Meet the Hotham candidates

Peter Dorian, Rise Up Australia


This week, Dandenong Star Journal published edited responses to a survey sent to all Hotham candidates standing in the 18 May federal election.

To help our readers make their choice, our survey quizzed candidates on their policies on affordable housing and rentals, traffic congestion and their three top concerns.

We also asked for their occupations, their suburb of residence, age and to name the electorate’s best asset.

The full responses of Peter Dorian (Rise Up Australia), Dennis Bilic (Sustainable Australia), Jin Luan (United Australia), Jess Gonsalvez (Greens) and incumbent Clare O’Neil (ALP) are published below.

George Hua (Liberals) declined to respond.


Peter Dorian

Rise Up Australia

I am 56 years young, truck driver, We are living in Moe at the moment, because its so expensive in the area of Hotham were I work.

Transport is a real problem we may be able to reduce congestion by 5 % if we increase funding and wacky plans like the ALP. But If we make the trains better , buss’s smaller and more often we could increase the people working in the area by 20%. So I’m sure any person who could think ! would see were best to spend the money. The cost of living has quad drippled which was predicted when the ALP started selling all the power companies to foreign investors who don’t give a rats about us. The most affordable at the moment is nuclear power . Which is a federal issue. Also if the global alarmists have the ability to think in between there scare mongering they would realize it is the most affordable with zero emissions. But you know the crazy Greens they don’t like logic. So we should put it to a referendum , this would allow all the stupid people to have a say. The best asset of the area is the high amount of work in the area. Which even though it would be more logic and beneficial to move the factories and business further out, so the area could become famous for parks and lifestyle again. It is unlikely we couldn’t give enough financial incentives to cause this to happen. So the greatest asset the area can offer the larger community is the education facilities in the area, improve our already effective transport. if you think housing affordability is something that can happen, You probably are already ignorant enough to vote for the ALP, They have a housing plan destroy the economy and the housing market, which would put everyone on welfare and the country would be cast into a depression. So people need to rely on transport , trains , trams, smaller buss’s electric bike lanes, The bike lanes need to be removed from the heavy vehicle areas as they are causing more accidents. Trucks will never be able to see cyclists and predict there behaviour, see we need to separate the 2. Rather then mess with roads like the ALP is doing, we simple put in a string of bike bridges and extra high rise bike lanes which would speed up the cyclists transport then the roads and clunky buss’s. This would give people a real incentive to go biking from the trains as there transport time would be reduced, they would feel like they are helping the planet, “Al Gore” might even take a sedative. However we can encourage some more high rise development around the universities areas were we do need a lot more accommodation for the students and professionals. Rather then offer government subsidy’s to students, which does cost the tax payer in the long and reduce the wealth of workers . We should give a loan system to students so they can pay back partial rent when the obtain work in there chosen field. Thanks for your time, I hope this answers you questions. Please include the photo I sent as it really is the only one I have and it also says a lot about what we need in Parliament. People who work for a living , not pollies who sqwark !


Dennis Bilic

Sustainable Australia




Melbourne (3004)


Management consultant in an engineering firm

What’s your electorate’s best asset?

Community spirit and quiet suburban life.

How would you increase the supply of affordable housing/rentals in Hotham? What other means can you address cost-of-living pressures? (Please provide costings, if possible)

Housing investment tax concessions and population pressures are the root cause of both unaffordable housing and rising living costs. By removing negative gearing and capital tax concessions incentives for investors, we would also encourage younger people to purchase their own home at an affordable price. Reducing population pressures by returning Australia’s permanent immigration rate from 190,000 back to 70,000 people a year (the historical average pre-2004) would ensure downward pressure on housing and cost of living for the people of Hotham.

What would you do to fix transport congestion in the electorate? (Feel free to identify hot-spots and provide costings, if possible.)

Traffic congestion is a public health concern and requires both immediate rectification and long term correction. Better planning to stop overdevelopment and reducing population pressures by lowering immigration would allow our current infrastructure projects to catch up. I would also push for a fleet of battery electric buses (reducing pollution) to support popular commuter routes. Building too many roads will only invite more cars and create more bottlenecks.

Identify your three top concerns on behalf of Hotham constituents.

1. Better planning to stop overdevelopment, with community consultation to prevent unwanted high-density housing projects where current infrastructure is already struggling to cope.

2. Unsustainable population growth affecting quality of life – from traffic congestion and unaffordable housing to crowded schools and access to healthcare.

3. Environmental conservation and the protection of natural surrounds and green space from overdevelopment.


Jin Luan

United Australia Party

Age: 63

Suburb: Springvale South

Profession(s): Machine Opretor

What’s your electorate’s best asset?

Multicultural is our electorate’s best asset.

Identify your three top concerns on behalf of Hotham constituents.

[1]The best kind of welfare is a secure job. The UAP policy is that Processing export minerals in Australia, creating jobs and increasing wealth here; If I win the Hotham seat, I will do my best to set the downstream manufactory in or around Hotham division, create more good pay jobs for our residents.

[2].The best security an Australian can have is a secure home to call their own. The UAP policy is that Make the interest on self-occupied home loans tax deductible to encourage home ownership.

[3]The best life for Australians is a happy family life. UAP policy is that we want to lessen the strain on Australians by reducing power prices. We’ll start by ordering a state by state review of power company infrastructure loans we’re all paying for.


Jess Gonsalvez


Age: 27 years

Suburb: Oakleigh East

Profession(s): customer service co-ordinator and performance artist

What’s your electorate’s best asset?

Our diversity! Hotham is home to old and new migrants; to students, families and retirees; to workers of all ages across a wide range of industries; to folks doing their darndest to make ends meet on welfare, disability or carer payments; and to folks who might not fall under any of those categories. We’re all different, but what we have in common is that we make this place our home, and we want to feel safe, financially secure, and connected.

