Wheatbelt candidates show their wares at forum

Top: York landfill protesters and (above) candidates and audience at the forum.
Top: York landfill protesters and (above) candidates and audience at the forum.

Candidates included Mia Davies, from the Nationals, Labor’s John Watters, Liberal candidate Stephen Strange, Greens candidate Trisha Walters and Bob Adair from the Australian Christians. Independent Gerald Sturman was unable to attend.

The candidates were given the opportunity to answer questions from the audience and reveal their top priorities for the region. Protesters used the event to rally against a planned SITA landfill site near York.

When asked what his main values were, Mr Adair said his two principal concerns were improved services at Northam Hospital and better roads.

Ms Walters said mental health issues also needed to be addressed.

‘It has a lot to do with self-esteem. Men won’t go to counsellors,’ she said.

Mr Strange said he wanted to see more funding for farming and agriculture.

‘And I agree with Trish about the mental health issues,’ he said.

Mr Strange said he was working hard to try to keep the Tier 3 rail network open.

‘We have made some progress but not fast enough,’ he said.

Mr Watters said his main priorities included keeping agriculture and regional towns strong.

Ms Davies said she believed in access to quality healthcare and education.

‘All of these things have merit but funding is the key issue,’ she said.

When the issue of anti-social behaviour was raised, Mr Adair said he believed there was a lack of respect in the community for police.

Ms Davies said she agreed with Mr Adair and said there was a need for more police, combined with positive role models.

Mr Strange said the Liberals had introduced some anti-crime measures, such as mandatory sentencing for home invaders, to help deal with burgeoning anti-social and criminal behaviour.