State Election 2020 – Meet the Candidates Forum


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Are you voting for your state member of Everton or Ferny Grove?

What would you like to ask candidates in the coming State Government Election?

What are their answers?

The Queensland State Government Elections are set state-wide for Saturday 31st October 2020.

The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce Inc. are hosting a ‘Meet the Candidates Forum’ to provide Local Candidates to have their say.

We aim to provide a structured, balanced forum in a friendly atmosphere, for each candidate planning to nominate.

There will be an opportunity offered to attendees to ask questions of candidates only through our Experienced MC, who is not a member of our chamber, so we can remain apolitical. However, attendees are also reminded this is a friendly forum and to refrain from any overly enthusiastic or disruptive behaviour, as this will not be tolerated.

The event will be starting at 6.45am sharp, until around 9am, in the Foundation Room of the Arana Leagues Club (ALC), 247 Dawson Pde Keperra, the ALC also has COVID-19 obligations to follow. Some are:

  • All guests to this Club must sign in at ALC reception & sign out via a ticket system in accordance with Contact Tracing requirements
  • 4 persons seated per round table
  • Plated Meals individually served to table & Coffee/Tea made fresh for you at the bar
  • No loose papers/flyers etc allowed on the table or passed out
  • A maximum of 60 attendees allowed for this size room, so register early

The ALC website is or phone 3354 1333 for their club information.

All attendees MUST register their attendance via the Chamber website  here for this breakfast event, for management & safety purposes. If you are unwell or suspicions of COVID-19, you must not attend. Places are limited due to social distancing so register early, well before 5pm Friday 18/9/20 or you could miss out.


Known Candidates’ Profiles

Everton Candidates


Joanne Dissanayake

Current Home Suburb: Albany Creek
Party affiliation or other: Informed Medical Options Party
Current occupation: Entrepreneur
Background: Joanne was born and raised in York, the heart of Yorkshire, in the North of England and migrated to the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, in late 2003. She became an Australian Citizen in 2006 and finally settled into life in northern Brisbane in late 2008. Joanne’s beautiful children were born in Australia and they have lived in the Everton district of Brisbane for the last 5yrs, with Albany Creek now being called home.
Joanne is an advocate for Natural Health and has been on a healing journey with her own family since 2011. She has witnessed how an organic lifestyle and chemical free home can have a huge benefit for the whole body, including the gut and the brain. Joanne is passionate about Pro Choice, Pro Children and Pro Safety, due to her own daughter’s health issues being caused by vaccines. Joanne will fight for all vaccines to be a choice for the individual, as where there is a risk, there must always be a choice!
Joanne has a degree in Travel and Tourism Business Management and a career that has spanned the globe, with roles across various fields including; hospitality, airline customer service, management on the UK railway, the electrical industry, wellness education and events and more recently qualifying as a Kinesiologist. However, her most important role is being a Mum to two beautiful children.
Due to Joanne’s experience with vaccination, she is determined to ensure a study is conducted between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This is imperative in order to give the public the facts and truth regarding the risks vaccination pose to certain members of the community. Joanne will also push for the removal of fluoride, a known neuro toxin, from the drinking water of the remaining council areas in Queensland.
Joanne is also deeply concerned about the cases of medical kidnap that have taken place in Australia. As a natural practitioner she believes every Australian has the right to access a natural therapy of their choosing, without the risk of interference by the State.
An advocate for informed consent, Joanne believes all individuals should be supported by their medical practitioner. In the same respect, medical practitioners have the right to speak freely of their professional opinion, without the risk of being targeted or removal of their license.
With a belief in ‘Food as Medicine’, Joanne has a passion for organic produce and feels strongly about the removal of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. Joanne will advocate for the safety of our food supply and help with the regeneration of a land severely degraded by large-scale farming.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • No Mandatory Covid 19 Vaccine
  • Encourage & Support small and local business
  • Demand government truth, transparency and accountability in politics

How will you address and deliver these?:

  • I will question the ethics surrounding a mandated and coerced covid-19/coronavirus vaccination program. I would stand strong on the importance of medical freedom of choice and bodily autonomy and question the effectiveness of QLD’s Human Rights Act in accordance with this issue.
  • I will be approachable at a community level to local business owners and intend to hold regular sessions to discuss areas of concern. I would also work closely with the Chamber of Commerce on issues which need to be raised at a Government level, whilst working with all stakeholders in offering solutions and solving problems.
  • I will endeavour to thoroughly investigate every piece of legislation that is put before me, to ensure that my vote is a vote for the people of Queensland. If I feel this is not the case, I will challenge and highlight any conflict of interest demanding accountability by all concerned.


