Triple treat with Q&A from Eildon candidates
RESIDENTS who attended last Thursday night’s open forum with Eildon Electorate candidates certainly had their questions answered.
An apology was received from Labor candidate Sally Brennan who was ill, but the remaining three - Ken Deacon, Michelle Dunscombe and Cindy McLeish - all gave excellent answers to the many questions thrown at them.
Among the topics asked were climate change, schools funding, roads and waste management, mental health services (in particular youth mental health), CFA and emergency services facilities, homing for refugees, future drought measures, pest control including blackberry and wild dogs, and forest management.
Ms Dunscombe outlined her experiences as a community worker and having empathy for those who have lived in crisis.
She explained how she has surYLYHG VHYHUDO PDMRU EXVK¿UHV LQ FOXGLQJ WKH %ODFN 6DWXUGD\ ¿UHV RI Kinglake where she lost her home and all her possessions but has lived to regain a home, and along with her family of two children, are very much involved in their community DQG KHU VXPPHUV LQ 0DQV¿HOG
Cindy McLeish gave an extensive outline of where she stands in politics, and said although at present she is in opposition to the government, has in the past been in the ruling government when a member at Seymour.
She also told the audience of about 50 how she had grown up in Yea on a farm and her parents ran the farm as well as the Peppercorn Hotel in Yea itself, giving her great knowledge of both small business and farming.
She made promises to continue to work for this community and continue to improve sporting, education and health services.
Ken Deacon, although new to politics as such, expressed his interests in climate change, forest management (in particular stopping clear felling of large components of bushlands), looking after farming interests and supporting communities within the electorate with funding for education, sports and tourism.
He explained that he has been a farmer and tourist operator in the Rubicon Valley for more than 40 years and is very much involved in community activities and tourism.
On one point, Tom Thoburne of WKH 0DQV¿HOG 6(6 DVNHG IRU FDQ didates’ support in the government buying the old saleyards site and leaving the SES building where it is now, and looking to the future of creating an ‘emergency services hub’ on that site.
*URXS R൶FHU 0DQV¿HOG )LUH Brigades Group, Fred Forrest, also spoke on this topic agreeing that it is critical that emergency services were fully supported.
He pointed out that currently the number of CFA volunteers was at its lowest in the history of the organisation.
All three candidates were in agreeance and whichever one wins the election promised to ‘bang heads together’ in Melbourne to see if negotiations could be held with 0DQV¿HOG 6KLUH RQ WKLV LVVXH
At the conclusion of the question time Mary Anne Egan asked all candidates if they had received a VFBV letter asking for them to pledge furWKHU VXSSRUW IRU ¿UH¿JKWHUV DJDLQVW the presumptive legislation – a proposed legislation in relation to FDQFHU DPRQJ ¿UH¿JKWHUV ZKHWKHU SHUPDQHQW VWD൵ RU YROXQWHHUV
Ms Dunscombe and Ms McLeish both said they had received the letter, had signed their pledge and were in full support of the VFBV’s ¿JKW DJDLQVW WKH OHJLVODWLRQ
Mr Deacon said although he had not received the emailed letter, he would be happy to sign it following the meeting.
Ms Brennan was to be emailed and asked if she had in fact received the letter and would pledge her support also.
QUESTION TIME: At last Thursday’s open forum for Eildon candidates were (from left) Paul Sladdin (moderator), Michelle Dunscombe (Independent), Ken Deacon (Greens) and Cindy McLeish (Liberal – Incumbent).
CHAT: Independent candidate Michelle Dunscombe chats with local resident Don Lawson following the open forum last Thursday night.