Just over a week out from the federal election, nine of the 13 candidates in the race for the Mallee dropped into town to answer questions from the Maryborough community.
The Q&A session, hosted at the Maryborough Golf Club by the Committee for Maryborough on Tuesday, saw candidates answer six questions on local issues collated by the committee from a survey.
The forum was attended by independent candidates Jason Modica, Ray Kingston and Cecilia Moar, Labor ’s Carole Hart, The Nationals’ Anne Webster, Citizens Electoral Council’s Chris Lahy, United Australia Party’s Rick
Millar, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Dan Straub and a surprise appearance was made by Liberal candidate Serge Petrovich.
The questions were submitted prior to the forum and hot topics included mental health, youth support programs, office locations and social and economic disadvantage.
Candidates were put under the pump with just one minute allowed per answer.
One of the first questions asked was what each candidate’s plans are for redressing social and economic disadvantage in Maryborough, and what the biggest roadblocks to progress in this area are.
Mr Modica said adequate services and a plan for the future is what keeps people in rural towns.
“Generating a new vision for Maryborough will take a community effort. We’ll need to work together with the three tiers of government, and business and industry. We need to acknowledge the shortcomings of the area and then be prepared to come together with a plan and work towards achieving it,” he said.
Mr Petrovich said “there’s a lot of negativity about Maryborough and the Mallee”, but focussing on improving strengths will lead the way to a better future.
“I love Maryborough and the Mallee and I don’t want to change them. What I do want is to create more opportunities for people,” he said.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, May 10