Frank Jordan

Current Home Suburb: South Brisbane
Party affiliation or other: Legalise Cannabis Qld Party
Current occupation: Retired
Background: I attended Lutheran Sunday School as a child. However my personal values are now derived from humanism and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Being an active community member is important to me. I was treasurer of the Lifelong Learning Council Qld for several years, secretary of the Humanist Society of Qld, president of the Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club and currently co-ordinator of a community garden. My passion for the natural world resulted in the book “Create More butterflies”

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • Legalise cannabis and annul the criminal convictions of cannabis users
  • Legalise voluntary assisted dying
  • Urgently provide safe houses for victims of domestic violence

How will you address and deliver these?: My experience is that co-operation and consensus is what gets results not confrontation or fighting. I will need the support of the community to succeed with this approach. My electorate office will ensure this by efficiently and promptly dealing with any local concerns brought to my attention.


Tim Mander MP

Current Home Suburb:
Party affiliation or other: Liberal National Party
Current occupation: State MP for Everton

  • State MP for Everton since 2012
  • Former minister for housing & public works
  • Currently deputy leader of opposition & shadow treasurer
  • Former CEO scripture union QLD
  • Former professional NRL referee

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • $100m upgrade of the Stafford & South Pine road intersection
  • Funding for “The Nest” and “ORCA” programs
  • Funding for local sporting clubs infrastructure

How will you address and deliver these?: They are election commitments so if successful at forming government they are guaranteed.

Helen Rath

Current Home Suburb: McDowall
Party affiliation or other: Queensland Greens
Current occupation: Teacher – High school
Background: I have been a teacher for 20 years and I have been married to a Soldier in the Australian Army for 12 years. I have 2 young children 10 and 7 that attend McDowall State School. I have always been passionate about the environment and social justice issues. I like to think of myself as part of the logical left. I’m data driven, I respect science, facts, worlds best practice. I don’t follow the ideology, I look for what works.
I love reading non-fiction and some of best reads over the last few years include “Sapien,” “Lost Connections” and “The War on Normal People” by UBI advocate Andrew Yang.
I also listen to a wide variety of voices from the perceived right to the perceived left. Whoever is willing to cut through the ideology and try to speak the truth and search for ways to make the world better for all, not just the few.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • Public education: Truly free. Increase funding so public schools and unshackle teachers from the cost and heartbreak of teaching in an underfunded system.
  • Make the mining companies give back, instead of hording wealth. Put that money back into our community.
  • Sustainable planning: Protecting public space; listen to the community; infrastructure that’s not an afterthought.

How will you address and deliver these?: Increase the Queensland government’s share of the needs-based Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) funding to 80% and abolish all school service fees, excursion costs and textbook costs. Establish a student technology fund to cover the costs of laptops. Creating an additional $250 million yearly school infrastructure fund to upgrade existing state schools and build new schools in areas of need.
We do this by increasing mining royalties on coal and minerals to 35% to raise billions of dollars for our schools, hospitals, roads! We don’t need royalty deals, and mining companies – with their 128 billion in profits over 5 years – do not need government subsidies.
Sustainable planning: The communities must be able to actively contribute to the planning process in a manner that is genuine, effective, inclusive, and allows the affordable and convenient appeal of decisions we do not agree with. Fix the website which is currently a rabbit hole and allow us to set up alerts for our local area.

Ferny Grove Candidates

Joel Colls

Current Home Suburb: Ferny Grove
Party affiliation or other: Queensland Greens
Current occupation: Student
Background: I’ve lived in Ferny Grove for over 20 years, attending local state primary and high schools as well as working locally.
I’ve watched our electorate change, and seen our community grow and change within it. But I haven’t seen our local representatives present a plan for an exciting and compelling future.
I’m campaigning for more jobs and better essential services for Ferny Grove. Before this pandemic, Queensland already had the worst unemployment numbers Australia wide, especially for young people. Across the country, more young Australians are unemployed now than at any time before December 1993. We have a bold plan to create thousands of job across the state by investing in publicly-owned renewable energy and public housing. We will fully fund our school and create genuinely free public healthcare with more doctors, nurses and bulk-billed GP Clinics. Our policies will be funded by making big mining corporations, banks and developers pay their fair share.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • Transparency in what our local elected officials do. People are tired of the Liberal and Labor parties taking cash-for-access meetings
  • Truly free schooling and investment in education for more funding
  • Free public transport. In times of a recession, a stimulus to the economy in the form of free transport would take cars off the road saving the environment

