Jackie Watts 訪問,墨爾本市councillor候選人

與其說是訪問,其實是與一位智慧老人對談,交流,學習。筆者不是記者做採訪,又不是在做政治評論報導。咖啡店外,錄蔭樹下,這是一場沒有硬目標的談天說地。整個交流中筆者最喜歡的答案是「不知道」,Jackie對於某些議題直認未有解決方案,筆者覺得反而領會了更多。

筆者為訪問預先準備了問題,但因為剛剛訪問了來自同一競選團隊的市長候選人Gary Morgan(見另一文章),兩位政見當然接近,所以不如了解一下其他地方。Jackie 來自教育界,已經做了三屆共九年councillor,雖然其競選團隊沒有政黨支持,但她自我透露是工黨背景。

本訪問承接之前有關候選人與共產黨聯繫的問卷調查(見另一文章)。可能因為如此,Jackie主動提起六四事件。三十年前在北京發生的一場運動以流血收場,遠在澳洲的人也關心關注,我們當時的總理Bob Hawke(1929-2019)作出了一個著名的演説,既沒有用經過官腔修飾的詞語,只淚流被面地以顫抖的聲音,赤裸裸地指出中共步兵向學生開槍,坦克車把屍體碾成肉醬的事實。剛巧Bob Hawke去世及六四三十周年,澳洲傳媒再重提舊事。當時Jackie更提出紀念六四三十周年動議(motion),不過受到現任市長,及其他包括亞裔的councillors反對,而且經過報紙記者查詢,六四三十周年當日墨爾本市council亦主動聯絡過中國大使館。Jackie之後唯有透過以個人聲明讓紀念六四三十周年記錄在案。

「這是自我審查,利用此心理去管冶。」最近選舉臨近,Jackie又動議市長及councillor候選人披露捐款來源及其政黨聯繫,又受到反對。候選團隊中只有其Morgan-Watts團隊,Team Arron Wood及綠黨自願在網上公開捐款來源。這個系列做有關CCP聯繫的問卷調查,的確受讀者關心關注,但不少候選人卻反民意而行。筆者收到只三成候選人回覆,Jackie直指太少了。「選民應該知道誰會影響我的政見,候選人主動透露有如防疫消毒!更可阻止貪污,是選民保護自己的方法。」

墨爾本巿中心公寓

不少香港人買了墨爾本市中心的公寓。發展商慣用的銷售方案包括代管Airbnb以提高租金回報,及預留作日後移民落腳之處。Airbnb製造大量噪音,垃圾滋擾,甚至治安問題、外國投資者不租出不自住又造成空置浪費。Jackie一向的取態及今次競選的政綱都聚焦在活化空置單位。而且council一向都支持理想居住環境,所以打擊Airbnb 。Jackie更直指發展商給投資者的信息是錯誤的,公寓的主要功能是作為居所,她會建議州政府加強立法管制。

希望

今天的環境很困難,Jackie覺得希望會來自轉變,疫情沒有奪去我們原來的本事和優勢,只是時間問題總會過去。更重要是信任,尤其對年輕人的信任,減少官僚管冶,簡化council各項審批程序,讓市民自己解決問題,相信我們既有的精明能幹。

Jackie當了councillor九年,工作上並沒有來自同一陣線的市長護航,說是單打獨鬥並不為過。但仍然再捲土重來,或想辦法繞過困難達到目的,盡其崗位的責任。儘管未必完全同意其政見或人生觀,但她的態度是值得香港人參考的。

後記:本訪問記錄了被訪者個人立場,並不代表筆者或本網誌。筆者支持多元聲音及意見,乃是選擇澳洲為家的主要原因。

  1. 《2020年Council 選舉》(包括候選人對筆者問卷回應)
  2. 《訪問香港人Raymond Lai,Manningham Council Waldau Ward 候選人》
  3. 《Gary Morgan訪問,墨爾本市長候選人》

我的網誌網址及其他文章的連結。歡迎分享連結,並請like and follow 我網誌的Facebook Page ,多謝支持。


I asked for an interview however it is more a chat, exchange and a learning experience. I ain’t journalist by trade and there is no set mission that this interview must accomplish. Sitting under a tree outside a coffee shop, I see and hear wisdom. My favourite answer is “I don’t know” where I actually learn more.

I came prepared with questions, however having just completed another interview with Gary Morgan from the same team, they will of course have many in common, hence I will seek to understand more from other areas. Jackie has experience with the education sector, has served 3 terms over 9 years in the council. Her team isn’t supported by a political party. However Jackie has disclosed her background with the Labour Party.

This interview came after the survey concerning our candidates’ CCP affiliations. Hence I ain’t surprised that Jackie brought up the Tiananmen Square incident, which had a bloody end. It had raised concerns and awareness among Australians when it happened 30 years ago. Our then prime minster Bob Hawke (1929-2019) delivered a famous speech, which wasn’t crafted diplomatically, and spoke with a cracking voice with tears running down his cheek. He pointed out that Chinese foot soldiers shot students who were also ran over by tanks. Last year Bob passed away and it was also the 30 years anniversary. Jackie raised a motion to commemorate it but it wasn’t supported by the Lord Mayor nor the councillors, including those with an Asian ethnicity. The press also revealed that the council had made contact with the Chinese Consulate on June 4th. Jackie later made a personal statement to be put on the record.

“It’s self-censorship, it’s a psychological management.” Approaching the election, Jackie put up two motions to call for disclosure of the political donations and affiliations, and again they weren’t supported. Among the teams running, only Jackie’s team Morgan-Watts, Team Arron Wood and the Greens have voluntarily disclosed online. The survey conducted through this blog series was also well received by the readers, however our candidates apparently don’t understand its significance. The survey received a 30% response rate, Jackie says it’s low. “Voters should know what influences being exerted on me … it’s like disinfectant … it can prevent corruptions, transparency is our defence.”

Well, most of our candidates won’t come clean, not voluntarily at least.

About City Apartments

Many Hong Kongers bought apartments. The developers often promote Airbnb as means to maximise rental income, and as a future home after their migration. Airbnb brings noise, rubbish and even crime issues. While investors don’t rent out nor live in their apartments, increase vacancy and wastage. Jackie’s stance is to make Melbourne more liveable and simply thinks the developers delivered the wrong message. She will lobby the state government to increase legislation.

Hope

We are in a difficult time, Jackie believes we must acknowledge that change is happening, to also acknowledge that we are smart and savvy, and that’s what made this city successful. The pandemic didn’t take that away. It’s more important to have faith in people, especially on our young people, the council should get out of their way, like making our permit process easier, so people can look after their prosperity.

Jackie has been a councillor for 9 years. Despite not having another team member elected as the Lord Mayor nor the councillor, she continues to work around the problem alone, fulfilling her role. I may not agree with her policies entirely but I believe she can be a reference to fellow Hong Kongers in our political climate today.

Published by Lok

Middle-aged entrepreneur who is always looking for inspirations to create. 中年有機, 好戲在後頭! 小弟一把年齡,驚覺中年先有機,生活無可避免改變,現在誠實面對 。每日繼續打拼,尋找靈感,堅持去創造。

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