Whilst most families travel during the holidays, the Lambert family have been doing things a bit differently.
The Naracoorte Herald reports, as the kids happily hang out at the local playground, their father Rikki is deep into his political campaign. He has been touring rural South Australia to let people know that he will be working in their best interests if elected as a Senator for the Australian Conservatives.
“I was speaking to a voter in the Riverland, and he was telling me that his neighbour recently sold his property to a Chinese investor,” Mr Lambert said over a coffee at the Kincraig Hotel.
“And this man noticed that soon, there were CCTV cameras, some of which could look into his property.
“He asked me, ‘How can they do this? How is this allowed?'”
‘They’ being the Australian government, with Mr Lambert firm in his belief that more should be done to stop Chinese corporations from buying up land.
Mr Lambert is aware that a statement like this instantly causes cries of ‘Sinophobia’ from political parties that lean left, but he takes great pains to point out why he and others are concerned about our neighbours purchasing resources.
“If we (Australians) want to buy land in say, Britain, the United States, Canada, etcetera, we’re allowed to, and they’re allowed to buy land here,” he explains.
“But we’re not allowed to buy land in China. Why?”
The key concern that Mr Lambert and the Australian Conservatives have with Chinese businesses owning Australian land is that many of them are in fact state-owned enterprises, or companies where the government has a majority interest.
“This is effectively another government buying our water resources and food supplies. We (the Australian Conservatives) are not totally against China purchasing land, but we would like to see policies that have Australians still own a majority stake in purchases – that China and Australia need to work in partnerships,” he said.
As Mr Lambert is a lawyer by trade, it might be hard to grasp at first as to why he cares so much about agriculturalists in regional communities. But rather than being a city slicker, or one of the “Eastern overlords” as he refers to politicians who cling to their rich coastal seats, Mr Lambert grew up in the humble town of Berri.
As an Australian Conservative Mr Lambert will be fighting for more young people to get jobs in trades, keeping skills in local communities and fighting against ‘the brain drain’.
“We want to shake up the approach to education. It’s still very clear that university is considered ‘first prize’, whilst TAFE and apprenticeships are considered ‘second prize’,” Mr Lambert said.
“But apprentices and those with a trade earn money sooner, and are successful business people. Many university graduates meanwhile still don’t have a job, and have a HELP debt.”
As part of their plan for more apprenticeships, the Australian Conservatives want to make it easier for businesses to hire young people by removing bureaucratic red tape.
The Australian Conservatives also want better aged care facilities for our senior population, and welcomed the Aged Care Royal Commission.
They also want to improve the infrastructure of rural Australia, including more affordable housing, and more skilled healthcare staff in hospitals.
“We (the Conservatives) are critical when governments have a city-centric focus,” Mr Lambert explained.