inspired to get into politics because the Labor government gave me the chance of a good education and university. That was something previous generations in my family were never given. I'm passionate about education and government policies which gives people chances to be the best they can.
OB-W:What are your greatest strengths for this job?
DB: I have a strong connection with the community. I work hard here. As somebody who was a councillor, then mayor, and now the federal Member I'm very accessible. I attend just about every function or invitation I get. I think that helps me with understanding the views of the community. So, when I'm called on to make the decisions, I can ensure someone is standing up for their views.
OB-W: What are your weaknesses?
DB: My staff tell me I'm a perfectionist which can be a problem. I think I work hard and that's a good thing — perhaps too hard. People tell me I should settle down and spend more time at home.
OB-W:Why have you chosen to work for the Labor Party?
DB: I got involved in politics because I'm passionate about giving people opportunities. When I first ran for council I wanted to build a skate park. I know a young man who was involved in designing that skate park who today travels the world riding scooters. I know young people who were given the chance to sing and perform at the Joan Sutherland Centre who've gone on to great things. It's about making sure children who grow up here can be the best they can be. It's what we need for the country.
OB-W: Would you be willing to commit to a western Sydney airport?
DB: There's a need for a second airport but I don't support one at Badgerys Creek. I've been opposed to this for the 14 years I've represented the community. Environmentally, it's important to keep our rural backdrop and our quality of life. Air pollution would threaten that. The last remaining food bowl we have here would be sucked up by Badgerys Creek. When the last environmental statement was done it indicated an airport at Badgerys Creek would need a curfew. If you have a constrained airport in the city and build a second one, you'd pick a location that lets planes in and out 24 hours a day.
Mithila Zaheen interviews The Greens candidate, David Lenton for the position of the Member of Parliament.
This what he had to say:
Mithila Zaheen: Why do you think you're the best person for the job?
David Lenton: The Greens represent change because what we're faced with now is backwards and forwards over particular issues. The Greens have a plan for a positive future, not just fighting over details. We have a different view in terms of what we should be putting into the community which isn't reflected in other parties' policies. For example, with education we don't want to take money away from universities to pump into primary and secondary schools. We want to be able to bring money into schooling now. We want to be the future and that includes increasing funding for universities and TAFE.
MZ: Why do you want a career in politics?
DL: I'm here to do what I can to improve my community. It's important in western Sydney to have people who are community-minded because it's not just about the votes in the area or about the two million people who could swing the election. It's about where we are in the development of this area.
MZ: What are your greatest strengths for this job?
DL: I'm an introvert which is good. You don't expect someone in politics to be an introvert because it's putting yourself in front of the public. But one of the good things about being an introvert is you're more inclined to listen. It's really important to have people in politics who are willing to listen, take on new ideas and give people the chance to voice their ideas.
MZ: What are your weaknesses?
DL:Talking apparently is one of them. I realise I don't have media training and I'd definitely have to work on that. Because I'm very socially minded I think it'd be hard to make arguments.
MZ:Why have you chosen to work for The Greens?
I come from a direction of being socially progressive. Before I could vote I'd go along to the polling booths with mum and tell her to vote for The Greens. On the last election night I decided to join the party. I'd been involved in student politics but I kept my independence. What pushed me over the edge was my frustration with the political conversation between the two major parties.
MZ: What would you do about youth unemployment?
We want to increase education funding for primary, secondary, universities and TAFE so students reach their potential.
We want to increase Centrelink funding so people can get to more job interviews and live comfortably without stress.