Mount Coot-tha

What was achieved by my election campaign?

The recently concluded Queensland election campaign was massively rigged against independent candidates like myself and the Greens. Not entirely unexpectedly, my was low.

My vote was

162 votes or 0.65% of the 25,092 formal votes cast as of Sunday 29 March. Such a vote was not to be entirely unexpected in the circumstances, given that I had been given almost no media exposure. Consequently few voters would have known anything about me.

At the held on the Monday before the elections, a member of the audience told me that he considered none of the candidates that had spoken that night, myself included worthy of his vote.

I would certainly have been interested to know how he felt I failed to satisfy his criteria, but never got the chance to find out. If there was nothing I could have done, then I would have liked to have asked him, why he didn't stand himself.

Indeed, that is precisely why I stood. If there had been one other candidate in my own electorate, who had stood for the goals I believed to be important and who had a realistic perspective of how to bring about those goals, then I would have gladly thrown my weight behind such a candidate.

However, there haven't been such candidates for many years in my electorate. That is why I decided to run for office myself, firstly a year ago, when I stood for lord Mayor of Brisbane and, secondly, in the state election campaign.

After I nominated I learnt of a most impressive independent candidate, who was also standing for Mount Cooth-tha. He was . However, as I put to him, in a discussion on Thursday 19 March-fn1">1 his own platform of requiring strict honesty on the part of all elected representatives, as laudable as it was, struck me insufficient -- a point which he did not reject out of hand.

My only substantial media coverage, was one interview lasting five minutes on 4ZZZ.

The ABC's Brisbane local radio station ignored my requests to be interviews or to use any of my media releases.

On one occasion, I was allowed to tell ABC listeners that there was a 'meet the candidate' night in the Mount Coot-tha electorate, but was cut off before being given the opportunity to say anything substantial about myself. That was evidently deemed by the managers to be my full quota of exposure on the ABC.

My only other exposure was on Friday 13 March when, after my sending a number of e-mails and having made several more phone calls, ABC presenter Madonna King put to state Treasurer Andrew Fraser, against whom I was standing in Mount Coot-tha, a question from me: would he commit himself to not privatising further Government owned assets?

Mr Fraser effortlessly brushed it off with a predictably ambiguous response. He claimed that the Government had no plans to privatise any more assets and that he was ideologically opposed to privatisation. In spite of having a considerable amount of material from me, that she could have used to follow up that question, Madonna King failed to use it.

Andrew Fraser had also told listeners that he had written what he told them to me in a letter.

However, when I received that letter later the same day electronically, I found what it said to be to what Mr Fraser had told listeners. However, my requests to have air time to point that out and to properly follow up on his inadequate answers to my questions were ignored.

The ABC's treatment of myself, other independent candidates and the Greens will be more fully explored in another article.

I managed to distribute about roughly 1,400 brochures (I never accurately counted them), with, perhaps 600 being handed out in person and the rest put, mostly on the Friday night just before the elections, in letterboxes.

I also created a survey which I sent to all candidates. I published all and on this web site, but failed to get even one Labor or LNP candidate to respond. A number of Greens and independents did respond.

The ABC ignored my requests to publicise that survey.

In spite of my own low vote, this campaign, like my campaign of a year ago for , was a valuable learning experience of which I will be writing more.

I have every intention of standing next time and no intention of ceasing my political activism in the meantime. Please stay tuned.

The original title of this article was "Reflections on my election campaign" - JS


-fn1" id="main-fn1">1. -fn1-txt">↑ That was filmed and to be included in a documentary film that Dave Zwolenski is producing. The film is to be released in May.

Independent candidate responds to water policy Questionnaire

Originally published 8 Mar 09. Updated 17 Mar 09

Update: 17 Mar 09: Response from Mount Coot-tha candidates .

Briefly: Candidates in favour of damming the Mary River and driving the lungfish to extinction: Andrew Fraser
Candidates against damming the Mary River and driving lungfish to extinction: James Sinnamon, Larissa Waters, John Pollard./p>

On Sunday 8 March 2009, I received the following e-mail from David White on behalf of the Save The Mary River Brisbane Group.

We're requesting all candidates for the State election to indicate their response to just 7 questions and to return the completed document by reply email to the address shown above, or by mail to P O Box 1092 , Toombul 4012 by 15 March, 2009. Just place an X in the box that corresponds to your reply.

The responses to the survey will be distributed to voters on and before election day.

If we do not receive a response to our survey, we'll inform voters of this fact.

If you require any explanation or information regarding the questions, please contact David White on 0403 871 082 or email us (to savethemaryriverbrisbane [ AT ]>) and we'll respond immediately.

