The Candidates of Fraser – Stateline (ACT Edition) 02/11/2007

PHILIP WILLIAMS: First the Federal election. Shortly Michael Brissenden with day 19 of the campaign and the action is hotting up. But we begin with our local coverage, and this week we profile the Fraser electorate and meet the candidates. The commentator is Crispin Hull.

CRISPIN HULL: Since the ACT lost its third seat, the seat of Fraser has been the seat with the most voters of any seat or electorate in the Australia.

At the moment it’s held by Bob McMullan on a very safe margin of 13.3 per cent. The Liberal Party is standing Troy Williams.

Now Troy Williams is probably seen as the poster boy of the Liberal Party because his posters are all over town. But fact is people do not vote on the basis of posters.

The other candidates – the Democrats are standing, now the Democrat vote collapsed in 2004 so you wouldn’t expect the Democrats to get much more than 1 or 2 per cent.

The Citizens’ Electoral Council is again standing here as it’s standing in quite a number of seats around the place. Again, this is a shrapnel sort of party with a grab bag of far left and far right policies and you wouldn’t expect it to get many votes.

Now, the Greens are standing Meredith Hunter. She is the director of the ACTU’s coalition. She’s done quite a lot of work with young people, drug rehabilitation and so on and you’d expect her to do reasonably well. The Greens got around 12 per cent last election and you’d expect them maybe to improve a bit on that.

MEREDITH HUNTER, THE GREENS: Canberra should be a place where every child has access to a quality education, where we have a well resourced health system, where we support investment into renewable energy sources, where we encourage industrial democracy back into our workplaces, and where we ensure that the one in 10 people in our community who are doing it tough, including Commonwealth and Defence Force superannuants, get a fairer go. These are some of the issues that are important to me as a social justice advocate and that’s why I’m standing.

JIM ARNOLD, CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL: If you categorise the CEC as being in a nutshell old Labor, concern for the common man, support for a development bank that will sponsor major development projects such as water harvesting and high speed rail. Also, of course, we would remedy the crisis in health and education. It’s a crime that we poach much needed skills from third world countries. If you need more you can Google us.

DARREN CHURCHILL, AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS: We need balance: the environment, the economy and social justice. Instead of so many tax cuts, I’ll fight for increased funding for hospitals, paid maternity leave, affordable housing, the environment and all levels of education. I’ll fight for human rights and privacy legislation that protects all regardless of race, gender, religion or place of Origin. Choose commonsense by voting one Australian Democrats in both houses, for honesty, tolerance and compassion. Let’s bring back balance.

BOB MCMULLAN, AUSTRALIAN LANOR PARTY: The big issues here in Fraser are the national issues like WorkChoices and Kevin Rudd’s national water plan which has got the potential to help us solve the water crisis here in the ACT. But there’s very big local issues, like getting public service employments into the town centres, Gangland and like solving the traffic congestion around the airport. Those are the big issues I’ll be concentrating on in the next three years if I’m re-elected.

TROY WILLIAMS, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA: This election’s important. It’s one where we have the opportunity to re-elect a coalition government which has a demonstrated record of keeping unemployment low and increasing real wages. But it’s a local level where a lot of people make a choice. And my commitment will be to reinvest Commonwealth funds in our Territory schools and to reinvest money back into our hospital systems. My goal will be to put our community back in touch with its electorate, to be an effective local representative for the people of Fraser.

CRISPIN HULL: In all, the seat of Fraser is a very safe Labor seat and, in fact, to be honest the Labor Party could probably stand a white rabbit in the seat of Fraser and it would be elected.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: A white rabbit in the Parliament, that’s an image to conjure. And as we’ve done each week, the order in which the candidates appeared was randomly selected. Crispin Hull was a deliberate choice and we’ll be back next week to look at Eden Monaro. We had to travel further afield to catch up with those candidates, including our 6 hour round trip to a shearing shed in Adelong.

(Transcript from “The Candidates of Fraser” – Broadcast 02/11/2007 on Stateline (ACT Edition) ABC TV


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