Forum throws up concerns

Rev Jim Sparks (far right) hosts Andrew Waddell ALP, Dwight Randall (Australian Christians), Nathan Morton (Liberal) and Alison Xamon (Greens) at the political forum in Wattle Grove.
Rev Jim Sparks (far right) hosts Andrew Waddell ALP, Dwight Randall (Australian Christians), Nathan Morton (Liberal) and Alison Xamon (Greens) at the political forum in Wattle Grove.

Local election candidates attended a political forum in Wattle Grove organised by the Baptist Church on February 23.

Labour sitting member for Forrestfield Andrew Waddell, Liberal candidate Nathan Morton along with Australian Christian Dwight Randall and Greens sitting member for the East Metropolitan Region, Alison Xamon spoke about their passion and policies in political life. They also answered questions from the floor.

Mr Waddell said he had been building alliances in opposition and was glad the area east of the river was finally gaining some traction, politically, with election promises being thrown around it since the announcement of the March 9 polling day.

Mr Morton said that as a schoolteacher and deputy headmaster dealing with children from difficult backgrounds, he was passionate about education and the electorate in which he lives.

Mr Randall, who is also a pastor for the Baptist Church, said it was important for Christian values to be represented in the Parliament.

‘I will try to address the concerns Christian people have,’ he said.

Mrs Xamon’s areas of interest include mental health and the justice system, where she believes vulnerable people should be given a fair go.

As a lawyer, she believes law reform is overdue. ‘Mandatory sentencing should be quashed,’ she said.

Waiting times for State housing were raised by a few constituents as a perennial problem, with all candidates agreeing that everyone had a right to public housing and a roof over their heads.

Mr Waddell said he supported low-cost housing, which offered people the opportunity to enter the housing market at a cheaper price.

Mr Morton said he could guarantee the Barnett Government was committed to more public housing being built to support the most vulnerable in the community.

Mrs Xamon said the housing issue was at crisis point in Perth, with record levels of homelessness as people were forced to sleep in cars for two to three months at a time and emergency accommodation at tipping point.