Karin Kolbe has announced she’s running for the Byron Shire Council.
Our Voice – Policies For A Healthy Democracy
21 March 2011
Karin Kolbe, Independent Candidate for Ballina, today announced Our Voice, a series of reforms to give voters a better say on issues affecting our community.
‘Voters have been telling me how they feel left out of decisions that
directly affect their daily lives. They they say to me, we need a voice that can represent the voters of Ballina.’
‘In recent times, a number of issues have emerged that illustrate a lack of effective representation.’
‘Planning powers held by the Minister can deliver a major festival site in an environmentally sensitive area adjacent to a large residential area despite significant social, traffic and environmental impacts.’
‘Inappropriate liquor licensing is causing negative impacts in our communities because too little heed is paid to the voice of residents.’
‘Too often the interests of the community are overridden by the state government in planning matters.’
‘Our democracy is ailing because donations to political parties is having too much sway on government decision making in many of these policy areas.’
‘Local government is hamstrung by red tape demanded by the state government, while grants and funding are being reduced.’
‘The Our Voice package includes the following.’
‘The abolition of Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment
Act, and I will resist any attempt to make sure that it is not replaced with something more draconian, especially as the coalition has refused to commit to reform that will give local and regional communities a voice.’
‘Amending Part 4 of the Liquor Act so that the concerns of residents are given greater weight when liquor licence applications are assessed. I will put forward a private members bill to achieve this if the major parties continue to drag their feet.’
‘Making local government more effective in representing their communities, by returning planning powers, reducing red tape and making sure councils are fully funded for any additional responsibilities handed to them by state governments.’
‘Strengthening the ability of local government to work better across the region by giving NOROC a stronger voice in Sydney and advocating for improved funding.’
‘I strongly support giving local government recognition in the Australian Constitution so that federal funding does not have to be filtered through the state government.’
‘Reforming political donations legislation to cap individual donations to $1,000 and to ban donations from the alcohol industry and those involved with products that cause harm.’
‘Together we can make a difference for our communities, but we need these reforms to give an effective voice to our communities and their parliamentary representatives.’
Contact Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599
‘A New Deal For Young People.’ – Karin Kolbe
14 March 2011
Independent candidate for Ballina, Karin Kolbe today announced how she would work towards comprehensive new deal for young people.
‘Young people are our future, yet they continue to be disadvantaged by a lack of access to a range of services.’
‘Youth unemployment remains stubbornly high.’
‘Too many young people continue to be killed on our roads due to inadequate public transport.’
‘Access to employment, education and training opportunities remain limited and are often out of reach due to the high cost and travel times of limited public transport.’
‘Too few mental health services mean that young people and their families often have to reach crisis point before any support is provided.’
‘Successive governments have failed to tackle a range of issues faced by young people in the Ballina electorate.’
‘The situation facing young people is unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the level of services available in Sydney and larger urban areas.’
‘Young people deserve a fair go and If elected, I will work towards:
- Increasing the number and range of TAFE training places including more outreach services,
- Overcoming the chronic lack of transport services through the establishment of commuter rail services and more bus services,
- Reducing public transport fares for students and young people,
- Helping local businesses to provide more traineeships and apprenticeships,
- Providing assistance to the growing creative industry sector to improve long term employment opportunities.
- Getting recurring funding to our early intervention mental health and family support services.’
‘I have the track record and experience working with government to effectively represent the young people and their families in the Ballina electorate to get a better deal.’
Contact Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599
Karin with teachers and students campaigning for TAFE’s 5-point plan
‘Nationals taking North Coast seats for granted on rail issue’ – Karin Kolbe, Independent Candidate for Ballina
11 March 2011
Karin Kolbe said:
‘Don Page is taking the Ballina electorate for granted.’
‘The Nationals are looking to slide into office without sticking to promises made over several years.’
‘Don Page has reneged on a promise to put “a minimum” of six commuter trains on the Casino-Murwillumbah line.’
‘Funding that would otherwise have been delivered for the Ballina electorate is being used to win rural seats currently held by independents and Western Sydney seats held by the ALP.’
‘The coalition will be building two new rail links in Sydney during their first term, but there is not a single commitment to build new rail or public transport infrastructure beyond Sydney.’
‘Voters should not be fooled by re-announcments of road funding delivered by the federal and state labor governments.’
‘The real question is what is Don Page going to do for the Ballina electorate if he wins the seat of Ballina.’
‘The answer is precious little because the North Coast Nationals have been sidelined in the rush to pork barrel seats held by independents.’
‘The offer to undertake yet another rail feasibility study without a funding commitment or timeframe is just a ruse for yet another do nothing party.’
‘I encourage residents of the Ballina electorate to vote independent and break the cycle of the major parties putting their interests ahead of the community.’
Contact Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599
In its 2007 election policy document entitled ‘Getting the North Coast back on track – a commuter rail service between Casino – Murwillumbah and the Gold Coast’, Don Page and the Nationals stated.
‘The NSW Liberal/Nationals Coalition has always been 100 per cent committed to reinstating train services on the Casino to Murwillumbah line.
