free newsletter
Search our website
Send us your story
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    What's on ...  

    Photo: Simon Cardwell

    Five Properties of Chainmale 
    Where: Griffin Theatre
    When: Until May 9th 
    More info ...


    Photo of the week 

    News snippets 

    The Salvos & Thomas kelly Foundation Safe Space, which provides latenight revelers with assistance from water to help getting home, has been given the green light to expand to Kings Cross ... Read More ...

    Irish tourist Barry Lyttle has been given a 13-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting his brother in Kings Cross ... Read more ...

    Assaults down in Kings Cross but also across NSW ... Read more ...

    Poker machine venues get exemption from lockout laws ... Read more ... 



    « The underside of council amalgamations | Main | Cheers, it's time for Last Drinks »

    The Cult of Malcolm

    Election forum sees focus on the NBN ... Wild claims light-up the Paddo RSL as Wentworth candidates strut their stuff ... Anita Senaratna was there 

    Liberal and Labor: hammer and tongs at the Paddo RSL (pic: NewsLocal)

    IT was nearly a full house at Paddo RSL on Monday night (August 12) for an election forum for the seat of Wentworth.

    Most of the attendees were in business attire, looking as though they'd come straight from serious jobs in the city.

    Wentworth Courier editor James Law was in charge, moderating the discussion between the five candidates: current member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal), Di Smith (Labor), Matt Robertson (Greens), Marsha Foxman (Palmer United) and last-minute addition Beresford Thomas (Christian Democrats).

    The night kicked off with three-minute speeches from the candidates, all of whom went well over the time limit, outlining their plans for the electorate, before Law posed a few questions from the Courier and its readers - who had written in via email and social media prior to the debate.

    However, things heated-up towards the end when the audience was invited to fire its own questions.

    One query about youth initiatives led Turnbull to comment that the Labor Party had "penalised" the electorate for voting in a Liberal member, referring to the de-funding of the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club upgrade as an "act of spite."

    The issue that garnered the most passionate response was not asylum seekers, but the NBN.

    While Smith, a former Country Practice star, was shouted down angrily after saying that the Labor Party "looks to the future" with the NBN, Turnbull described the project as "one of the greatest scandals in our history". 

    Labor's Di Smith on the campaign trail

    Foxman's policies focused for the most part on big business, generating wealth and operating under the logic of "Well, the two major parties are failing so the alternative must be Clive Palmer". 


    Thomas seemed unsure about policy details, instead preferring to quote the Bible or refer to films or documentaries to back-up most of his claims.

    The debate was raging over Twitter as well as on the stage, as audience members were invited to live-tweet with the hashtag #wentyforum.

    In summary: Smith was probably the most charismatic and likeable; Robertson made the most sense; nobody really cared about Foxman and Thomas; and even though Tony Abbott's negativity seems to have rubbed off on Turnbull, he got the most applause of the night.

    After 11 years in the seat, Wentworth has forgotten Utegate and Godwin Grech and Turnbull's earlier performance as Opposition leader. It is not likely to change its mind this time around. 

    Reporter: Anita Senaratna 

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>