3 May 2022

What questions do you want to ask our Senate candidates?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Zed Seselja

Zed Seselja will participate in Region Media‘s live Senate candidate debate. Photo: Cassandra Choake.

In a fraught election race where candidates of all stripes are promising they have what it takes to win the second ACT Senate spot, what questions do you want to ask the candidates?

Region Media has gathered together the six top ranked Senate candidates for the only public debate that brings them all together on the same stage.

The debate includes sitting ACT Senators Zed Seselja and Katy Gallagher. Tjanara Goreng Goreng from the Greens, independents Kim Rubenstein and David Pocock and James Savoulides from the United Australia Party will also be on stage.

The candidates have been chosen on the basis of their polling.

The ACT race also includes candidates from the Sustainable Australia Party, the Australian Progressives, the Legalise Cannabis Australia, Animal Justice Party and Informed Medical Options Party. Candidate Dr Fuxin Li will also contest the election.

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We’ll broadcast the debate live via Facebook on Tuesday 3 May at 5 pm.

The candidates won’t be making speeches and they’ve been given no advance warning of the questions, which will focus strongly on Canberra issues.

So what questions will you ask? We’ll have a live audience but the Facebook stream will also be open and we’ll have a moderator onsite to feed questions through to group editor Genevieve Jacobs.

For now, we’re keen to know what matters most to ordinary Canberra voters. Is it cost of living? Integrity? The economy? Climate change?

We’re looking for questions about your everyday life, remembering that this is a Federal election rather than an ACT local election.

The Federal Government doesn’t make decisions about where light rail goes next, or staffing levels at the Canberra Hospital, but our Federal representatives do influence matters like the local infrastructure spend and the Territory’s rights to make our own laws.

What questions do you want to ask? Tell us in the comments below and tune in at 5 pm.

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I’d be interested to know if there was a hung Parliament, which party would each of the Independent candidates support, so that a workable Government can be formed?

Pretty simple. With the number or religious people dwindling in Australia, being close to 50% now, and thought to be about 18% actually practicing.

Why should we support a party that focuses on their own religious beliefs to create or support legislation?

Individuals may have personal faith, but the Parliament is secular.

It should be noted that within the Parliament, there are people of Christian faith in both the ALP and Coalition. There are also people of Jewish and Muslim faiths, as well.

That might very well be the case. Liberal members have been the only ones I’ve heard that have said they could not support a piece of legislation due to their personal beliefs. Hence the question.

Would you consider performance based pay?

privatepublic12:27 am 04 May 22

Senator, are you still this sexist and weak? Almost all 1789 comments are not on your side and are from people from all over the world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOXh5repOWI mansplaining

Thanks Riot ACT for running that debate- it was really good to hear from all the leading candidates- and see how articulate and committed they are. Hopefully the recording will solve the issue with the tech glitches. Would absolutely love to see the same thing done for the lower house candidates. It can be really hard to get this sort of exposure to candidates at a local level and it’s invaluable.

Mr Pocock, does your “not for profit” business receive any Government funding. Have you and your associates cut all ties with Ms Hanson Young.

I would like each candidate to tell me what their views are on equal rights and inclusion of LBGTIQ people?

Experts like Antony Green say that David Pocock is the only candidate with a real chance of unseating Zed Seselja. Thanks to the smear campaign by Zed and his friends, we know that they also see Pocock as the main threat. That means that Zed would love to see the Greens get slightly more primary votes then Pocock, putting Pocock out of contention before it goes to preferences. So my question is this – if we want to get rid of Zed, and we know that he does not want us to put Pocock above the Greens when we vote – isn’t that exactly what we should do?

Zed Seselja.
Why is your Liberal government pursuing the prosecution of Canberran and former Attorney-general Bernard Collaery, a saga that’s already cost about $5million and counting? Why have you been silent on this use of national security laws to coverup the Australian government’s own spying in 2004 of the East Timorese government? An action to gain advantage over one of the poorest countries on earth? An action against a near neighbour, against our FAMILY – as you call other nearby island nations?
The government do not acknowledge that this happened, but the rest of the world knows it did happen, and that Alexander Downer (Foreign Minister in 2004) subsequently worked for Woodside, one of the beneficiaries of our clandestine spying activities.
The TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE…..isn’t that an ethic of the Christianity you profess? Why do you remain silent, while Bernard Collaery remains persecuted by your fellow minister, the current federal Attorney-General?

Simone Woods3:16 pm 03 May 22

If you were to be elected to the Senate, would you vote for or against allowing Mitochondrial Donation to occur in Australia? And why?

(Noting that the bill has passed the House of Representatives earlier this year and will now progress to the Senate)

Mr Seselja, you have been silent about the federal government’s prosecution of Canberra lawyer and former ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery. This saga has cost the taxpayer almost $5million plus a lot more in indirect costs. It is an international shame and embarrassment to fair-minded Australians as the targeting of Mr Collaery arises from the government’s spying on the East Timorese government in 2004, to gain financial advantage in negotiations over the Timor Sea oil and gas resources.
The government in which you’ve been a minister is pretending the bugging didn’t happen. You know it happened, so does the rest of the world.
Alexander Downer the Foreign Minister in 2004 at the time of the spying, subsequently lobbied for Woodside, which along with ConocoPhillips was set to benefit greatly from the fraudulent deal.
Your silence on the misuse of national security laws and demands for a secret trial are inexplicable.
Do you feel complicit in this outrageously expensive prosecution of Bernard Collaery, a courageous person who has stood for integrity and told the truth about potential crimes against one of the poorest countries on earth? Crimes designed and perpetrated by a Liberal government?
Where does one’s Christian values come into play? Is your silence really your preferred copout?