Yours sincerely,
David White

for the Save The Mary River Brisbane Group

My response follows:

Dear David,

Firstly, can I commend you for having taken this excellent initiative?

Please advise me of any responses (or non-responses) from other candidates so that I can assist in publicising them.

Before I continue, I will take this opportunity to ask all the other candidates:

Will they commit themselves now to opposing the privatisation of any of Queensland's water infrastructure during the next three year Parliamentary term?

My responses to your questionnaire are:

1. Do you support a proposal to construct a dam on the Mary River and pipe dam water to Brisbane?


2. Should the Government consider using the $1,500 million for a dam for other water supply options such as the installation of more water tanks, harvesting stormwater in the city and suburbs, and putting water-saving and greywater devices in every home?

Yes. I should add that I object to the way that this money was raised and said so at the time in a letter that was printed in the Courier Mail. It was raised by the privatisation of the retail arm of Energex electricity and Ergon the state owned gas utility. We are now paying dearly for the Government's windfall with huge increases in gas and electricity charges. This was supported by both the major parties and almost certainly opposed by the majority of Queenslanders if other polls are privatisation are any guide.

3. Do you support a review of all possible options to provide a secure and sustainable water supply to SEQ?

Yes. This would include the option of ending population growth. We must bear in mind that all options, including even the provision of rainwater tanks, incur an environmental cost. Options which I consider unsuitable include: desalination, industrial water recycling, mining underground water aquifers, the Wyaralong Dam, taking water from Moreton Island.

4. Are you concerned that unique wildlife species in the Mary River are threatened with extinction if a dam is constructed on the river?

Yes. If it is true that the Traveston Dam is necessary to supply Queensland's current population, which I dispute, the extinction of the lungfish, the Mary River cod and the Mary River turtle will be the foreseeable consequence of the Queensland Government's irresponsible and deliberate encouragement of needless population growth. Population growth has also encouraged by the LNP opposition.

5. Do you support the use of recycled water for industrial and agricultural purposes?

Yes. Given that that recycling facilities have now been constructed at enormous expense to Queensland taxpayers, it would be foolish to now not put these facilities to use . However, I oppose making our industry or agriculture dependant upon expensive and technologically complex water recycling technologies which must ultimately depend unsustainably upon the burning of more fossil fuels.

6. In an emergency, yes. But governments must act to prevent foreseeable emergencies. Cramming millions more people into Queensland in coming years as both the current state Government and Opposition plan to do can only make such emergencies inevitable.

7. Do you support a proposal for every commercial and industrial building to be required to install tanks to collect, store and use stormwater runoff?


Please contact me if you have any other questions or seek further clarification.

Other candidates are invited to send me their responses to either the questionnaire or my responses. I will place any responses on

Thanks again and best regards,

James Sinnamon
Pro-democracy independent
candidate for Mount Coot-tha
james -dot- sinnamon |AT| gmail -dot- com
0412 319669

My response was cc'd to the following candidates: John Pollard, LNP, Mount Coot-tha; Larissa Waters, Greens, Mount Coot-tha; Andrew Fraser, Labor, Mount Coot-tha; Suzanne Karamujic, Daylight Saving, Mount Coot-tha; independent, South Brisbane; Lawrence Springborg, LNP, Southern Downs; Gary Kane, Greens, South Brisbane; Liz Cunningham, independent, Mackay; , independent, Noosa; Steve Haines, Greens, Noosa.

"Meet the candidate" night - Mt Coot-tha electorate

" id="Brisbane">Brisbane



Monday Night, 16th March 2009 6.30PM till 8.30PM-ish

Brisbane Workers' Community Centre - Paddington
Rear Cnr Given Tce & 2 Latrobe Terrace Just in along Given Tce at the Lights
(Centre Entrance off Car Park just around Cnr in Given Tce - with Simpatico Bar Bistro on the Car Park Cnr)

Arrive from 6PM for chatting times and business networking Formal Candidate Statements begin 6.45PM 10 Minutes per Candidate Followed by question time to all Candidates

$5.00 .. Incls Nibble foods The Centre's bar will be open

Come along to hear from your local Mt Coot-tha State Electorate Candidates

Hon Andrew Fraser Australian Labor Party - Qld
Larissa Waters Queensland Greens
John Pollard LNP Party
James Sinnamon Independant

We hope you will join us .. invite your local neighbours and businesses

Important: in order to help the better provide for catering and seating please phone Lynne on 07 3036 6221 or James Sinnamon on 0412 319669 or e-mail enquiries [ AT ] to advise if you are attending (but please come anyway).


" id="Sydney">Sydney