30 April 2022

Zed, Katy, independents and minor parties to face off in live Senate candidate debate

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Katy Gallagher

ACT Senator Katy Gallagher will participate in a live online debate on Tuesday. Photo: Region Media.

ACT elections are often dull affairs, with little change in representation. Not this time.

As pressure mounts in the Senate race and independents pit themselves against incumbent Zed Seselja, Region Media will broadcast a live candidate debate on Tuesday, 3 May at 5 pm.

Senator Katy Gallagher and Senator Zed Seselja will participate, along with independents David Pocock and Kim Rubenstein, Greens candidate Tjanara Goreng Goreng and United Australia Party candidate James Savoulidis.

The choice of candidates is based on their polling thus far and is intended to represent a broad spectrum of political opinions.

Senator Zed Seselja

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has confirmed his post on the stage. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The debate will be held in front of an invited audience and streamed live via our Facebook page. Region Media group editor Genevieve Jacobs will chair the hour-long event and there will be no speeches.

We’ll accept questions via our Facebook stream, although these will be moderated before going to the guests. The focus is strongly on local Canberra issues.

The latest available polling shows this year’s Senate contest is closer than expected. Both the Greens and Mr Pocock have recorded a strong showing while Senator Seselja failed to return a quota in polling conducted by Climate 200, which has funded the two independents.

Incumbent Labor Senator for the ACT Katy Gallagher looks certain to retain her seat.

READ ALSO Senate race heats up: Labor preferences Pocock; Libs no one; Independents disappoint Greens

However, the polling failed to fully account for recently announced preference deals, which have always been key to the second ACT Senate seat.

Labor has preferenced independent candidates David Pocock and Kim Rubenstein ahead of the Greens, while the independents look set to gain from Greens preferences ahead of Labor. It’s understood Mr Pocock will suggest voter preferences flow to the only other independent.

The Liberals will not preference anyone; instead, voters are being asked to number ‘1 Liberal’ and then to complete a formal ballot in the order of their choice.


READ ALSO: Corflute wars: Zed denies links as Pocock declares independence


Katy Gallagher has drawn the top position on the ballot paper, followed by the Sustainable Australia Party and the United Australia Party, whose candidate is James Savoulidis. The Liberal Party is fourth, followed by David Pocock and fellow independent Kim Rubenstein in sixth position.

The Australian Progressives will hold seventh position and the Greens will be eighth on the ballot paper, followed by Legalise Cannabis Australia, the Animal Justice Party and Informed Medical Options Party. Fuxin Li is an ungrouped candidate on the ballot.

There’s also been a very Canberra kerfuffle over corflutes depicting David Pocock unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a Greens t-shirt. The images are part of a campaign by Advance Australia, and the Australian Electoral Commission says they are permissible under the rules governing electoral advertising.

Advance Australia was also responsible for the posters of Xi Jinping apparently voting Labor which appeared around Canberra several weeks ago.

To watch the debate or submit your questions, click here.

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Ben Richards3:54 pm 01 May 22

You never see or hear from our politicians until an election is called and then they are everywhere spruking what they have done for the community.

No matter what side of politics you support, unless we make canberra marginal we are never going to be taken seriously. When the LNP is in government, they aren’t going to spend $$$ here cause we vote Labor and when the ALP is in government, they don’t have to spend any $$$ here cause we will vote for them regardless.

Genevieve, here’s a question for the candidates on Tuesday.
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?

I see the usual Canberra lefty insults here. Ho hum. Same same. Clearly this disreputable mob prefer one of the mean girls to ethical Zed. As to the self-absorbed disruptive ‘independents’, funded by the inherited rich boy from the west, who has vested (financial) interests in ‘clean’ energy, what useless drones.

@bob9000 Interesting how anyone who doesn’t conform to ”ethical Zed’s” ultra right Christian conservative political ideology is a lefty according to you. Your post is typical of the far right garbage on here – instead or presenting a cogent argument as to why people should vote for your candidate, you can only give us lame commentary denigrating other candidates. Boring!

@bob9000 Ethical Zed? Would that be the same Zed who, on Sky news, said he would honour the result of the same sex plebescite? Then, despite the ACT having the highest percentage participation rate and “Yes” result in the country, ethical Zed abstained. Talk about self absorbed!

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