Boat people debate swamps forum
A COMMITMENT to fund a feasibility study for a convention centre in Hervey Bay should have stolen the show for sitting member Paul Neville at last night's Meet the Candidates forum at USQ Fraser Coast.
However, the simmering debate about the rights and wrongs of allowing or not allowing immigrants into Australia ultimately distracted the show from its early local focus.
All six candidates in the Hinkler electorate were brought together – probably for the first and possibly only time – in the university lecture hall but with only a small audience to take on board their policies and views, the energy levels in the room rarely soared.
Independents Cy D'Oliveira and Adrian Wone, and Trevor Versace of Family First argued the case for pensioners, the unemployed and traditional families, but without major party backing their aspirations appeared set to remain just that.
Greens candidate Jenny Fitzgibbon appeared to be an affable realist.
Labor's Belinda McNeven again stuck regimentally to the party line apart from an impassioned and resolute response to a question about abortion that brought enthusiastic applause.