How will you address and deliver these?: If elected, they’ll be no cash-for-access meetings under my tenure. The Greens as a blanket rule don’t accept corporate donations or donations from vested interests. We can’t be bought, we’re run entirely for the community. The LNP and Labor have taken millions and millions of dollars in donations over 10 years, lets hold our politicians to better standards.
We can fund truly free public schools and free public transport by keeping mining royalties in Queensland hands and taxing developers to pay their share in what we are calling a “legacy fee”. If a developer wants to make profits from our neighbourhoods by building whatever their vision is, they can afford to be for vital services for Queensland. Free public transport can be possible by harnessing this money into vital projects to better support Queensland, instead of leaving them in the hands of the mining billionaires who won’t spend in Queensland.

Mark Furner MP

Current Home Suburb: Cashmere
Party affiliation or other: Queensland Labor
Current occupation: Member for Ferny Grove
Background: I was previously elected to the senate representing Queensland and served on committees covering the economy aged care, health, environment and defence. I grew up in Chermside and moved to MBRC – formerly Pine Rivers – 35 years ago. Elected to Ferny Grove in 2015 and was appointed chair of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. I subsequently held portfolios in Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and am currently the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • Road infrastructure
  • Education infrastructure
  • Completing the Ferny Grove Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

How will you address and deliver these?: As an active member of the government I will continue advocating for my constituents and will fight to deliver the infrastructure we need which will support jobs in Ferny Grove. I have a strong record of delivery for the Ferny Grove electorate through two terms as the member delivering funding for roads schools and public transport and will build on these achievements in the future.

Chris Lehmann

Current Home Suburb: Wavell Heights
Party affiliation or other: Liberal National Party
Current occupation: Electrical Contractor
Background: I’ve come to know a lot of people in our community and through hard work have set up and run successful businesses that has allowed me to put back into that community. I’ve lived or worked for over 30 years in this community and raised my 4 children here.
I know what it means to create jobs for apprentices and tradespeople, I’ve been able to place more than 100 local school students in work experience, and I’ve provided financial and in-kind support to many local schools and community groups over the years.
Vocational Training is a passion of mine and our business has won Local, State, and National awards for training excellence. I also sit on a number of Policy Committees for Vocational Training. I’m also the Vice President of our Industry Association Master Electricians where I have worked to improve the status of our industry and to mentor others.
I have made a concerted effort throughout my life to “DO” and to leave things better than I found them, in essence being a tradesperson is the exercise of doing exactly that. Sometimes things cannot be fixed but they can always be made better and where they cannot be fixed they can be rebuilt by people who have the skill and energy to do so .
I now want to take my life, business, community and policy experience into our Parliament and represent the community.
I feel strongly that I can make things better in Ferny Grove and contribute my voice towards making Queensland better as a whole.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:
Labor’s been in Government for nearly 30 years and Queensland is going backwards economically.
Before Coronavirus Queensland had the worst unemployment in Australia and highest bankruptcies. We are going to need different skills to get us out of this recession than the ones that got us in it.
As part of the LNP team I will:

  • Build new and better roads
  • Back business and local jobs
  • Rebuild Queensland’s economy

How will you address and deliver these?: Using my life, work, business and policy experience I will advocate for all of the citizens of our electorate in the Queensland Parliament.
I will attend community forums and groups personally and seek feedback directly from the people at the grass roots in our community to ensure that your concerns are taken forward to the departments and the organs of government that deliver our services.
I will make easing the congestion on Samford Rd my number one infrastructure priority. Government mandated growth with an absence of planning on roads and public transport has led to the gridlock on Samford Rd we have today.
I will use my proven record in business to promote training and employment in Ferny Grove. I will be your seat at the table in the discussions to rebuild Queensland’s economy in the wake of this recession.

