Se­niors to grill hope­fuls

Southern Telegraph - - Front Page - Ar­ran Mor­ton

The race for Can­ning will heat up next week as Man­durah se­niors get their chance to grill by-elec­tion can­di­dates at a spe­cial pre-vote fo­rum.

Na­tional Se­niors Aus­tralia Man­durah-Mur­ray branch pres­i­dent Val Becker said hun­dreds of se­niors were ex­pected to at­tend the over-50s lobby on Mon­day next week, with at­ten­dance con­firmed by the two ma­jor par­ties’ can­di­dates, An­drew Hastie and Matt Keogh.

Mrs Becker said re­tirees would raise is­sues close to their hearts, in­clud­ing fears about the rise in drug-re­lated crime, fi­nan­cial agree­ments with nurs­ing homes, cuts to carer ser­vices and a lack of ad­e­quate park­ing at Man­durah rail­way sta­tion.

She said other is­sues dis­cussed within the branch in­cluded the lack of in­ten­sive care at Peel Health Cam­pus and the need for a new form of taxi card.

“We’re not favour­ing any­one in the by-elec­tion, we’re just favour­ing se­niors,” Mrs Becker said.

Na­tional Se­niors Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael O’Neill, who will host the fo­rum, said Man­durah had the high­est pro­por­tion of vot­ers over the age of 65 in the State. He said there was a de­gree of anger in the elec­torate, par­tic­u­larly af­ter changes to the part-pen­sion an­nounced in this year’s Fed­eral Bud­get.

Greens can­di­date Vanessa Rauland and Palmer United Party can­di­date Vi­mal Sharma are also likely to at­tend.

Can­di­dates will in­tro­duce them­selves and their poli­cies be­fore tak­ing ques­tions from the floor.

Se­niors are in­vited to head down to Thom­son Street Net­ball Pav­il­ion at 10.30am.

Pic­ture: El­lie Honey­bone

Lib­eral can­di­date for Can­ning An­drew Hastie meets with shop­pers in­side Man­durah Fo­rum as part of his visit to the cen­tre, along­side sup­porter and for­mer prime min­is­ter John Howard.

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