Mark Vanstone says he loves a challenge.
He also is passionate about health and aged care, education, policing and the environment, all key topics which will be highlighted and discussed during his campaign to secure the seat of Myall Lakes.
The endorsed Labor candidate for Myall Lakes, Mr Vanstone has hit the ground running eager to outline what his party will bring to the region - if successful - following next year's State government election
A registered nurse and nurse educator, Mr Vanstone has, during the past four decades, worked across a variety of health care sectors, including aged care, midwifery, mental health and Aboriginal health in remote communities.
"I feel well equipped to represent the community," Mr Vanstone said.
After completing his general training and obstetrics at Canterbury Hospital, Campsie, he moved into the mental health sector working at the one-time Callan Park Mental Hospital/Rozelle Hospital, Lilyfield.
For a time he worked within the community in the mental health field under the Richmond Report, an inquiry into health services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally Disabled conducted by David Richmond in the early 1980s.
A member since 1986, Mr Vanstone said joining the Australian Labor Party (ALP) was both a family tradition and a natural progression to be aligned with its ethics and beliefs.
"I naturally gravitated towards the ideology that supports social justice for all," he said.
"The Labor Party has always focussed on community issues and values that promote equality, and supports the needs of everybody.
"Historically we have a strong base of supporting public institutions."
"Great institutions like public health and public education, including TAFE, have been allowed to wither on the vine (for the past 11 years).
"My focus will be to see them reset as a community base."
Mr Vanstone said he was frustrated with the state of the health care system locally, which has been largely ignored over many years.
Great institutions like public health and public education, including TAFE, have been allowed to wither on the vine (for the past 11 years).- Labor candidate, Mark Vanstone
"Health care professionals are leaving in droves, paramedics have hit the wall and GPs have closed their books.
"We will take direct action to address the shortfalls in education and health care."
He said an elected Labor Party would dispense with casual teachers and give them the opportunity of full-time employment.
"Teachers will be offered the choice of remaining on the casual books or on the full-time, permanent position."
He will make a strong push to ensure the establishment of an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in Forster-Tuncurry, lobby to upgrade The Lakes Way from Tuncurry to the Pacific Highway, and campaign to have a Westpac Helicopter located permanently in Taree.
Mr Vanstone, who relocated to Forster from the Central Coast more than 20 years ago, described the Myall Lakes as an ideal area in which to raise children.
"It is modern and vibrant enough to have to best of both worlds, and I have an enduring love of our pristine and unique rural and coast environment."
However, Mr Vanstone said he wanted to see this maintained and improved.
"I don't want my grandchildren to inherit a toxic wasteland.
"The flora and fauna has to be protected and that is a major concern for me."
Mr Vanstone is inviting the community to work with him to achieve a better outcome for the future.
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