Eden-Monaro byelection: Your questions answered

Eden-Monaro candidates (from top left) Matthew Stadtmiller, James Jansson, Michael Balderstone, James Holgate, Trevor Hicks, Dean McCrae, Joy Angel, Kristy McBain, Riccardo Bosi, Karen Porter, Cathy Griff, Narelle Storey, Jason Potter and Fiona Kotvojs.
Eden-Monaro candidates (from top left) Matthew Stadtmiller, James Jansson, Michael Balderstone, James Holgate, Trevor Hicks, Dean McCrae, Joy Angel, Kristy McBain, Riccardo Bosi, Karen Porter, Cathy Griff, Narelle Storey, Jason Potter and Fiona Kotvojs.

With the Eden-Monaro by-election only a matter of days away we thought it was time you, our readers, ask the candidates questions.

The Bega District News, Merimbula News Weekly, Eden Magnet and Bombala Times recently posted call-outs on our social media pages, asking readers on what topics they wanted to ask candidates a question.

While action on climate change was clearly the most common topic proposed by our readers, there were many different and varied issues on your minds.

READ MORE FROM THE CANDIDATES:

The rules 

Candidates have been asked to say yes, no or abstain to each of the questions we presented to them.

Where answers were unclear, they have been listed as such.

In some cases it appeared candidates found the task of breaking down their responses into a yes or no difficult, so some concessions have been allowed for short explanations along with their answers.

Candidates

The candidates for the July 4 by-election are: Joy Angel, Sustainable Australia; Michael Balderstone, Help End Marijuana Prohibition; Riccardo Bosi, independent; Cathy Griff, Greens; Trevor Hicks, Nationals; James Holgate, independent; James Jansson, Science Party; Fiona Kotvojs, Liberals; Kristy McBain, Labor; Dean McCrae, Liberal Democrats; Karen Porter, independent; Jason Potter, Australian Federation Party; Matthew Stadtmiller, Shooters Fishers and Farmers; and Narelle Storey, Christian Democratic Party.

Attempts were also made to contact Bosi, Hicks and Potter for comment, but they had not responded by time of publication.

Responses are grouped in alphabetical order by last name.

Questions

Will you commit to working towards 100 per cent renewable energy in Australia by 2050 to tackle climate change?

YES: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, Porter (earlier target of 2035), Storey.

NO: McCrae, Stadtmiller.

Do you support the approval of new coal mines in Australia?

YES: McBain ("subject to environmental approvals"), McCrae, Stadtmiller.

NO: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Porter, Storey.

UNCLEAR: Kotvojs ("all mines must continue to be subject to a rigorous environmental approval process").

Should Australia's First Nations people be recognised in the country's constitution?

YES: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

NO: McCrae.

Would you like to see Australia's foreign aid contributions reduced?

YES: McCrae.

NO: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, Porter, Storey.

ABSTAIN: Stadtmiller.

Do you support foreign ownership of Australian land and water entitlements?

YES: Jansson, McBain ("subject to FIRB assessment that it is in the national interest").

NO: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Kotvojs, McCrae, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

Should all foreign donations to political parties be banned?

YES: Angel,Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

NO: McCrae ("they should not be banned, but they should be very public").

Will you advocate for increased funding to support those left homeless by the summer's bushfires?

YES: Angel,Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

Should the number of immigrants legally allowed to move to Australia be restricted?

YES: Angel ("the number of immigrants has always been restricted"), Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae.

NO: Jansson, Storey.

ABSTAIN: Stadtmiller.

UNCLEAR: Porter.

Do you support ending Australia's offshore detention centres for refugees and asylum seekers?

YES: Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson,Porter.

NO: Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae.

ABSTAIN: Stadtmiller.

UNCLEAR: Angel,Storey.

Do you support increasing the funding to the ABC?

YES: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Jansson, Kotvojs ("it's continuing to rise"), McBain, Porter, Stadtmiller.

NO: McCrae, Storey.

ABSTAIN: Holgate.

Will youth unemployment be among your key policies?

YES: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

Do you support mandatory minimum jail sentences for federally convicted child sex offenders?

YES: Balderstone, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Stadtmiller, Storey.

NO: Griff ("we need to give judges discretion to ensure the sentence matches the circumstances"),Jansson, Porter.

ABSTAIN: Holgate.

UNCLEAR: Angel.

Would you advocate for the removal of fluoride from Eden-Monaro water supplies?

YES: Balderstone, Porter,Storey.

NO: Angel, Griff, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Stadtmiller.

ABSTAIN: Holgate.

Would you advocate for more hazard reduction in National Parks?

YES: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate ("through collaboration with traditional, scientific and fire fighting experts"), Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Porter, Stadtmiller, Storey.

NO: Jansson.

UNCLEAR: Porter.

While a state issue, are you opposed to the culling of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park?

NO: Angel, Balderstone, Griff, Holgate, Jansson, Kotvojs, McBain, McCrae, Stadtmiller, Storey ("humane culling is necessary").

UNCLEAR: Porter.

Final pitch

In 20 words or less please tell us why people should vote for you?

ANGEL: Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community party from the sensible centre. We will protect the environment, stop overdevelopment and stop corruption.

BALDERSTONE: Taxing and regulating cannabis will create many jobs, better health, renewed respect for police and less people in jail.

GRIFF: Greens policies emphasise urgent climate action to reduce bushfire risk, social equity, Invest to Recover, sustainable jobs, compassion for refugees.

HOLGATE: Only a genuinely politically and financially independent candidate can act objectively towards the long-term interests of this truly great electorate.

JANSSON: Science Party will invest in Australia's future through public education, public health care, modern infrastructure and medical/scientific research.

KOTVOJS: Eden-Monaro needs a local voice working as part of the government. With your support, I'll fight for our community.

MCBAIN: I will be your strongest voice, working across parties and all levels of government to get outcomes for this community.

MCCRAE: I am the candidate that does not want to promise things and not follow through, I want less government intrusion in your day to day lives.

PORTER: I will bring the love back to Eden-Monaro and truly represent our people in parliament through two way communication.

STADTMILLER: A vote for the major parties is a vote for business as usual. We need a member to represent the best interests of the community.

STOREY: Compassionate, reasonable, principled integrity. A balanced, thoughtful position with fighting courage for difficult times.

This story Eden-Monaro byelection: Your questions answered first appeared on Bega District News.

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