Brisbane Mayoral Candidate: Ben Pennings

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Pennings’ main issue is transportation. Photo: Supplied.

TESSA FOX

Greens Brisbane mayor candidate, Ben Pennings will focus on transport and reducing congestion, arguably the most important issues for voters.

Understanding Brisbane has the most expensive public transport in Australia, if elected, Pennings aims to make this more affordable.

Seniors and pensioners will benefit from free transport and health care cardholders will travel on concession fares.

Aiming to reduce the amount of cars on the road and expenses of all Brisbane residents, council will fund Translink to return to 2011 prices.

Reducing congestion and also improving safety for cyclists, Pennings said he would increase the number of bike lanes in the city and separate them from cars.

He will particularly focus on the dangerous Stanley Street and Annerley Road intersection in Woolloongabba.

Re-purposing money spent on executive bonuses, Pennings will also scrap registration fees for CityCycle and enable the use of debit cards when accessing bikes.

Free riding times will be extended from 30 to 45 minutes under a Greens local government.

Pennings has a green vision of Brisbane, with his plan to upgrade walkways, bikeways and car parks with solar paneled roofing.

Shaded, solar fitted bus stations will also power new electric buses.

Pennings wants to see Brisbane coal dust free and plans to take action on the pollution from coal trains.

He says he will also prohibit coal seam gas fracking in proximities affecting Brisbane drinking water.

Addressing the increase in housing prices, Pennings proposed a rates discount of $150 each quarter for owners who rent out a room to non-family members.

If elected, Pennings said donations from anyone with an invested interest in council would not be accepted.

Any donations over $1000 will also be declared.

As a social scientist specialising in crime prevention, Pennings’ has previously worked with The Big Issue Magazine, White Ribbon Day, Men Against Sexual Assault and Diverse Students Safe Schools.

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