24 February 2015
Progress: TRRA Inc’s small organizing committee has been inundated with questions to ask candidates and topics for discussion at our ‘Meet the Candidates’ Forum. It will be a difficult job to pick the best ones, but we will also project on screen a list of suggested topics when we open the discussion to questions from the floor.
Nominations: At the time of posting we are aware of four candidates who have nominated and all have agreed to attend with the exception of the Liberal candidate Ken Jordan who says he had a previous engagement at a Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens Progress Association Monthly Meeting. We contacted the President/Secretary of that organisation and he has kindly agreed to move his meeting forward so that all candidates can attend our Forum. We really appreciate this gesture which shows that community groups working together can achieve good outcomes. We know that this will please the local branch of the liberal party, they have already sent out a memo for all members to attend and support their candidate. We are awaiting confirmation of his attendance.
Publicity: We are negotiating with the media to publicize our forum as best we can with our limited resources. Advertising in the print media is very expensive at any time, but we had some drama with the Examiner when we submitted our ad and their legal department classified it as ‘Political Advertising’. This virtually triples the rate, requires money up front and is subject to a different set of rules. There were tense negotiations with senior Fairfax Management in Sydney past the official deadline, but common sense eventually prevailed and we were advertising a ‘Bimonthly meeting’ with ‘guest speakers’! Whatever it takes guys…….
Equity: There must be a question here about the effect this must have on candidates of modest means, This obviously skews the whole thing toward those with the biggest backers, and the press do all right out of it as well. Any wonder election funding is under such close scrutiny around here at the moment and in fact is a hot election issue in itself. Hopefully canny voters will factor this into their thinking when assessing the campaigns.
Preferences: The other issue that TRRA Inc. is very hot on, particularly after the last Council Election is the effect of preferences on the outcome. We have asked one of our experts to address this and we will have a short segment to educate you on How Preferences work in a State Election. We just hope this works out better than Attorney General George Brandis trying to explain what Metadata is, because it is just about as complex, but we sincerely hope you will leave with a better idea of this important aspect of casting your vote.
Etiquette: We are looking forward to a successful forum for the voters and the candidates. We will be running a tight ship, and will be making sure that everyone gets an equal say and candidates and constituents are treated with due respect. Passion will be encouraged, but disrespect or discrimination will not be tolerated.
Support: Please distribute our Flyers, put them up at work or on your notice Board, organize family or interest groups to attend. Political junkies will not miss this event but we hope, that if you care about your future, our local environment and what your potential representatives think, you will come along, listen, learn, and maybe get up and ask that killer question……..