& DISTRICT COMMUNITY
On March 16th, we invited candidates for the coming State elections to tell us about their policies and visions, and to respond to questions given in advance and arising from the floor.
The candidates who came and talked to the BDCA were:-
The questions raised by us were:-
Do you think that Democracy ends at the ballot box?
In an election campaign we think you are listening to our issues, but when the elections are over, how do you plan to dialogue with the voters?
you really listened to constituents so far in your election campaign,
or simply informed them of what you think?
How and with whom will you confer?
In our district,
some issues were seemingly thrust upon us. How would you have done
things differently in regard to:-
New / Proposed Local Issues
o Berowra Railway Car Park has recently been increased after being short changed years earlier. However the car park is overflowing already so what is the plan for the future? The issues are :-
o Berowra is likely to be cut off during a bush fire, and currently Storey Park in Asquith is the designated Safe Zone for us - a considerable distance; what will you do to secure a safer situation closer to home?
has the money gone? It appears that GST and all other revenues taxes
(payroll, tolls, stamp duty, etc) continue to roll in, but expenditure
has not been made North of the Harbour. It seems to us that resigning
MPs continue to enjoy highly prized retirement benefits, which get
Sydney to Brisbane Highway what is the outlook for the completion of the roadway making it safe by separating North and Southbound traffic.
Immigration settlement - while a function of Federal government NSW
takes its share of migrants and State Government seem intent on providing
low cost housing in and around Sydney. Is this a fair and equitable
solution or should we be developing outlying centres such as Bathhurst,
Tamworth, etc to house migrants.
The forgotten members of society - the homeless, the very elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, and others: What could or should government do about these non-voting 'forgotten' or silent minorities?
After brief introductions, each candidate was given about 15 minutes to state her/his case and then answer some questions. Each was expected to address the questions above, which had been previously circulated.
In the event, Matt Kean seemed to confine himself initially to an election speech. Nick Car began to address the very first circulated question, but then went off onto something else and did not answer it. Toni Wright-Turner addressed all of the 'Candidates Issues' listed above, and seemed aware that the BDCA is concerned about voters being consultated by candidates both before and after the elections as part of the democratic process. It could be that she had looked at the first page of this webiste.
In all we have to thank the candidates for coming along, and for giving us the chance to meet them and hear them first hand.