Susie Hearder is a bush regenerator and animal lover. She is running for the seat of Tweed in the upcoming state elections for the Animal Justice Party (AJP).
What is your big number one issue that you’re looking at going into this election?
My main focus for the election is koalas and getting them on the agenda for this election as they are facing imminent extinction, and cannot afford another term of this Government who refuse to protect their habitat.
What is your background – what did you study or train for? What skills do you bring to this? What is your current job?
I studied horticulture and am a bush regenerator although spend more time volunteering for animals and the environment.
Why is it important to you that you’re in Parliament?
Animals need a voice in parliament so that is our main focus, but the Animal Justice Party are for people, animals and the environment, we are all interconnected. We all need a healthy planet to live on and we all depend on each other and healthy ecosystems to survive. Our current legislation puts profits and industry above animals and the environment and significant change is needed for equity in representation and for the vulnerable as well.
Looking New South Wales Parliament at the moment what is the thing that frustrates you the most?
What frustrates me most is the lack of community consultation and lack of action on the climate crisis. And that our Government still funds industries such as coal, oil, gas and animal agriculture that harm our planet.
Do you support building on floodplains?
I absolutely do not support building on floodplains, or farming animals on floodplains. They are treated like commodities, where they drown and are replaced to drown again. And we certainly don’t want a proposed new Greyhound Racing Facility at Chinderah built on floodplain there.
How would you address the issue of legacy floodplain approvals (developments that have been approved but not yet built, that are on floodplains)?
We are in a climate crisis, legacy floodplain approvals need to be reconsidered.
Do you consider that the current NSW government’s Short Term Rental Accommodation laws (STRA) has contributed to the current housing crisis and would you advocate for local councils to regain control over STRA?
This state Government has removed local control over so many issues and Local councils need to have their control back. Especially with STRA as yes I think this has contributed to the housing crisis. Private Native Forestry approvals which are destroying koala habitat and impacting local roads, watercourses, and amenities has also been taken away from local councils.