What’s your top Eden-Monaro election issue?

Genevieve Jacobs16 June 2020
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?

What's Your Opinion?

72 Responses to What’s your top Eden-Monaro election issue?

Kym Mogridge Kym Mogridge 9:56 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 Simpson Anthony Simpson 7:21 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 Rowan Ms Jesse H Rowan 9:26 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!

Douglas Alan Simper Douglas Alan Simper 8:37 pm 19 Jun 20

The arts.

Jenny Spinks Jenny Spinks 7:29 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 vorbach Coral vorbach 4:25 pm 19 Jun 20

Clmate change is for our future.

Sukalpa Goldflam Sukalpa Goldflam 1:59 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

Sharon Sharon 1:48 pm 19 Jun 20

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 Vidler Raylene Vidler 8:44 am 19 Jun 20

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

Self funded retirees NEVER are looked after!!!!

Harriett Swift Harriett Swift 9:25 pm 18 Jun 20

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

Kevin Sheard Kevin Sheard 8:45 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.

Wendy Wait Wendy Wait 7:56 pm 18 Jun 20

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.

jon gaul jon gaul 6:07 pm 18 Jun 20

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 Taylor Deborah Taylor 5:38 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

Peter Bond Peter Bond 3:00 pm 18 Jun 20

Foreign ownership of our infrastructure.

Infrastructure is meant to earn money for the government.

TRANSURBAN owns our motorways and tunnels, and take home (to a foreign country) more than $3b a year.

The water in Murray River is foreign owned and sold and swapped with profits going over seas.

Taxpayers build the infrastructure and the government sells it to get re elected at fire sale prices.

We have homeless people yet China can own large tracts of land in Australia.

Australia is a Commonwealth, but foreign owners control the mineral wealth and we get a pittance in royalties.

Peter MacDonald Peter MacDonald 2:04 pm 18 Jun 20

Lying politicians

Philip Reed Philip Reed 6:53 am 18 Jun 20

Scrub under growth management (Forest fuel Management to the new chums)

Susan Gordon Susan Gordon 10:54 pm 17 Jun 20

No more rate rises!!

    Jenny Robb Jenny Robb 7:45 am 18 Jun 20

    Susan Gordon then we need Federal Govt to help small regional Council areas with 75% govt land ownership. They don't pay rates 😏.

    Jenny Robb Jenny Robb 7:46 am 18 Jun 20

    State Govt ownership I mean but both state and Feds need to help us out there.

    Susan Gordon Susan Gordon 8:50 am 18 Jun 20

    Jenny Robb there have to be other solutions than a special variation every year. Incomes are not going up, paying huge and ever increasing rates on top of a mortgage is financially stressful

    Jenny Robb Jenny Robb 8:56 am 18 Jun 20

    Susan Gordon none of us need a rate rise right now that's for sure. But I still think our Council area has had some massive burdens these last few years and the money just won't stretch far enough. It's time other levels of Govt. helped out.

    Jenny Robb Jenny Robb 5:51 pm 18 Jun 20

    Susan Gordon that's what I'm saying - we do not have a big enough rate base to cope with all the pressure from several disasters and other factors. Our council just is not big enough. So if we don't want to pay more rates to keep up, we need help!

Wanda Lach Wanda Lach 3:36 pm 17 Jun 20

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.

Sarah Davis Sarah Davis 3:09 pm 17 Jun 20

A federal anti-corruption commission sounds like a good idea