Last night's Candidates forum, organised by the 3228ra committee, was well attended. The candidates present were: Lisa Ashdowne (Greens), Andrew Katos (Liberal), Andy Richards (Labour) and Stephen Chara (Australian Country Alliance) and we estimate there were at least 70 in the audience.
After introductions by the candidates, a lively Q & A session lasted for over an hour. The questions asked, among others, related to unconventional gas exploration (fracking), lifting restrictions on wind turbines, a pool for Torquay, better policing ( a fully manned station), fluoride in the water and Planning issues.
The big news of the night was Andrew Katos telling the audience that the coalition would rezone Bob Pettit Reserve to Crown land and the Surf Coast Shire would be the Committee of Management.
This news followed an announcement earlier in the day by the shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee, that if elected, they would sell the reserve to the shire for the price they resolved ($500,000) at a previous council meeting. This would give the shire ownership as opposed to management of the land in question.
In response to a question about the Mega Caravan Park proposed on farm land on the outskirts of Torquay, Mr Katos also promised to advocate on behalf of the community by speaking to the Planning Minister to have the proposal removed from the VCAT list.
We are fortunate to be in a marginal seat because the promises just keep coming!