Christine Couzens

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Christine Couzens

Hi Christine, Thanks for taking the time to chat to Forte. As a first time candidate how have you found the election campaigning process so far?
I have been involved in many campaigns in the past but as a candidate it has been a bit more personal pressure. But I have enjoyed the process as I do enjoy challengers and personally meeting with people.
Born and bred in Geelong, what excites you most about the region?
Geelong as locals know is a great place to live. Recreational wise as a Geelong West person I have to say Pako is great to have just around the corner. However as a former community worker I know Geelong has lots of great community organisations and people who contribute enormously to our City, especially those in need.
What projects/ changes would you see be completed as Member for Geelong?
The Liberal Government has slashed more than $20 million from the Gordon TAFE. So I am proud that Labor will restore this funding to ensure the Gordon can provide to young people a quality education.
I also think the city centre is slowly dying therefore I will work hard to rejuvenate it through inner city living for example. I am sure lots of students would love the chance to live centrally.
Forte currently goes to around 20 Universities and Tafes, as member for Geelong what would you do to help those who are or plan to be studying?
Like I said I would ensure TAFE funding is fully restored. Public transport is also important for students and I believe a lot more can be done to make buses and trains far more useable for students trying to get to Uni. Jobs are also important for students and as we know Geelong is currently in a jobs crisis with youth unemployment being at a disgraceful 20% and climbing.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to and are you interested in the arts at all?
In recent times I have enjoyed nights at out wonderful performing arts centre which I am pleased to say the Labor Party has committed $30 million to upgrade. I enjoy lots of music especially from the 80s.
There has been much talk about the Live Music scene in Geelong and how it is lacking in support. How do you view the situation and what would you do to help bring it back to life?
From a very practical sense the Labor Party has announced as part of this year’s election policy “Music Works” which is $22.2 million package to boost development of the local rock music industry and support local jobs across Victoria including here in Geelong.
Under the plan if elected the new Labor Government will offer Victoria Rocks grants and assistance to artists, venues and managers, helping local acts break on to the scene, build a career and negotiate the pitfalls of the industry.
Victoria Rocks grants will assist artists embarking on interstate and international tours, support music festivals and community programming, and help provide services such as sound and light engineers, advertising and transport.
Geelong is looking to become the regional events capital of Australia, what events do you see as vital to the town and where would you like to see grow?
Personally I would like to see Geelong have a Conference and exhibition centre on the waterfront that would attract lots of events and in turn create quality jobs for Geelong people.
I think it is important in the arts that we continue to support our GPAC and our local artists, especially those up and coming. It is also important to retain what’s in Geelong like the Cats that attract a huge following in Geelong and great community events like Pako Festa.
For voters who are yet to decide, why should they vote for you and what would you do for the people of Geelong?
I have a strong community background especially in housing and working with disadanvtaged youth. I therefore know that I have the grass roots community experience to represent in Parliament the concerns and issues that affect our community especially those in need.
I have worked for Ian Trezise who is the current Member of Parliament for Geelong over the last 15 years and I know that has given me great experience and insight into what an effective MP can do in working with and for the community.