11 September 2019

About Regional Federal Election Forums - Cooma, Jindabyne, Bega

| Ian Campbell
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Democracy in action. Photo: Ian Campbell

Democracy in action. Photo: Ian Campbell

The Federal Election campaign has been pretty dry so far, not that we have the same expectations on them as a Candelo Village Festival, Cooma Hill Climb, or Batemans Bay Seaside Carnivale! But for all concerned its important that there is a level of interest.

While it might not feel like it sometimes that one vote we all have on May 18 counts. This week and next, in partnership with a number of Chambers of Commerce, About Regional launches a series of quickly pulled together local election forums for the communities of Eden Monaro.

Perhaps this will ignite the campaign and generate the interest and discussion many crave?

Come meet the candidates, ask questions, raise issues, listen and hopefully leave better informed and with a sense of where your number 1 might land.

Cooma Meet the Candidates, presented by Cooma Chamber of Commerce and About Regional

Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 pm (for a 6:30 pm start) to 8:00 pm, Cooma Ex-services Club, light supper provided, all welcome, free to attend, mingle with candidates from 8:00 pm.

Jindabyne Meet the Candidates, presented by Jindabyne Chamber of Commerce and About Regional

Friday, May 3, 6:00 pm (for a 6:30 pm start) to 8:00 pm, Rydges Horizons, all welcome, free to attend mingle with candidates from 8:00 pm.

Bega Meet the Candidates, presented by Bega Chamber of Commerce and About Regional

Tuesday. May 7, 5:30 pm (for a 5:45 pm start) to 7:15 pm, Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre, nibbles on arrival, all welcome, free to attend, mingle with candidates from 7:15 pm.

Each candidate will have three minutes to address the meeting, followed by a small number of set questions before questions from the audience. Each meeting will have a timekeeper so that we can cover as much ground as possible in 90 minutes.

Opportunities like this are really important and go to the heart of our democracy. You get to meet the people who wish to represent you in the Parliament of Australia – without the filters of spin doctors or big media organisations with agendas.

There is an element of ‘real’ that I think voters and candidates welcome, especially in this saturated world of marketing and information.

All candidates have been invited, with the majority accepting the invitation to meet you and take part in an exchange of ideas.

About Regional will take an audio recording of each event, with a written report and or podcast to follow, so that those unable to attend can still take something from the opportunity.

Lunchtime voters at Merimbula Public School faced a wait to cast their vote. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Voters at Merimbula Public School waiting to have their say at the 2019 NSW Election. Photo: Ian Campbell.

As a local news and stories service covering Southern NSW, About Regional would love to extend these forums to electorates like Gilmore and Hume and other communities within Eden Monaro, however, as a startup media company our resources are limited and still building. If your community organisation would like to work with us on these type of events in the future please make contact – [email protected]

Bring your voice and perspective to Cooma, Jindabyne, and Bega in the run-up to May 18 and help build what will be a respectful and dynamic discussion that values different ideas.

#Shout out to Bruce Easton at Jindabyne, Kylie Douch and Kathy Kelly at Cooma, John Watkins at Bega, The Monaro Post, Cooma Ex-services Club, Rydges Jindabyne, and Bega Civic Centre for their teamwork in pulling these events together.

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