Young Allambee Reserve resident, Connor O’Sullivan, with his brother Dylan, had a searching question for sitting MP Russell Broadbent at a political forum in Leongatha last week, about how climate change is impacting the Great Barrier Reef. m021619

EVEN before the election was called last Thursday, five of the candidates contesting the new and expanded Federal seat of Monash were off and running.
Together with sitting member Russell Broadbent of the Liberal Party they attended a Monash Candidates Climate and Environment Forum in Leongatha last Tuesday.
They included independent Michael Fozard, the Greens’ Will Hornstra, Labor’s Jessica O’Donnell and Matthew Sherry of the United Australia Party.
Others known to be standing, ahead of the close of nominations on April 23, include independent John Verhoeven and Jeff Waddell of Pauline Hansen’s One Nation Party.
But it was Mr Broadbent who made the frank admission on the night, acknowledging that he “didn’t expect to get much support in the room”.
Early voting opens (at Warragul) on April 29 and at Wonthaggi on May 6.

Seven in race for new seat of Monash

McMILLAN is gone and many would say good riddance.
The race is on in earnest for the local Federal Seat of Monash, an expanded, changing electorate which includes Phillip Island and the Waterline towns around Westernport.
So far seven candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, including incumbent Russell Broadbent (Liberal) and others including Michael Fozard (independent), John Verhoeven (independent), William Hornstra (Greens), Jeff Waddell (One Nation), Jessica O’Donnell (Labor) and Matthew Sherry (United Australia Party).
The election will be held on Saturday, May 18 but, if past polls are any indication, an increasing number will vote when the early voting centres open on Monday, April 29 (Warragul only).
Locally, an Early Voting Centre will open at Wonthaggi on May 6 and at Cowes a week later on May 13.
Other key dates include:
• Tuesday, April 16 – Candidates information 4pm Warragul
• Thursday, April 18 – Electoral rolls close at 8pm
• Tuesday, April 23 – Candidate nominations close at noon
• Wednesday, April 24 – Candidates are declared at noon
• Monday, April 29 – Early voting opens
• Saturday, May 18 – Election day
Five of the Monash candidates have already hit the ground running in the past week, attending a Climate Change and Environment Forum in Leongatha’s Dakers Centre, which was packed with interested people.
The night was opened by Uncle Shane Clarke you paid his respects to elders past and present.
Organised by the Prom Area Climate Action Group, the focus was firmly on making this election a climate change election but several other topics were canvassed during a sometimes boisterous question time.
Indeed the first question of the night sought to draw a link between immigration and climate change, to the effect that cutting immigration by half would decrease our carbon footprint.
Michael Fozard said immigration had a major beneficial impact on Australia.
Will Hornstra said immigration had much less impact on climate change than the practice of clearing forests.
Jessica O’Donnell said we can do both, benefit from immigration and reduce emissions.
Russell Broadbent acknowledged it was a complicated subject but claimed the economy would crash without immigration.
Matt Sherry said he believed immigration intake needed to be reduced.
But the most telling question of the night was asked by Allambee Reserve youngster Connor O’Sullivan who had noticed the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef while swimming there over the school holidays.
Mr Broadbent said the present government was spending more than any other on protecting the reef.