Gateway Worship and Creative Arts Centre held a forum for the candidates of the Frankston electorate to present their opinions, in relation to the upcoming election, to the 150 Christians in attendance.
The candidates who attended consisted of Independent member Geoff Shaw MP, Sean Armistead (Liberal), Anthony Wallace (Australian Christians), Jeanette Swain (Greens), Alan Nicholls (People Power, Victoria), Jamie Miller (Sex Party), and Independent member Reade Smith.
After each member had presented their pitch, the candidates where given an opportunity to answer questions that were areas of concern. Some of the questions stressed by the public included the restrictions of religious freedoms, proposed by the ALP, in employment rights of Christian schools and other faith based organisations. Along with this, policies regarding domestic violence, transport and industrial issues were discussed.
Detailed discussion was conducted regarding reforms to the abortion laws, renewable energy and support for chaplaincy, with Sean Armistead announcing that the Coalition government has promised $5 million for chaplaincy in Victorian hospitals. Drug use, the amenity of Frankston, and homelessness within the area were also topics that were addressed. In particular Geoff Shaw MP called on the church to take responsibility in combating the issue of homelessness, whereas Anthony Wallace advocated the collaboration between the government, church and non church agencies in bringing change.
The forum provided the opportunity for the community to present their concerns to the candidates, and the candidates to communicate their plans, in a respectful and engaging environment that was beneficial to those who attended.