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Andrew Gee late addition to our sold out Q&A forum at Hotel Orange; five of six now attending




By Peter Holmes


Politicians, and those aspiring to become politicians, are not always as enthusiastic about pre-election public forums as you might assume.



They'll take any opportunity to talk, right? Well, yes and no.


When The Orange News Examiner began organising the (now) sold out Politics in the Pub event for Calare candidates tomorrow night at the Hotel Orange, the response from the six candidates was mixed.

A few said yes immediately. One, who was not happy with a story I'd written about them, was among those who put their hand up right away.




Others came back reasonably promptly in the affirmative.


One candidate, also not impressed with a story we'd published, said they didn't know if they could attend.



Another said they'd be unlikely to attend, as they'd been advised to stay away from public forums.


Why? Well, they could be stacked with supporters of one candidate. They could become nasty. A pile-on. A shambles.

These were reasonable concerns, and I did my best to assure all the candidates that I had no intention of letting rabble rousers ruin a civic event that is meant to celebrate democracy, not trash it.



Before agreeing, some candidates wanted to know about the format. How would questions be asked? Who would moderate? How long were opening speeches? How many people would attend? Would it be live streamed?



By Sunday night, following some premium-grade smooth talking, all six candidates were locked in.

They are, in alphabetical order:


Sarah Elliott - Labor


Andrew Gee - Nationals (sitting MP)


Kate Hook - Independent


Adam Jannis - United Australia


Kay Nankvervis - Greens


Stacey Whittaker* - Pauline Hanson's One Nation


A number of questions have been submitted by our readers, and if you'd like me to ask a question of the candidates on your behalf, email by 10pm Monday May 9 to office@orangenewsexaminer.com.au


* One Nation candidate Stacey Whittaker informed us on Monday that due to a shortage of volunteers she was working at pre-polling stations between Dubbo and Mudgee and was therefore unlikely to be able to attend. "I will do my best, please pass on my apologies if I don't arrive," she wrote.

All tickets for the event have been booked.


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