Cockburn Electorate

Andrew Baker

Candidate for Cockburn Electorate

E: info@waxit.org

I emigrated to Perth with my family in 1963.

My father had bought a hotel on Marine Parade and I grew up on Cottesloe beach. It was a charmed existence. Swimming, surfing, and diving along that coast instilled in me a strong appreciation of the beauty and purity of the environment that we enjoy here and fostered a determination that it should be protected. It is worlds away from some of the polluted situations I have seen in the UK, where I was born.

 

I studied at Scotch College and UWA and in the late '70s went into business with my family. I have co-owned and operated several businesses over the years and have experienced firsthand the frustration of dealing with Federal Government Departments.

The "red tape" involved brought some ventures to an end.

 

Small business is the main employer in this State and I believe more should be done to stimulate this vital sector to help move away from mining the only mentality and diversify our economy. 

I believe in less regulation for business but with regard for environmental protection and a strong "safety net" for the disadvantaged in our community.

 

Being a migrant myself, I have some understanding of the prejudices faced there. I believe immigration is vital to the growth of a vibrant and diverse WA. Legal immigration will be, I believe, a major factor in overcoming skills shortages in a diversifying economy.

 

Equally, education is of paramount importance. We need to reverse the "brain drain" and create an academic environment that looks to a more technological future. We should provide major incentives for industry and academia to cooperate in research and development projects that will be of benefit to the whole community. To help facilitate this, I believe an education at all levels should be provided free to the community.

 

My two adult children have graduated from UWA in recent years. My son is an Auditor and my daughter is considering a Ph.D. It is with great pride that my wife and I follow their achievements and I hope to play some part in shaping a future of greater opportunity and prosperity for them, their generation, and all Western Australians.