Voters are entitled to question and hear candidates’ policies so they can make an informed decision come September 14, according to David Bradbury.
The Lindsay MP and federal assistant treasurer hit back after his challenge to a series of public debates came under fire from opponent and Liberal candidate Fiona Scott.
Mr Bradbury had hoped the first forum would be held in the coming weeks.
“I believe it’s important that local residents have the opportunity to fully scrutinise the policies of the two major parties and have their questions answered,” he said.
Ms Scott looks forward to debating at a balanced forum at an appropriate time, closer to the election but believes now isn’t the time.
‘‘I thought Julia Gillard had made it clear that her government was not in an election campaign,’’ Ms Scott said.
‘‘The Assistant Treasurer is in question time and he’s challenging me to a debate? No wonder the economy is in such poor state. He needs to concentrate a lot harder. For now I wish Mr Bradbury would try to concentrate on how he can improve his performance and that of his woeful government - as he should when he’s on taxpayer time.’’
In response, Mr Bradury reiterated his constituents deserve the chance to scrutinise the policies of both major parties.
“This is beginning to look a lot like a re-run of the last election, where Ms Scott’s Liberal Party minders were determined to hide her away from any public scrutiny,’’ he said.
“Ms Scott has been pre-selected as the Liberal Candidate for almost 12 months and she is still refusing to front up to the people of Lindsay.’’
Chifley MP Ed Husic would welcomed a public forum against his Liberal opponent and Blacktown Councillor Isabelle White.
“If you’re standing for election, people should be able to hear directly from candidates about their record and what they stand for,’’ Mr Husic said.
“I’ve always enjoyed the cut and thrust of election debates – and the public wants to see how their candidates deal with important issues. Unfortunately, Liberal Party candidates rarely ever appear at election debates. I expect that to continue to be the case in this election. What’s amazing is that the Liberal Party has been calling for an immediate election for ages, but I bet they won’t front an election debate.”
The Star is still waiting for Councillor White’s response, despite several attempts to contact her by phone and email.
NSW Teachers Federation western Sydney organiser Henry Rajendra believes the Gonski Review needs to addressed at any possible forum.
‘‘There shouldn’t be anything else on the agenda,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to know that the federal government is committed to Gonski.’’
What should be on the agenda of a possible forum? Comment at stmarysstar.com.au. or join the conversation on the St Marys-Mt Druitt Star Facebook