Following today’s announcement from the National Party, it appears likely that both Coalition partners will each stand separate candidates to run in Throsby at the next Federal Election.
A competitive election that engages the local community is evidence of a healthy democracy, and I welcome that.
Whether a Liberal or a National candidate - or both - I look forward to promoting the achievements of the Rudd Government and the policies that will deliver a strong economy and much needed reforms to health, education, retirement savings and infrastructure investment.
Throsby is one of the more diverse electorates in the country. It extends from some of the more disadvantaged suburbs on the coast to the more prosperous towns like Bowral and Moss Vale and includes some of the unique historic villages along the Hume Highway.
No matter who wins the coming election contest in Throsby, the successful candidate will need the capacity to represent the entire electorate; those employed at the steel works, working on the farm or serving up a cappucino in the local café; those who are unemployed, studying or enjoying their retirement.
Some questions for the other candidates:
Do they support the reintroduction of WorkChoices? Will they vote to bring it back - in whole or in part?
Do they support Labor’s plan to reform the health and hospital system to deliver more resources, more doctors, more nurses and reduce waiting times?
Do they support reforming the tax system to reduce the rate of company tax and ensure that big resource companies pay their fair share for profiting from the mineral wealth of our country?
Do they support the plan to improve superannuation retirement savings for all Australians?
Do they support the National Broadband Network; a critical piece of economic infrastructure that will deliver high speed broadband to households and businesses, including the 67% of home based small businesses in the region?
Real democracy demands a real contest of ideas - not Tony Abbott’s cynical brand of opposition for opposition’s sake.
Let’s hope the Coalition candidates – whoever they might be – are up to the challenge and deliver the contest of ideas our electorate deserves.
Labor Candidate for Throsby