Susan Pini

Current Home Suburb: Keperra
Party affiliation or other: Informed Medical Options Party
Current occupation: Entrepreneur – Holistic Art Therapist
Background: Small business owner, Holistic Art Therapist, Activist & Freedom of Choice Ambassador
Susan was born in Brisbane QLD, in 1985. She received her Dip in Holistic Integrative Creative Art Therapy through Mind Body Education and is a member of International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine, CMA, IMTA, IIFCT.
Living 20 years of her life in the Ferny Grove district has provided Susan with a great insight in to the needs and goals of the community. Her passion is being a mother to four thriving children who inspire her to live a vibrant healthy lifestyle. She owes it to her children to secure their future,
“for the visions we offer our children shape the future of all mankind”,
Susan is empowered to speak up for all living beings that do not have a voice. She is compassionate, caring and fiercely inspired when it comes to matters of Indigenous culture, mental health, natural therapies, the reduction of environmental toxicity, freedom of choice and the support of small business owners and infrastructure in the community.
Advocating for pro choice for all healthcare options for where there is harm there should always be choice.
Pro choice for our children, pro choice for our birthing mothers, pro choice for our indigenous people, pro choice for all people.
Susan is Inspired to see the natural therapies industry be more affordable and a readily available option within our healthcare system. This is inspired from personal experiences and one of her children having long term health challenges and working as a holistic therapist in the wellness industry.
Susan wants to see more sustainable employment through small business growth, creating stronger community connections
Ferny Grove is a thriving glorious place to live let’s keep it strong, Chemical free and a safe place for our children’s future.
A personal win for Susan was when she worked tirelessly along side other concerned community members and environmental activists, to save and protect a thriving ecosystem Wahminda Pond. Wahminda Pond was about to be destroyed by the local council without proper communication or jurisdiction with the residence and community. The community, understanding the importance of their biosphere, stood up against unnecessary development and were successful in saving it. This was a proud moment for Susan in being a part of the strength in community action.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • No mandatory or coerced Covid-19 vaccination
  • Support for small business and investigation into the effects of Covid-19 restrictions
  • Advocate for easier access to natural therapies, as a way of supporting health and wellbeing within the community

How will you address and deliver these?: I will lobby to ensure members of the community are not penalised if they choose not to take a covid-19 vaccination. It is important that health freedom of choice is retained as a basic human right, allowing people to go about their daily lives without bullying or coercion.
We need to localise our economies and provide more support for local businesses. I will liaise with small business and local stakeholders in assessing the effects of covid-19 restrictions and work to reverse regulation which is hindering the ability for local businesses to operate effectively and profitably.
Many families are now finding success in the use of natural therapies. I will support local practitioners in bringing an awareness of the benefits of these services, as well as lobbying for financial support allowing all community members to experience an alternative to pharmaceutical medications.

Elton Williams

Current Home Suburb: Ferny Grove
Party affiliation or other: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
Current occupation: Business Owner
Background: Emigrating from South Africa as a child, Elton has lived in Brisbane since the early 1980s; attending school in Holland Park before traveling the world as a scuba-diving instructor. Since then, he has held roles in sales, management, and business development. Elton has lived in the local area for 11 years and has recently settled in Ferny Grove with his partner and 3 school-age children. Elton has a genuine passion for the environment and feels strongly that we need a clean, healthy environment, balanced with our need for farming, mining, and business. Elton believes in jobs for Australians first, with a focus on creating jobs up the chain from manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure, through to retail and tourism. Large scale infrastructure such as dams and redirection of water is high on his agenda. Elton strongly supports farmers managing their own land and feels that our water resources should not be purchased by overseas investors and should only be available for acquisition by people with a direct interest in using them.
Affordable energy comes from real science and Elton firmly believes that we need to step away from the hype and move towards energy security with a common sense approach. Elton supports the need to implement low cost, reliable, power sources, to help Australian families and our manufacturing industries to be competitive on a global scale.

What are your three top priorities for your Electorate?:

  • Capacity and capability of schools to handle the growth of the area
  • Traffic issues; bottlenecks that slow traffic down and cause major congestion at peak times and on weekends
  • Small and Medium business; focus on helping businesses grow, hire and retain staff. We need to reduce the costs of doing business and encourage innovation

How will you address and deliver these?: I will work with all sides of politics to come up with a plan that looks at our schools, their infrastructure requirements over the next decade and how this will affect the surrounding neighbourhoods in terms of development, traffic and public transport requirements.
A holistic approach and strategy for the area is needed; future planning and design of roads and public transport; rather than playing catch-up with infrastructure, we need to be more forward-thinking.
This will help businesses to plan for their investment in the area.
I will work with anyone who has a common sense approach to improving the lifestyle of people in the electorate. We need a plan to get out of this downtown and small/medium business is part of the solution. We need innovation, development of key infrastructure and public transport. We need to make our area a magnet for business and for education.