Blair candidates face voters at QT forum
CANDIDATES for the seat of Blair faced voters at a QT forum last night with Labor's alleged failures and successes in office firmly in the spotlight.
Six of the eight candidates in the contest took part in the debate at Ipswich Turf Club, held in conjunction with the Ipswich Chamber of Trade and streamed live on the QT's website.
Sitting MP Shayne Neumann (ALP), as well as candidates Teresa Harding (LNP), Dale Chorley (Katter's Australian Party), Anthony Mackin (Rise up Australia), Clare Rudkin (Greens) and Anthony Stanton (Palmer United Party) were grilled on a range of subjects, including their spending plans, education, gay marriage and aboriginal rights.
Mr Neumann spruiked the Federal Government's support for Ipswich, highlighting the investment secured for the Ipswich Motorway, Blacksoil interchange, schools and local health services - as well as $15m to support the Brisbane Lions' new training base in Springfield announced last week.
He also warned voters that the LNP has a "$70billion black hole" in its spending plan and claimed that its maternity leave plan, under which some wealthy mothers could receive $75,000, as tantamount to "class warfare".
But the LNP's Teresa Harding went on the attack over the government's record, describing Labor as "chaotic, divided and dysfunctional".
"For more than a year I've been knocking on doors and waving until my arm nearly fell off," she said. "From those conversations, it's clear to me that the people of Ipswich feel very let down."
She also accused Labor of having "no credibility" in economic management, claiming: "Labor promised over 500 times to deliver a surplus in 2012-13 but it failed to do so."
Mr Chorley said the KAP would make improving life for retirees a priority, adding :"We need to make sure they are looked after and can afford to turn on the power and heater and pay their bills."
Mr Mackin, who this week called for mosques to be "eradicated", said his party wanted to keep "Australia Australian", with a multi-ethnic society subscribing to "one culture and one law".
The PUP's Anthony Stanton also attacked Labor's economic management, claiming Treasurer Chris Bowen had little idea how business worked, but applauded ALP investment in Ipswich.
The Greens' Clare Rudkin said her party would oppose mining and called for a "humane" solution to the refugee problem.
Elwyn Denman (Family First) and Shannon Deguara (Australian Independents) were unable to attend.
The forum was streamed live on qt.com.au last night and an edited version will be posted on the site today. Thursday's QT will also carry more, in-depth coverage of the debate.