Water policy reform was the major focus of a ‘Q and A’ session with federal election candidates in Griffith on Thursday night.
Health Minister Sussan Ley was joined by Ron Pike, Paul Rossetto, Trevor O’Brien and Amanda Cohn at Southside Leagues Club. Questions about education funding, Griffith Base Hospital, economic growth and migration were asked of the panel, but when the floor was opened to questions water once more bubbled to the surface.
“Im in favour of working with the basin plan but recognising there are problems,” Ms Ley said.
“If we have more water more jobs will come,” Mr O’Brien said.
Greens candidate Dr Cohn was slugged by Ms Ley over party policies but she returned fire on federal funding of health and education.
Dr Cohn accused the government of cutting $70 million from Griffith Base Hospital. Ms Ley said she could only commit to talking to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner.
Australian Liberty Alliance candidate Ron Pike set out his plan for ‘fixing’ the basin plan but it was challenged from the floor as not being feasible. He replied many researchers had worked on the plan and said it did work. He also complained about the amount of construction materials imported while local industries slowed down.
Mature Australia Party candidate Trevor O’Brien said he wanted to see the pension raised to 75 per cent of the basic wage when the question of aged care came up.
Christian Democrat Paul Rossetto arrived 30 minutes late but spoke strongly on matters of health and aged care.
Independent Brian Mills declined an invitation to be on the panel but asked questions from the floor.
Check out our Twitter feed of the event here.