16 June 2020

What's your top Eden-Monaro election issue?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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AEC election booths

What voter issues will determine the Eden-Monaro by-election on 4 July? Photo: AEC.

It’s the by-election being watched by a nation, and the field of candidates is the size of the Melbourne Cup. But what do actual voters think are the key issues in Eden-Monaro? About Regional is asking you to nominate the issue that matters most to you, and we’ll give the candidates an opportunity to respond.

The Federal electorate is famed for its diversity and size, stretching across much of South Eastern NSW. Long the nation’s bellwether, it’s now the focus of intense national scrutiny following the resignation of former ALP member Mike Kelly.

There’s plenty at play at a national level: the by-election is a litmus test for the Government, especially in bushfire-devastated areas where Prime Minister Scott Morrison withstood heavy criticism over summer.

On the political chessboard, a Labor win won’t change anything but will be a feather in the cap for Anthony Albanese’s leadership. Securing the seat in the long term would be a solid achievement, moving the electoral dynamics beyond Dr Kelly’s personal popularity.

For the Coalition government, however, there’s much more at stake.

While the Prime Minister has resurrected his political fortunes on the back of an effective COVID-19 response, Eden-Monaro has always been highly unpredictable and anything could happen on 4 July.

It’s been a century since a federal government won a seat from the opposition at a by-election, but the government sits on a frighteningly thin majority of just two seats, and a third is well worth fighting for.

Preferences from the Greens, the Nationals, as well as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers could also play a significant role and there may well be prices to be paid for that support in a very tight race, even without the influence of a large field of small parties and independents.

But in the end, it’s the Eden-Monaro voters who will decide, no matter what the inducements offered by major parties desperate to claim a win or minor parties seeking to exercise their influence.

As the media circus focusses on the federal chess pieces, what will influence voters everywhere from Eden to Tumut, from Yass to Jindabyne?

We’re asking you to complete a poll and nominate your major concern for this election. We’ll give the top three issues collectively to the candidates and ask them to respond.

We’re able to have a close look at where the responses come from across the electorate, so it’s in your interests to participate and make sure your friends and contacts do, too. This isn’t a scientific poll, it’s a straw in the wind and a useful way to get candidates to think outside their pre-prepared policy pack.

You can also respond in the comments and tell us more about your choice, or perhaps what we’ve left out that matters to you. And if you’re a candidate, you can contact us via [email protected] to ensure you get a chance to respond.

Our question is:

What single issue matters most to you as an Eden-Monaro voter?

View Results

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Kym Mogridge9:56 am 30 Jun 20

If we don’t deal with Climate Change as THE major issue then ALL ELSE counts for naught.
It IS that simple.

Anthony Simpson7:21 am 30 Jun 20

I would have to say the congestion in the NBN network particularly “Fixed Wireless” that is predominately used in Eden Monaro, it simply can’t deliver the same way fibre would In terms of speed, capacity and reliability. When I consider how much the govt has spent 60+ billion and climbing on a project that at best delivers yesterday’s technology. They spent more than Labour fibre model that would have been future proof. It is a real shame. Any candidate looking to fix the NBN would win my vote as a remote IT worker. My ability to work, is dependent on good reliable internet.So we need capacity improved, more towers or rolling out fibre to more regional towns. Braidwood in particular Fixed Wireless is so slow especially at the Netflix hour in the evenings.

Ms Jesse H Rowan9:26 pm 19 Jun 20

Climate change is the biggest existential threat to the survival of the human species. It will make bushfires and other extreme weather events far worse, reduce our food bowls, our water supplies and our natural habitat and animal diversity. The longer we leave it, the more expensive it will be, and the more difficult to hold the rising temperature back. What an awful legacy to leave our children! Governments at all levels have a responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions to net zero ASAP to keep us safe. Bring on clean renewable energy! No more fossil fuels!

Jenny Spinks7:29 pm 19 Jun 20

Climate justice is what we need. If we tackle climate change with policies that meet everyone’s needs (not just the top end of towns greed) then all these issues could be resolved

Coral vorbach4:25 pm 19 Jun 20

Clmate change is for our future.

Sukalpa Goldflam1:59 pm 19 Jun 20

There are so many fundamentally important issues but if we don’t Urgently reduce our carbon emissions then everything else is irrelevant
Climate Change = Climate Action

Anthropogenic climate change will increase the long term frequency and severity of droughts, fires, and extreme weather events, with impacts on farming, society, and the economy. And that’s just locally, it doesn’t include the massive international impacts that will be felt by us too. There are too many people pretending that it’s not a problem, or understating the problem. Acknowledging the problem and it’s severity will help us all, individuals, industry, communities, and governments at all levels, work to find solutions. I might add that using Kyoto carryover credits to meet Paris targets is not acknowledging the problem.

