Election candidate forum at Northmead

Election candidate forum at Northmead

A Federal election candidates’ forum was held on June 21 at Northmead Uniting Church. Candidates for the electorates of Mitchell and Parramatta addressed voters at the forum, organised by Uniting’s Social Justice Forum and Northmead Uniting Church.

The night was a fantastic opportunity for citizens in both electorates to come along and hear from some of their local candidates ahead of the Federal Election on July 2.

Speakers on the night were Julie Owens (ALP), current member for Parramatta, Alex Hawke (Liberal), current MP for Mitchell, and Phil Bradley, Greens candidate for Parramatta. The other two parties contesting one or both of these seats, the Christian Democratic and Online Direct Democracy parties, were also invited to participate, but didn’t respond.

There was a great turnout of people from both electorates and, when the floor was opened, there was no shortage of thoughtful and diverse questions for the candidates.  Questions were asked about each party’s commitment to increasing foreign aid and supporting refugees, the availability of affordable housing and the elimination of negative gearing. The candidates were also questioned about climate change and renewable energy, investment in science and education, the regulation of corporate tax and political donations and funding for and support of the arts.

Each candidate was given the opportunity to speak to each question and each provided great insight into their party’s stance and policies on each issue. The night finished with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. spoken by forum moderator, Stuart Elliott; “and so we shall do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect and who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud…”

Thanks to the Minister at Northmead Uniting Church, Rev. Niall Reid, and to local community and congregation members who assisted with the setup and the serving of supper and who were integral in making the night a great success. We also thank all three candidates for taking the time to attend the forum and engage with members of their electorates in what is a very busy time in the lead up to the election.

We encourage all people within the NSW/ACT Synod to engage with their local candidates ahead of the election next month and keep an eye out for any candidate forums happening in your local electorate.

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