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Political Profle: Linda Scott makes her run

Australian Labor Party candidate for the seat of Sydney, Linda Scott, believes the 2007 NSW state election will be a difficult one reports Reem Aigharabali in the South Sydney Herald of March 2007.

“It is going to be a very tough fight for Labor. It will be a very close election,” she says.

Scott believes that industrial relations will be the critical issue in the forthcoming election: “I think that is the area that provides the starkest divide between the parties,” she says.

Her involvement in grass-roots politics began early, growing up in an activist family in Canberra. She became involved with the Labor party while she was at the University of NSW. “What encouraged me to get involved in this particular election is that Morris Iemma came straight out of being Health Minister and had a good understanding of what we needed to do to help mental health problems in the state and also domestic violence. Those are exactly the problems I am interested in and exactly the kind of issues I would like to see real thinking done about and some work into helping,” says the 28-year-old clinical psychologist.

She is proud of her work in Chippendale where her submission to secure a park was successful.

“I think we need to work very hard to ensure that everyone views Chippendale as a residential suburb and not as part of the CBD. I believe that very passionately,” she says.

She points out the other critical issue is climate change:

“Labor has maintained for a decade that it would sign the Kyoto protocol and we have had a period of John Howard’s inaction on climate change. They have now a thrown together water plan that has not been clearly thought out at all,” she says.

A passionate supporter of the injecting room in Kings Cross she says: “I think the Self Injection Centre is one of the smartest kinds of harm minimisation strategies and if you speak to residents most agree that it is a very sensible initiative.”

She brushes away suggestions about trying to clean up the Cross but believes that a balance needs to be found. “Kings Cross is a wonderful, vibrant, thriving place. I do think however we need to keep in mind that it is a residential area and we need to find a sensible balance in the Cross between maintaining its history and vibrancy and at the same time maintaining its residential amenity,” she says.

A former employee of the Bureau of Crime and Statistics, her research on alcohol-related crime led her to believe that many assaults are alcohol-related and closely linked to late trading premises. “We do not want to sanitise the Cross but we need to sensibly stem the increase in the tide of late trading premises,” she says.

“I think the people of Sydney are under represented,” she says. “I will be working very hard to make sure residents are taken seriously.”

Source: South Sydney Herald March 2007