With the sitting member, Peter Wellington retiring after close to 20 years, Nicklin voters are keenly weighing up the values of new candidates in relation to fundamental social issues such as euthanasia, abortion and their views on radical sex education being taught to kids.  

Voters were given the opportunity to hear from the candidates at the Australian Christian Lobby’s “Meet Your Candidate” forum in Nicklin ahead of the Queensland November 25 election.

Election commentators and media are watching the seat with interest. With a popular Independent retiring, with compulsory preferential voting, and with the boundary distribution, it is very hard to calculate just who is likely to emerge the winner.

Five of the seven candidates attended the forum last week:

Justin Raethal ALP; Marty Hunt LNP; Steven Ford, One Nation; Jeffrey Hodges, Civil Liberties; Tony Moore, Independent. The Greens and another Independent were not present.

The questions from the audience were probing and very informative. Some points of interest that emerged were on the following issues –

Abortion

Steven Ford (ON), Marty Hunt (LNP) and Tony Moore (Ind) were all opposed to abortion and to changing the current Queensland abortion laws.

On the other hand, Justin Raethal (ALP) believes abortion should be safe, legal and rare and supports the ALP platform to liberalise the current abortion laws. The ALP platform has shifted since the last election from a position where they promised not to change current abortion laws to one where they now want to introduce legislation that allows a baby to be aborted at any stage in any pregnancy.

Euthanasia

Marty Hunt (LNP) and Tony Moore (Ind) were the only panel members who opposed euthanasia and stood for life. Marty Hunt told the forum that the LNP would give a conscience vote on this issue if it came up, and emphatically stated that he would vote against euthanasia.

“Safe” Schools

Marty Hunt (LNP) and Steven Ford (ON) told the forum they would scrap the radical gay sex agenda which is contained in “safe schools” and the two Independents, Tony Moore and Jeffrey Hodges also voiced their opposition. Justin Raethal (ALP) was not aware that Safe Schools was actually in Queensland, but he would not oppose it.

Chaplaincy

Justin Raethal (ALP) would prefer councilors in schools rather than chaplains. All other candidates supported the chaplaincy program without hesitation.