fairfax 2Last night, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Fairfax in Queensland, a region to the North of Brisbane consisting of areas such as Nambour, Coolum, Maroochydoore, Montville, and Kenilworth. It has been a safe seat for the Liberal Party since the 1990s. Over 160 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.

All eight candidates for the seat of Fairfax attended:

  • Ted O'Brien - Candidate for the Liberal National Party. A businessman who started his work life as a baker, and held a number of high profile business roles including chair of the advisory board for Ronald McDonald House for southeast Queensland.

  • Elaine Hughes - Labor candidate who works as a crisis line supervisor for Lifeline, and in its Community Recovery program.

  • Clive Palmer - A mining magnate running as a candidate for the Palmer's United Party, which he created this year after severing ties with the LNP.

  • David Knobel - Greens candidate who has studied public health and community development.

  • Ray Sawyer - Candidate for Katter's Australian Party who has worked alongside his wife to help raise money for charities.

  • Mike Holt - One Nation candidate who is an advocate for amending Section 128 of the Constitution to give all voters the right to initiate Constitutional referendums.

  • Angela Meyer - Candidate for Family First; a piano teacher and fitness trainer.

  • Trudy Byrnes - Independent candidate for the seat, and is a career consultant.

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 a number of issues including family, homelessness, the environment, affordable housing, education, marriage, and the economy. They were questioned on their priorities for a first term.

Ms Meyer said she believed in encouraging strong, healthy families, and that Family First offered a choice for "those who believe in standing up for what is right rather than what is popular.

Mr O'Brien spoke about resigning from his business as soon as he was pre-selected, and how he wanted to represent the area for the rest of his life.

fairfax 1Mr Palmer voiced his opposition to abortion, and said he would allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. He also spoke about the importance of driving the economy. The attention on fixing the economy was also shared by Mr O'Brien.

Mr Sawyer said he would fight for a better deal for Australian farmers and producers, and supports the introduction of an ethanol fuel industry in Australia.

Ms Hughes said her priorities were to combat homelessness in the region, and fighting for health services to stay in public hands, as well as fast-tracking the national broadband rollout.

Mr Knobel wants greater support for small business, as well as stronger environmental protection.

An article by The Daily Examiner details further the events of the night.

ACL will be conducting more MYCF’s in states around the country – click here for details.