By- Nancy Choudary
Mr Tony Zappia, Member for Makin, South Australia talks to Indus Age where he shares the reason behind joining politics, his message to the youth of today and the multicultural communities and a lot more. Excerpts:
- What made you choose politics?
From a very young age I took an interest in political and social issues.In particular I was motivated by injustices relating to inequality, discrimination and human exploitation by the ruling wealthy class.I chose politics because I saw politics as the most practical way of influencing change on matters which I had a social opinion about.Politics is where public opinion is ultimately resolved and where necessary embodied in law.
It is also where determinations about how taxes will be spent are made. Expenditure priorities become a very powerful means of overcoming social injustices.
- What is your message to the multicultural communities?
Australia has very successfully shown how people of different nationalities can live in harmony side by side.
Since World War II around 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia from every corner of the world.The Indian community is a fine example of that and in a relatively short period of time has seamlessly integrated into Australian life.People should always be proud of their heritage and their identity – but their individual success will best be served by having a successful nation.That will occur when all Australians share a common pride and a common vision for the future of Australia.
- What made you go into federal politics from local politics?
Local politics is very rewarding and at a local level a person has more influence. However, national decisions and the decisions which shape Australia’s future are made at the federal level.Federal politics enabled me to have input in to the national issues facing Australia. It also enabled me to contribute to social justice issues which transcend Local Council or State Government borders.
- What is your message to the youth who are aspiring to be politicians?
Too often young people are attracted to politics because of the perceived power or their ego. The best politicians have been those driven by a personal belief in making their country a better place for all.So my message to young people wanting to enter politics is firstly ask yourself why you want to pursue a political career. If it is because of your belief in doing good then become actively involved in one or more of the many community groups that exist and from there pursue the issues that matter to you.
You will not only gain valuable experience in dealing with public matters and diversity of opinion but your commitment and ability will inevitably lead you to a leadership role, from which politics may become the next step.
- What is Labor party policy on job creation and sustainable economy?
Labor’s economic and job creation policies are spelt out in Labor’s National Platform and were extensively debated earlier this year at Labor’s National Conference.
More detailed policies will be released prior to the 2016 Federal Election but job creation will be central to Labor’s economic policies as will social and environmental policies.
Earlier this year Labor’s Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen addressed the National Press Club where he delivered an extensive speech on Labor values and priorities.
- How is South Australia going to cope with the influx of migrants when locals are struggling to find employment?
Whilst some research has endeavoured to measure the impact of migration there is widespread consensus that for every person who migrates to Australia an additional job is created.
The real issue is the influx of 457 skilled workers and working holiday visa entrant who do not settle in Australia but take up jobs that would otherwise be taken up by Australian residents who are currently unemployed. This is a matter that I have extensively spoken about in the Parliament.
I believe that Australia’s work visa entrant numbers should be revised and that Labour Market Testing should be enforced.
I also believe that Australian Government procurement could be more effectively used to create Australian jobs and that it is critical that the replacement submarines and other naval vessels are built in Australia.
Labor has already made it very clear that we would build the submarines in Australia.