Click or flick across for photos of the candidates involved.
EIGHT political hopefuls were quizzed on broadband, health and transport issues at a forum for Indi candidates at Benalla last night.
With more than 100 people turning up, the event suggested electors like to see and hear candidates “live” instead of relying solely on media reports of national campaigns.
On Thursday the same eight will be at Wangaratta when the North East Border Trades and Labor Council hosts a similar forum at the CWA Hall, Templeton Street at 6.30pm.
Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella had given notice she would be absent due to a prior commitment and won’t be there on Thursday, either, as there’s a Liberal Party launch in Melbourne.
Last night’s forum at the Benalla Performing Arts Centre was organised by Women’s Health Goulburn North East.
Its chief executive Susie Reid was pleased so many attended.
“From what I’m hearing here, they’re very interested in the need for Indi to be a swinging electorate,” she said.
“Being a safe Labor or Liberal seat doesn’t help the constituents much these days.”
Some questioners stressed the need for all areas to have equal access to broadband communications, and others raised the need for better transport infrastructure.
And there was a lot of discussion around the carbon tax and climate change, Ms Reid said.
All candidates agreed there should be a bipartisan approach to asylum seekers.
Those present were Labor’s Robyn Walsh; the Greens’ Jenny O’Connor; independents Cathy McGowan, Alan Lappin, Jennifer Podesta and James Houston; Rise Up Australia Party’s Bob Dudley, and the Palmer United Party’s Bob Murphy.
Katter Australia Party’s Lee Luvara was absent but will be represented on Thursday by his party’s Senate candidate, Robert Danieli.
A free bus to the Wangaratta forum will run from Crystal Court in South Street, Wodonga at 5.30pm with bookings on 0417 543 585.