As a Canberran Senator, will you promise to not claim allowances for parliamentary sittings in Canberra

I understand the Independents don’t want to commit to supporting either party in advance- this is good. If they are in a hung parliament position, what policies will they base their decision on?

For Zed – from whence comes the arrogance that your (Zed’s) personal opinions and beliefs are more important and more valid than those of the voters who you are supposedly representing ?

I think the difficulty with this question is that everyone of us has personal opinions and beliefs and no one individual whether it be Zed, Katy, David or any of the other candidates can meet everyone’s opinions and personal beliefs.

Heather Needham12:24 pm 03 May 22

Zed has highlighted the increased federal health funding in the Act over the last 3 years, what proportion has been related to the pandemic and CPI increases and will that same level of funding be continued when the pandemic is over?

Jo John Rees11:48 am 03 May 22

Senator Seselja, given your government’s concern about the increasing influence of China in the Pacific, if re-elected, will your government ban all Chinese investment in Australia?

Barry McKenzie11:27 am 03 May 22

The US is in strategic decline in an unstable world. It is time to review our relationship with the US, including a hard look at the presence of communications and intelligence bases, and US troops in Darwin. And of course in light of decades of experience joining the US in pointless and barely legal wars.

Do the candidates support a policy of armed neutrality, over our current relationships and commitments?

Is it correct to say the candidates will get no advance warning of the questions? Have they promised not to read the questions posted here?

Question for Zed Seselja: Zed, I have been waiting since July for you to reply to my letter about the questionable survey on your website, as it prevents me raising federal issues that matter to me. The survey is still there, so I rang your office to ask how I might raise my concerns with you in person. Your office would not tell me where you would be, and said you are not holding any public events or advertising your whereabouts in advance. They said the only way I might see you would be if I happened to be at a shopping centre or an invitation-only event when you made an appearance. I have more chance of winning lotto. So you didn’t answer my letter, you won’t tell people where you are, and you aren’t turning up to candidate forums (unless they are invitation only, like this one) – why are you avoiding ordinary voters?

Canberra is a REGIONAL city, located in a central part of country NSW. It is also a major employment hub for both the APS and the private sector that supports it. As the National Capital of Australia, Canberra also supports the both the ACT and adjacent economies of regional NSW.

My question is to the ALP and Liberal candidates: Why does your party have a policy of transporting public sector jobs out of the ACT? This is an especially important issue – noting both ALP and Coalition often rant about their commitments to regional and rural Australia. Is not the ACT regional Australia?

My question to the other candidates: How would you stop the drain of jobs from the ACT – given the major parties are so keen to kill off our nation’s capital city?

Question for all candidates. During covid the population had its civil liberties stripped away and we witnessed unprecedented police abuses, (under medical authority), like moving people on who were sitting eating a burger on a park bench, ordering people off beaches and arresting people protesting, planning a protest and for travelling more than a short distance from their home. Many other violations of our civil liberties occurred. Were they justified and what guarantee can you give they will not happen again?

BLM protesters and the police – nothing too see here. Everyone else, rubber bullets and fines

The RiotACT poll from late 2021 asked “Is nuclear power a viable way forward for an emissions-free future? ” and found 57% of respondents said “Yes, it’s about time we got on with it”. Bearing in mind Canberra will require substantially more electricity supply if all transport and heating is to become fossil-free, what is your opinion of nuclear power?

Stephen Saunders8:20 am 03 May 22

Q for non Liberal/Labor/Greens candidates only: Is there any one of you that opposes the LibLab (Treasury) plan to reintroduce record levels of immigration? Indeed, are you even aware of it?

Neil Sharwood8:10 am 03 May 22

Does the Senator believe his role is to fulfill the will of the people and if so how does this explain our Government prosecuting Bernard Collaery, and passively allowing the persecution of Julian Assange?

Neil, are you posing this question to Ms Gallagher as well, as Mr Assange was arrested under Labors watch.

In your hypothetical are you seriously suggesting that our legal system shouldn’t prosecute people who break the law if they’re “popular” in certain sections of the public?

Because surely the “will of the people” is voting in our parliamentarians who have enacted all our laws. Laws that people like Mr Collaery have been charged under.

I suppose this would be for all the candidates.

Would you support the government funding measures that help provide a safe environment for students that think they may be LGBTQA+ and to ensure that any bullying or harassment that they may experience is dealt with appropriately?

Philosophy of government question is most important to me: “Do you believe in natural rights?”

“The End of the Weekend”. I spend my Friday nights, Sunday afternoons and Saturday afternoons with my kids at the Belconnen and Tuggeranong basketball courts because there is a massive shortage of courts vs players in the ACT. My weekends are ruined – no more family lunches, relaxation etc. Who will lobby for Federal funding to build a new Basketball Centre of Excellence in a central suburb such as Deakin, adjacent to the netball courts as an example. This is a real problem !!

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