The people came, but half the candidates did not bother………………
TRRA had a packed house, standing room only at the ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting held in the ‘Crows Nest room’ last night at Nelson Bay Bowling Club. Despite the negative headline in last week’s (03 March 2014) Examiner: Liberal Man Won’t Be At TRRA Forum over 100 concerned constituents turned out to listen to and question the other candidates.
A very informative presentation was given by Nigel Waters explaining the Optional Preferential system for the Lower House and the Optional Preferential Proportional system for the Upper House. PDF Available HERE. Be aware before you vote how to control your preferences in this complex preferential system.
The Forum: Full Presentation in PDF (1.1MB) Available: HERE
A lot of disappointment was expressed at the no – shows Ken Jordan (Lib) Peter Arena CDP, neither of whom provided a convincing reason for their absence. Rochelle Flood (Greens) and Kate Washington (labor) introduced themselves and outlined their vision and priorities for Port Stephens and its residents if they are elected.
If you are elected to represent Port Stephens you may find that your plans and dreams for this area will have to compete, not only with the developer/conservation demands, but more so with your own party’s priorities.
Question 1: How do you propose to compete for major spending proposals for this area and how will you keep our community informed of progress.
In light of the recent Queensland election backlash where one of the election issues was the sale of power infrastructure and the current NSW Government has the sale of power infrastructure as an election proposal.
Question 2: What is your position on the proposed sale of power infrastructure and, if elected, will you support the sale?
The moderator put the written Questions received from the Community Covering:
- Future funding of Yacaaba Centre, Schizophrenia Research Institute etc.
- Future of Tomaree Lodge and Stockton Centre and what will happen to the sites if sold off.
- Sand Mining – Impact on roads and communities
- Campaign funding and preferencing
- Planning reform, community consultation, PAC
- Candidate Integrity – Honesty – Transparency and accountability
- Mobile – TV reception. Internet accessibility etc.
- Support for 355c Committee initiative on fitness and obesity facillities
- Equality – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
Questions were then taken from the floor
The candidates were given the opportunity to have a right of reply and when the Forum closed at 9:30pm and made themselves available for one on ones with the community.
It was a successful evening even without the no-shows. The candidates received plenty of acclamation and the bucket was fairly heavy by the end of the night, thank you all for your support, and thank you to the people that took the trouble to submit questions.
This Statement: was read out at the start of the meeting
- Story about Forum ran in Examiner 27 Jan.
- Formal letters of invitation to all candidates nominated were sent 01 Feb.
- CDP Candidate when he nominated, agreed to attend on phone.
- No reply from Liberal candidate, when contacted by phone 19 Feb said he had not received invitation, we checked, he actually did.
- Liberal Candidate then said he had made another commitment on 09 Feb to go to monthly meeting Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens Progress Assn.
- TRRA contacted President/Sec Trevor Jennings and he agreed to move his meeting to 16 March to solve the problem.
- TRRA advised Liberal Party Campaign Manager and candidate but have received no reply to emails sent since 20 Feb.
- The other dates offered, 25 – 26 March were deliberately unhelpful. (postal Voting etc. closed)
- We have been running successful forums since 2008, the advertising for this forum has cost our members over $500.00 (gold coin in the bucket please!)
Comment and Followup
- We feel that ‘no shows’ disrespect us as constituents, and the other candidates, who have given their time to attend tonight to discuss and debate our issues.
- If these candidates are ignoring us now, before they are elected, what will they do if they are elected?
- We checked today, and the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens Progress Assn. did move their normal monthly meeting back to 09 March. They normally get a roll up of 20, but 16 turned up on the night. Ken Jordan attended and after 30 min of normal business concluded, briefly addressed the gathering. He left 15 minutes later. TRRA would like to formally apologize to the association for any inconvenience we may have caused by them switching dates to accommodate us, and having to reverse that decision.
2015 NSW State Election: Comment: Politics is always difficult……….
Full minutes Of Meeting