by Ebony Raymond
The SE Voice
Former SA Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras is running for a seat in the Upper House with his political party Real Change SA and is determined to make a difference.
Mr Pallaras has nine policies which apply state-wide and is keen to reach out to regional areas including Mount Gambier, speaking to The SE Voice regarding several of his policies.
Mr Pallaras said domestic violence was out of control and he intended to repair laws to make South Australia a safer state for women by addressing the issue to strengthen intervention orders and remove the perpetrator – not the victim – from the scene.
Mr Pallaras said educative programs should be introduced in schools to improve children’s understanding of the problem along with a highly responsive police force with specially trained units to prevent further deaths.
The former Director of Public Prosecutions also plans to create major change to proof laws in rape trials and a fairer criminal justice system for women, which he said was unaffordable, inaccessible and failed women.
The treatment of the elderly is another issue Mr Pallaras wants to address because he sees the elderly often treated as “second-class citizens,” with the expense of aged care homes and reports of beatings and sexual assaults.
“I want to make affordable healthcare within reach, particularly of our elderly, because at the moment they are not being treated well or with respect,” he said.
Mr Pallaras also wants to provide South Australians with a vastly improved health system appropriate to a first-class standard of living.
“Every day we hear reports of nurses collapsing from exhaustion, ambulance drivers working double shifts or ambulances being ramped outside of hospitals, not enough hospital beds,” he said.
“There’s children being sent interstate because we do not have the equipment.
“That’s not good enough.”
In regards to climate change, Mr Pallaras believes reducing the carbon footprint is crucial and South Australia needed to move towards renewable energy as soon as possible.
He said global warming was happening, therefore action must be taken and the pathway created by scientists out of this dilemma must be followed.
Mr Pallaras supports the City of Mount Gambier Strategic Plan of 2020 to 2024, in particular the emphasis on difficulties regional people have with accessing specialist health services.
He said the youth unemployment rate in regional areas needed addressing, including assistance for the unemployed and opportunities for young people leaving school and graduating tertiary education.
He also supported council’s attitude of Mount Gambier being open for business and believes revitalising the CBD is important for locals and tourism.
“I think Mount Gambier has a second-to-none opportunity to really benefit from money spent on tourism,” he said.
“There’s so many interesting places in the region to go to.”
Mr Pallaras also highlighted unsafe roads in the region needed attention, including the Southern Ports and the Princes highways, which ranked as the second and eighth riskiest roads across the statea.
Mr Pallaras has been a criminal lawyer for 45 years and said running in the Upper House gave him the opportunity to have a major impact as an independent.
He believes South Australia needs an independent voice and wants to give everyone a seat at the table where decisions are made.
He wants to see accountability, responsibility and honesty return to parliament and politicians voting for what is in the best interests of the community, rather than just their own.
“In the Upper House, what I have got is the opportunity to hold the balance of power, which, if I achieve that, I will have a significant say in what laws get passed and what laws do not get passed,” he said.
“I’m neither Labor nor Liberal and I think that’s my best point.”