ALL 10 candidates for the seat of Flinders in this month’s federal election have been invited to attend and speak at a “town hall meeting” at Mount Martha.
The meeting is being organised by the non-political community group Peninsula Voice and radio station 3RPP FM.
The meeting will be live streamed on the websites of both organisations.
Peninsula Voice chairperson Peter Orton said little was known about some of the 10 candidates and the seat had been held by retiring Liberal MP Greg Hunt for more than 20 years.
“This is a problem because we need to know what they care about. We need to know and understand the extent to which any candidate reflects our community values while they sit as our elected representative,” Orton said.
Questions each candidate will be asked to answer are based on the results of a survey of 800 people living in the Flinders electorate.
Orton said most candidates had already indicated they would attend the 11 May meeting, 10 days before polling day.
“We’ll be putting 10 chairs on the stage with each of the candidates’ names,” he said. “They will each have two minutes to answer each question.
“Robust debate is an important indicator for the health of our democracy. Currently it seems our politicians can say what they like and not be held accountable.
“I for one would like some confidence my elected representative will conduct themselves in office with integrity and a healthy moral compass.”
Peninsula Voice describes itself as a social movement for “community, conversation and engagement” that has been operating since 2014. It says it has no affiliations with local, state or federal politics and specifically mentions it has no connection to the Voices of Mornington Peninsula group.
RPP FM general manager Brendan Telfer said it was “important that our community can express an opinion”.
The radio station was “the community’s megaphone”, and he predicted the meeting would be broadcast and live-streamed to “40 odd thousand listeners”.
“This will provide the community the best chance to hear from the candidates directly on their concerns,” said former ABC journalist Tracee Hutchison who will be asking the questions on the night.
Peninsula Voice committee member and treasurer Elizabeth Gordon said she “didn’t know what I was doing when I voted the first time in 2018” as young people often saw politics as “overwhelming and negative”.
“I am bombarded with strong political views daily on social media. This makes me feel withdrawn from the whole process.”
The Meet the Flinders Candidates Community “town Hall” meeting will be held and broadcast from 7pm Wednesday 11 May at the New Peninsula auditorium, corner Craigie Road and Moorooduc Highway, Mount Martha.