Raylene Vidler8:44 am 19 Jun 20

Look after our beaches which are disappearing in Merimbula!!!

Self funded retirees NEVER are looked after!!!!

Harriett Swift9:25 pm 18 Jun 20

Forests, energy and agriculture are essential parts of climate action needed in this region.

Kevin Sheard8:45 pm 18 Jun 20

A federal ICAC, political donations publicised in real time, and native forest logging are three issues I would have liked to see included. Native Forest logging, especially post bushfire, is morally indefensible. Apart from forests creating moisture and so helping to prevent bushfire and their climate stabilisation role, they are homes, protection and food sources for native animals. Protection of animals and native vegetation for their own sakes, not just for what they provide for humans, is imperative.

Climate change and moving to greener cleaner technologies is vitally important. This is the most important issue of our time. How we react and act will determine whether we have a healthy planet to live on or not. There is no other issue of such importance.

Regional economic development to take full advantage of Snowy 2.0 and medium-term keep more of our young people in our area instead of having to leave for education and work is the No.1 priority. Only Fiona Kotvojs as the Member for Eden-Monaro can deliver this economic development outcome from within government. Kristy McBain can only offer promises IF ( BIG IF) Labor wins the next Federal election. When Jim Snow was the Labor Member under a Labor Federal Government, Eden-Monaro did very well as a marginal seat. When Gary Nairn was the Liberal Member under a Liberal Government, Eden-Monaro did even better. It’s a no-brainer really.

Deborah Taylor5:38 pm 18 Jun 20

If this electorate can substantially improve its economic development this will improve both government, business and NFP services.
All of the issues will be addressed

We have so many seemingly hidden agendas in this region. Kosciuszko National Park is the god here – they do as they please it would seem. We need a huge boost to regional development that includes health and transport (there are very few transport options if you don’t have a car), more shopping options – our only ‘department type’ store – Target Country – is set to close and there is no mention of any replacement. How would you feel if you had to drive 2.5 hours to your nearest shop to buy kids shoes or a bra? We desperately need some art/culture in this region. All the emphasis goes on sport – what about the rest of the residents and tourists that enjoy art galleries and libraries? There are very few job options in this region. How many people commute and have to stay away all week because there is no work here? More industry and business is really needed to boost the economy of the region and provide locals with much needed work.

Sandy Wilder1:04 pm 17 Jun 20

The issues are related.
We are living in a time where the integrity of many so called ‘leaders’ are becoming more and more blatantly
unethical. . .
Our current political leadership is not acting on behalf of most in our communities and not acting to ensure a safe climate future.
The history of genocide and racism in Australia is highlighted in this time and perhaps if we had decent representation
we could take it very seriously and act on the Uluru statement, deaths in custody, high numbers of Aboriginal people in gaol
and of course climate policy.
There aren’t many years in which e need to act to prevent climate catastrophe.

Bill Jackson11:35 am 17 Jun 20

All of the above plus donations to political parties and election funding.

Linda McMurray9:04 am 17 Jun 20

Climate crisis!

Aside from the bushfire recovery which is urgent and aside from the support for regional economic development which is always needed. For us in this by election it is safer roads, support to pay for more beautification of the towns and better public amenities in our major centre of Queanbeyan which looks so dreary. Love the regional gallery idea of the Libs for Bega. Cultural tourism has great potential right across our diverse region.

Brian Cairns10:33 pm 16 Jun 20

The most important thing is to elect McBain. The LNP have done very little for us when elected, Kelly and Labor have done a great deal for our electorate, as they do for all rural communities. LNP is the party for the cities and the wealthy. And they don’t care about climate change! They have left us to struggle on after the disastrous fires with lots of hot air promises and very little support. And they have made rorting an art form. And they are doing everything they can to kill our ABC!

Regional economic development got my vote as the closest option for supporting our local dairy industry. It is also relevant to tourism and forestry, key industries across the electorate. I would further support climate change policies that promote carbon sequestration, which could support dairy and forestry too. Policy should be broad minded and wide reaching.

Robert Smith5:35 pm 16 Jun 20

We need a hospital for our South Coast which is a growing and older population. Ready for more waves of any kind of virus and ready for all needs rather than a helicopter to Canberra or plane to Sydney.

My property was impacted by the Yankees Gap fire in 2018, causing damage to fences and trees, but fortunately the buildings survived. On New Year’s Eve 2019 the property was again under attack from bush fire but this time there was no aerial support, and most RFS units were elsewhere. We lost everything in the Werri Berri fire. Governments were warned by experts that there were environmental signs that 2019/2020 summer could be catastrophic but they ignored the advice. The residents of Eden/Monaro Electorate (and other areas) are now paying the price for the Government’s arrogance.

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