Last night, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the Queensland electorate of Lilley, which includes areas such as Ascot, Hamilton, Sandgate, Brighton, and Pinkenba. Eighty people attended the event.
The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.
Six of the seven candidates for the seat of Lilley attended the MYCF:
Wayne Swan MP - the sitting member for the Labor Party, who served as the Treasurer and the Deputy Prime Minister under Julia Gillard's leadership
Rod McGarvie - candidate for the Liberal National Party. He is a language development consultant who previously trained in the Australian Army corps of Engineers, and worked as the Executive Director of a large community development organisation in Africa
Nic Forster - The Greens. Mr Forster is a research chemist and a community volunteer
James Michael Ryan - candidate for Katter' Australian Party. He is an electrician who previously spent time bull riding in the Australian Pro Rodeo and National Rodeo circuits
Allan Vincent - the Family First candidate. Mr Vincent has worked as a manager / engineer on a large agricultural property and is now an Accredited Mortgage Consultant
Nick Contarino - candidate for the Citizens Electoral Council. He is a small business owner and has an interest is science and technology
Each candidate presented a speech to the audience which was followed by a Q & A session moderated by ACL's Queensland Director Wendy Francis.
The candidates spoke on issues such as education, marriage, family and children, and abortion.
Mr Swan said he had voted not to change the current definition of marriage and will continue to support that position.
Mr Forster from The Greens said that abortion is a tragedy but that he believed the service should be provided to Australian women.
Family First's Allan Vincent said that many women put family and raising children before their career aspirations, and believed it is important that this decision does not affect their ability to gain leadership positions.
ACL will be conducting more MYCF's in states around the country - click here for more details.