Michael O'Neill, CEO National Seniors. Photo: John Pratt

Michael O’Neill, CEO National Seniors. Photo: John Pratt

The National Seniors held a forum, Monday, at the Mandurah Netball Pavilion. The Forum was opened by, Michael O’Neill CEO of the Australian National Seniors presented. There were two candidates Andrew Hastie (Lib) and, Matt Keogh (@mattkeogh) (ALP). He said that other candidates had been invited and he had received apologies from, Dr Vanessa Rauland (@vanessarauland) (Grn), and, Vimal Kumar Sharma (PUP).

Angela Smith (@AngelaSmithWA) (SPP), from the Sustainable Population Party was in the audience, but was not allowed up on the stage. O’Neill said he would allow, Smith, a few words during the program.

Hastie, and Keogh, were given five minutes each to introduce themselves.

The audience was then given a chance to question the candidates.

I opened up the questions for @NoFibs:

My name is John Pratt, and I live in Dudley Park. As seniors, we are thinking about the heritage we will be leaving to our children, grandchildren, and in my case great grand children. Mandurah City Council recognises that Climate Change is causing sea levels to rise, more frequent extreme heat waves, and bushfires as one of the greatest economic and social threats to our city.

My question is, if elected would you stop opening new coal mines, stop fossil fuel subsidies and support a rapid move to renewable energies and a sustainable economy?

I would like to address my question to all three candidates present including Angela Smith.

Smith:

Thank you, as a scientist the answers are yes, yes and yes. Quite frankly it is a no brainer, not just for tomorrow’s children and grandchildren but for those of us who still have forty years living on this planet. Thank you,

Keogh:

Labor has a very strong commitment to renewable energy, we’ve just adopted a position at our conference a couple of months ago, where we support moving towards 50{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} renewable energy by 2030, we want to see a move in that direction. There is a lot we can do to give support to the renewable energy sector. We have seen some massive cuts in that area which is quite concerning and we want to see policies in place that make it easier for people to adopt renewable technology. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s also about making the cost of living cheaper for everyone as well.

Hastie:

Thanks for your question John, good to see you again. The current government has put forward the policy of direct action and as you know we’re very much about supporting renewable energy. Emission reduction is funded to a tune of $3b, so we are supporting renewables whether it’s biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, hydro. All those renewables we support, but when it comes for what’s best for this country we always need to consider the cost of living: Australian jobs and families, so on my watch I will never advocate for a carbon tax which we saw under the Labor government, which was the equivalent of unilateral economic disarmament, it hurt families, it hurt jobs and you will never see it under my watch thank you.

The questions continued for a while then a question was asked about the economy.

Hastie:

Very simply the last two years of the current government has been about trying to turn the ship around after six years of Labor economic mismanagement, wasteful spending..

An interjection from the a lady in the audience:

Please Mr Hastie, please do you not recognise the difference in global change, our four big banks gambling on derivatives, do you not acknowledge global change and further larger reasons for changes in economies?

Hastie:

Absolutely Madam, absolutely, globalisation is here to stay, I totally agree with you.

Lady in the audience continues:

Can you not transcend left and right polarity politics as young guys and rise up and look at the real global problems for which we are facing, it looks like the 2008 global financial crisis looks like a fizzer compared to what we are faced with now. When will you politicians as young men rising up, transcend the bunkum that goes on between the left and right and start talking real politics to the intelligent people of Australia? I am sick to death of it!

The audience clapped loudly with calls of hear! hear!

The lady continued:

It’s your time to rise up! It’s the same reductionist Stop The Boats! A three word slogan that sees Mr Abbott a criminal along with Scott Morrison with charges in The Hague, for human rights criminality. Under a three word slogan we’re ok, we stopped the boats. What about the suffering, the rape, the sodomy, what about that?

Hastie replied:

Thanks for the comment.

 canning Liberal candidate, Andrew Hastie. Photo: John Pratt

canning Liberal candidate, Andrew Hastie. Photo: John Pratt