No surprises at candidates forum

CANDIDATES vying to unseat incumbent federal MP Josh Wilson were given the chance to state their case at a forum at Notre Dame uni on Wednesday May 8.

Liberal Nicole Robins and United Australia Party candidate Fatima Lever skipped the talkfest, but One Nation’s Brett Weary, Greens Jesse Hutchinson, the Socialist Alliance’s Sam Wainwright and Western Australia Party hopeful Janetia Knapp put themselves out for the crowd of 120 to scrutinize.

Without Ms Robins there wasn’t much debate and candidates largely spoke in monologues to address issues such as climate change, youth homelessness and underemployment, and education.

Despite an emphasis on younger generations, the audience was largely made up of politely listening older men and women with only the odd interjection.

Easy fight

Mr Wilson found himself in a fairly easy fight and restated well known Labor commitments, positioning his arguments against the absent Liberal party.

Mr Hutchinson and Mr Wainwright were the only candidates to challenge him on Labor’s broad campaign promises, hoping to paint a stark contrast by offering bolder solutions to the country’s challenges.

Their main line of attack centered around removing massive corporate donations from policy making.

Ms Knapp made the same point, but in fewer words.

One Nation’s Brett Weary touted his party’s aggressive view on immigration, yet grumbled about his own troubles securing a visa for his Vietnamese wife.

Mr Weary’s proposal to cap leases in Fremantle to give small business owners a break was met with enthusiastic applause from the entire audience at Tannock Hall.

by Kavi Guppta

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