On Wednesday night, Crossway Baptist Church hosted ACL’s Meet Your Candidate Forum for the electorate of Forest Hill.

The seat is currently held by a margin of just 3.5% by Neil Angus (LIB), who was in attendance together with Lower House candidates Pauline Richards (ALP) and Lynne Maddison (Australian Christians).

Among the audience were Upper House candidates Milton Wilde (PUP) and Pat Shea (DLP), who although not part of the formal proceedings, made themselves available to meet with the Christian constituency.

Peter Berry chaired the evening and introduced the candidates. All three speakers spoke of their Christian credentials and work within their respective churches, and Richards, a practicing Catholic read from the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25) as a motivating verse in her life.

Half of the questions from the audience expressed concern over Labor’s intentions to remove the exemptions under the Equal Opportunity Act, which allow faith based school’s to employ staff who share their beliefs.

Another significant theme among the questions was late term abortion, and in particular Richards was asked how should could reconcile her faith with her membership of Emily’s List.

Richards said that although she understood her position was not popular with the Christian constituency, she felt that it was purely a matter for a woman and her doctor.

Angus and Maddison both received applause after expressing pro-life positions although Angus was queried as to the inaction by the government to reverse any of the

provisions of the previous Labor government. He stated that it was a numbers game and that attempting change without the numbers may result in lost opportunities later. He expressed hope that the balance of the upcoming parliament would provide the opportunity

for change.