How would you increase the supply of affordable housing/rentals in Hotham? What other means can you address cost-of-living pressures? (Please provide costings, if possible)

The Greens see housing as a right – our housing plan includes building 500,000 public or community homes, and increasing renters rights and tenancy advocacy services so that the growing number of us who rent can still feel secure and make ourselves a home. Our policies also include raising Newstart and Austudy by $75.00 per week and increasing Rent Assistance, legislating to set the minimum wage at 60% of the median wage, and working to protect penalty rates, so that we can reduce the number of people living at or below the poverty line.

What would you do to fix transport congestion in the electorate? (Feel free to identify hot-spots and provide costings, if possible.)

The best way of addressing congestion is to get less cars on the road by giving people useful and reliable alternatives to car travel. Most of the people I know who rely on cars to get around do so because it’s convenient – so what we need to do is make alternative forms of travel more connected, more accessible, and more appealing! The Greens have pledged an extra $25 billion into rail and bus improvements, as well as $250 million per year towards infrastructure like footpaths, tracks (for walkers, joggers and cyclists), and dedicated bike lanes on our roads.

Identify your three top concerns on behalf of Hotham constituents.

1. The cost of living is going up, and our incomes aren’t keeping up with it. That’s seeing a lot of folks feeling the pinch and worrying over how they’re going to make ends meet. We’ve seen the evidence: tax cuts for business and slashing penalty rates haven’t lead to more jobs or better pay, more and more of us are working casually by necessity rather than by choice, and “hustle” culture means we’re spending less time with our loved ones and the things that bring us joy. Also solar technology has improved dramatically in the last decade, but many of us still can’t afford to install a system, or don’t own a property to put it on?

2. We’ve been told a lot about how we should be afraid of “African gangs” and Muslims, but honestly I think we’re all after some peace and quiet. When folks in the media and in parliament tell us that some of our neighbours aren’t safe to be around, we all suffer. The best way to stand up to fear and hatred is to be kind to the people around you. The best way to prevent young people and folks from marginalised communities from being radicalised is to make them feel included. Our community is strongest when we welcome and look after each other; and our leadership is strongest when it actually looks like our community.

3. While there is a lot of confusion about it in the media, I believe that climate change should be on everyone’s radar. Even if you don’t believe that humanity has had an impact, the change is already here and affecting everyone in Hotham – more extreme weather sees you pay more on electricity or gas bills from extra heating or air conditioning; the die-off of bees could affect the availability of our favourite foods; and bushfires are getting harder to control, which has seen smoke and haze blow across us for days at a time over summer. Individual choices (like using less water or plastic, or setting up a composting system) can only do so much – we need our federal government to step in to address the big polluters and lead the transition to 100% renewable energy. Do it for the environment, do it for your own health, or do it for the kids; but please, do something now – we need to act on climate change!


Clare O’Neil

Age: 39

Profession(s): Management Consultant

What’s your electorate’s best asset?

Without a doubt it has to be our incredible multicultural community. I am so privileged to represent one of the most diverse communities in our diverse country. Multicultural Australia makes a hugely positive social and economic contribution and I’m proud to be a member of a Party that has always fought for and defended Multicultural Australia.

How would you increase the supply of affordable housing/rentals in Hotham? What other means can you address cost-of-living pressures? (Please provide costings, if possible)

The cost of living and the cost of housing are both serious issues that deserve serious solutions. The current Government is doing nothing to address these problems, instead allowing for more and more pressure to build on family budgets.

The economy isn’t working for everyday Australians and we need to take the pressure off middle class and working Australians. This is why Labor will:

• Restore Penalty rates

• Provide two year of pre-school

• Give workers a tax break

• Cap private health insurance premiums

• End the medicare freeze

• Better regulate power prices

Housing affordability is also a massive issue, especially for younger Australians. This is why Labor has a ten-year plan for affordable housing, to help Australians with the cost of rent and to turbocharge housing construction, building 250,000 houses – Australia’s biggest ever investment.

Our plan includes revamping the Build to Rent scheme, giving institutional investors better tax concessions, encouraging more construction and stimulating the housing market; reforming negative gearing to moderate house price growth and redirect investment into new house builds; and establishing a National Housing Supply Council to provide an ongoing independent advisory body on boosting housing supply.

What would you do to fix transport congestion in the electorate? (Feel free to identify hot-spots and provide costings, if possible.)

Lots of local residents raise traffic congestion with me when I’m out door knocking, making phone calls or holding mobile offices. It’s a real problem that is going to take time to fix. I think we, in Federal Labor, can take a leaf out of Daniel Andrews’ book on this, as his Labor Government has been working harder than any other I’ve seen on the big infrastructure projects that our state and our community needs to keep moving. This is why Federal Labor has pledged to back important projects, such as the Melbourne Rail Loop and Airport rail link. Bill Shorten was also in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago to announce $850million to upgrade congested roads, create new jobs and slash travel times in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Identify your three top concerns on behalf of Hotham constituents.

Without a doubt, the top three issues that come up when chatting to local constituents are Education, Health and the cost of living. These are three issues that I am particularly passionate about as well. Local residents deserve access to world-class hospitals and schools and the essential services we all rely on, without it breaking the bank.

Labor’s Fair Go Action plan is designed to make sure that Australia is taking a lead in the fight against climate change; has hospitals and healthcare facilities with the resources they need; and schools that are preparing our kids for a changing economy, making sure they’re ready to make the best of the opportunities presented to them , no matter what their background is.

Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan is positive and ambitious and doesn’t hide away from the big challenges facing our country and our community.


Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.