CANDIDATES BENCH: LNP endorsed candidate Ken O’Dowd, Family First’s Di Hancock-Mills, Green’s Anne Goddard and Labor’s Chris Trevor at GAPDL’s Meet the Candidate forum yesterday.
CANDIDATES BENCH: LNP endorsed candidate Ken O’Dowd, Family First’s Di Hancock-Mills, Green’s Anne Goddard and Labor’s Chris Trevor at GAPDL’s Meet the Candidate forum yesterday. Brenda Strong

Slanging match sinks forum

MAJOR party candidates for the seat of Flynn turned a forum meant to inform people about candidates and parties’ visions for Gladstone into a slanging match.

Labor’s Member for Flynn Chris Trevor and Liberal National Party endorsed candidate Ken O’Dowd were invited to speak at the Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited’s Meet the Candidates forum yesterday.

The aim of the forum was to provide a platform for candidates to get their visions for the future of the Gladstone region and the Flynn electorate into the public domain. The forum was also to allow those present the opportunity to put questions to the candidates.

However, while Mr Trevor’s speech started off outlining the projects the Labor Party had delivered since getting into government in 2007, it wasn’t long before Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s name became a frequent reference in terms of what the Liberal National Party would not do, or put a stop to.

“He doesn’t support our initiative to bring specialists into regional Australia through broadband,” he said.

Mr Trevor claimed the LNP was running a scare campaign and not one cent had been allocated in the LNP’s policy costings for any of the Flynn projects Mr O’Dowd had publicly committed to in the past few weeks.

In a statement issued by Mr Trevor yesterday, the Labor Party candidate said Mr Abbott himself had said, “the fact of the matter is, local candidates say all sorts of things. What matters is the policy that the party has adopted”.

Mr O’Dowd pledged the forum that the money for the local projects LNP had committed to during the campaign were in the LNP’s budget.

“We’ve just been handed information that Labor pulled this stunt at a function in Mackay,” he said.

Mr O’Dowd also scoffed at Labor’s promise to pay back the nation’s debt of a rumoured $150 billion by 2013 when the Howard government took 10 years to pay off the $98 billion debt it inherited from the Hawke/Keating Labor government.



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