In Government, we will commit $100 million over four years for the reinstatement of services, including necessary upgrades to the line and ongoing maintenance. We will investigate the construction of additional passing loops as part of the refurbishment of the line. Initially there will be a minimum of six services a day, with that number to rise subject to demand.
These services will run:
• Twice in morning peak periods (one each way);
• Twice in the afternoon peak periods (one each way); and
• One return service from Casino- Murwillumbah to cater for non 9-5pm
We will also immediately start the planning process for an extension of the line from Murwillumbah to meet the Brisbane-Gold Coast line.
The planning on this project needs to start now. Our commitment to the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line is part of our integrated transport plan for the North Coast of NSW.’
Source: ‘Getting the North Coast back on track – a commuter rail service between Casino – Murwillumbah and the Gold Coast’, page 4. To view pdf of article, click here.
In an article published by the Northern Star on 2 June 2006 comments made by Barry O’Farrell, the then Deputy Liberal Leader and Shadow Transport Spokesperson on a visit to Lismore, were reported as follows;
A passenger train service between Casino and Murwillumbah would not have to turn a profit and could be reinstated within three weeks of a coalition victory…
…a sixteen trains a day commuter service could be provided within the current Railcorp budget…
Source: ‘Coalition commits to reinstate trains on closed line’, Northern Star, 2 June 2006. To view pdf of article, click here.
Don Page’s broken promises
In a speech to the NSW parliament on 6 June 2006, Don Page said the following
‘Returning to what can be done now, it is obvious that commuter services can and should be put on the line as a matter of urgency. Light rail cars are available at Newcastle and only limited work is required to make the line safe. This work mainly involves upgrading some bridges. I refer honourable members to the PricewaterhouseCoopers study done in 2004 for details on costings.’
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report indicates that on average only $2.5 million per annum is required in maintenance to make the line safe, but it suggests spending $4.1 million over the first seven years. So it is not expensive, especially when we consider that the Labor Government is spending billions on CityRail. I make the point that on numerous occasions since this Labor Government axed our train service, the Liberals and The Nationals have indicated their intention to put trains back on the Casino to Murwillumbah line.’
Source: ‘NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard’, 6 June 2006, page 54. To view pdf, click here.
Independents lead the way in attracting health funding – Karin Kolbe
1 March 2011
Independent candidate for Ballina, Karin Kolbe has slammed the Nationals for failing to attract significant health funding to the electorate.
‘Health services in Ballina and Byron are in danger of being run down under a Coalition government.’
‘Ballina hospital has been omitted from the list of capital funding promises made by the Nationals.’
‘Byron hospital has been allocated just $1 million.’
Meanwhile capital funding promises totalling $225 million have been made for hospitals in Port Macquarie, Dubbo and Tamworth, all in seats currently held by independents.’
‘Our high growth communities desperately need increased hospital funding, but the Nationals are failing to deliver despite years of criticism about the level of funding from the current government,’
‘For communities looking for action on health and other vital community services, the answer is simple. Vote Independent.’
Contact: Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599
‘Nationals disappoint with zero commitment to rail and public transport’ – Karin Kolbe, Independent candidate for Ballina
21 Feb 2011
Karin Kolbe, Independent candidate for Ballina said today:
‘The Nationals policy launch on Sunday is a major disappointment for the people here with not a single funding commitment for rail or public transport projects outside of Sydney.’
‘There is no funding for the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line, the link to Queensland or any other public transport project in our region.’
‘The election is still a month away and already the Nationals have been sidelined.’
‘The major parties have neglected rail and public transport in our region for a long time’
‘Our community needs a strong independent voice to hold the major parties to account and I can be that voice with the support of people in Byron and Ballina’.
‘I will continue to fight for rail and public transport – no party will silence me.’
‘I call on all candidates and parties to detail their funding commitments for the Casino-Murwillumbah line, a rail link to Queensland and improving public transport.’
Media: Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599
Karin Kolbe announces candidacy for Ballina
11 Feb 2011
Karin Kolbe, community campaigner, transport activist, book publisher and BayFM broadcaster, will contest the state seat of Ballina in the March State election as an Independent.
“By running as an Independent I can truly represent the community’s needs rather than follow a party line,” said Ms Kolbe.
“Independents achieve better results for their communities because they are not beholden to parties, donors or Macquarie Street.”
“Action on rail and other transport services is essential. Political talk from current sitting members has produced nothing.”
“Transport is key for so many state government services. Without transport, the best TAFEs, clinics and jobs are inaccessible to many. We need the right mix of buses, rail, roads, scooters and bicycles, for locals and visitors alike.”
“We must fiercely protect our natural environment. Clean water and air, biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions are not negotiable.”
“Local councils need the ability to deal with local issues. Local independents best deal with local issues. Look at the power they have in Canberra now.”
Ms Kolbe owned an IT company in Sydney before moving to the area in 2002.
Ms Kolbe is the inaugural and current President of TOOT, Trains on our Tracks.
She lives in Suffolk Park and is President of the Suffolk Park Progress Association.
She is a board member of the Northern Rivers Community Foundation.
She ran for Byron Shire council in 2008.
Since 2009, she presents “The Spin Cycle” on Bay FM, a program about environmental issues, creative industries and local politics.
She is married and has 3 step children.
Media: Karin Kolbe 0411 594 599