Chance to quiz state election candidates

INVITATION: TRRA members Dick Appleby and John James invite residents to their Meet the Candidates forum. Picture: Charles Elias
INVITATION: TRRA members Dick Appleby and John James invite residents to their Meet the Candidates forum. Picture: Charles Elias

TONY Abbott and Kevin Rudd put the Rooty Hill RSL on the map with their now famous people's forum prior to the 2013 federal election.

In the same way the Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association (TRRA) hopes all roads will lead to Nelson Bay Bowling Club when it hosts its "Meet the Candidates" forum in the lead-up to the March 28 State election.

All contenders, including Liberal's Ken Jordan, Labor's Kate Washington and The Greens' Rochelle Flood, will be invited to sit in the hot seat on Monday, March 9, starting at 7pm.

Media relations officer at TRRA Dick Appleby said the forum could be the only opportunity residents will get to quiz the candidates on policy and issues.

"We have run successful candidates forums in Port Stephens for all state and council elections since 2008 and they have developed a wide appeal for both candidates and residents," Mr Appelby said.

"This forum will allow the candidates to open up about their visions, while allowing the residents to put the candidates under scrutiny on the big issues affecting them."

Mr Appelby stressed that the TRRA was an apolitical body and all candidates would be given equal time under the spotlight.

"TRRA has never, and will not be, supporting individual candidates from any party. We try to provide a neutral public forum for candidates to present their visions and aspirations, and be questioned on those by constituents.

"We have developed a system that includes a visible digital clock and a moderator to ensure all candidates get equal time and are treated fairly and with respect."

Mr Appelby said it was likely that Independents and minor party nominees would participate alongside the three major parties.

"The date [March 9] was set prior to learning the closing date for nominations, which is March 12."

More information can be found at trra.com.au.

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