“GIVE Amanda a break, she’s putting her family first.”
That’s how Family First senator Rob McGarvie responded to critics of Federal Dawson candidate Amanda Nickson, who despite the looming election, is in Thailand and won’t return until after the vote.
He said blame should instead be levelled at the Federal Government, which had indicated the election would be held in September before calling it in early July.
“Amanda’s in the same boat as a record number of Australians who are turning out at pre-poll to vote early. Their family were not expecting a July election during Queensland school holidays,” he said, adding the election timing was really about power and control, and that no thought had been given to the inconvenience to families or the billions it would add to the national debt.
Family First state director Simon Green did not appear concerned about his candidate’s disappearance, stating the priority for the party was to put up an alternative to Labor and the Coalition in each electorate.
“If someone has a trip booked and paid for and then an election is called, that’s fairly difficult to avoid,” Mr Green said. “We urge our candidates to stick around for the campaign but they also have to live their lives.”
Even though she has left the country, Ms Nickson does have a Facebook page “Amanda Nickson - Federal Candidate for Dawson”, which she last updated on June 26 and 28, with videos about the Senate and Coalition’s promised marriage equality plebiscite.