In the lead-up to the NSW State Election, the Newcastle Institute, will again be conducting a public forum featuring candidates from the major parties contesting the election. These high-quality events have become a respected tradition in Newcastle in the last decade.
In a change from previous events by the Newcastle Institute, this time the focus will be on the Upper House – the Legislative Council.
The Upper House is elected by everyone in the State, and allows the big and small parties to compete for the 21 seats on offer, just like the Senate in Federal Elections. Less than 4% of the total vote is enough to get a seat. In the Upper House Every Vote Counts – even in ‘safe’ Lower House seats.
This event will emphasise to all the parties that the Hunter cannot be ignored. This is a region of influence, importance, and innovation in public politics.
The five active parties in the Legislative Council have agreed to participate. The Liberal/National; Labor; Greens; Christian Democrats; and Shooters & Fishers Parties will each choose their representative.
Each party representative will give a short policy speech, and then be questioned by a panel, and by each other. The panel will include journalists from the Newcastle Herald and ABC Newcastle, and a younger member of the community. As with previous events, Dr Bernie Curran shall be Master of Ceremonies.
Political meetings in Australia have become stage-managed and scripted – and boring. The Newcastle Institute’s events now unusual in Australian politics. This meeting will bring together politicians from across the spectrum in a genuine face-to-face contest. We see this as demonstrating yet again that Newcastle is a city of innovation in many facets of public life.
The Event is open to any member of the general public, subject only to requirements for appropriate behaviour during the meeting. As a totally voluntary group, we ask for a $5 donation to assist us to fund our events; venue hire etc.
We look forward to seeing you at Souths from 6pm on Wednesday 18th March, 2015
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