Federal election candidates weigh in on issues

Lisa Chesters. Picture: Bendigo Advertiser

Jobs, healthcare, school funding and a telecommunications ‘‘crisis’’ are shaping up as key federal election issues in Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges.

The Labor-held seats of McEwen and Bendigo are expected to be critical electorates on July 2; they have margins of 0.2 and 1.3 per cent respectively. Candidates from the major parties have also listed cost-of-living increases, infrastructure, a fairer tax system and action on climate change as needing attention.

Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters said central Victorian schools would be $16 million a year better off under Labor, which has promised to fund the full six years of Gonski education reforms.

‘‘Labor has also committed to real action on climate change, marriage equality, rolling out the full NBN, protecting weekend penalty rates … cracking down on the use of temporary work visas and protecting paid parental leave,’’ she said.

‘‘We will fund these commitments by making multinational companies pay their fair share of tax, with negative gearing and capital gains reform, and increasing the tax on cigarettes.’’

Both Ms Chesters and her McEwen counterpart, Rob Mitchell, said people were sick of being forced to make do with substandard phone and internet services.

They said the rollout of the NBN under Malcolm Turnbull had been a ‘‘mess’’.

‘‘The Macedon Ranges is in a telecommunications crisis,’’ Ms Chesters said.

Jobs and infrastructure was the mantra from Liberal candidates Megan Purcell (Bendigo) and Chris Jermyn (McEwen), who said a returned Turnbull government would promote growth.

‘‘[We will] help central Victorian and Macedon Ranges small businesses and working families through less red tape, incentives and tax relief,’’ Ms Purcell said.

Greens candidates Rosemary Glaisher and Neil Barker said only their party would put climate change and renewable energy at the top of the agenda.

The 21st Century Party (Peter Bland) also intends to have a McEwen candidate in July’s poll. Nominations close June 9.


The National Party announced candidates for McEwen and Bendigo for July’s federal election.

Rural supplies owner James Anderson will be part of the McEwen contest, joining Labor’s Rob Mitchell, Liberal Chris Jermyn, The Greens’ Neil Barker and 21st Century Party’s Peter Bland.

Stock agent Andy Maddison will contest Bendigo, along with Labor’s Lisa Chesters, Liberal Megan Purcell and The Greens’ Margaret Glaisher.