Goldstein debate pits Zoe Daniel against Tim Wilson


Independent Zoe Daniel was greeted with enthusiastic applause from a crowd of more than 400. The town hall was full and there was a waiting list wanting to attend. Daniel said Australia could lead a renewable revolution if it focussed on what it could gain rather than what it could lose.

“How many bushfires, floods and super storms do we need to have?” she asked, before government took urgent action on climate change. “This election is about trust and that’s why I’m running.”

Tim Wilson arrives at the community debate.

Tim Wilson arrives at the community debate.Credit:Darrian Traynor

Daniel stressed she was a swinging voter and would work with either side of politics to achieve emissions reductions but only “if they can be trusted”.

Labor candidate Martyn Abbott said he had campaigned for climate action most of his life. He described the Morrison government as “effective climate criminals” and said that Labor would make Australia a clean energy “superpower”.

Greens candidate Alana Galli-McRostie called for the urgent halt to the burning of coal, gas and oil. She highlighted the Greens emissions reductions target of 75 percent by 2030, a target higher than those of the major parties and Daniel.

Galli-McRostie called for an end to subsidies to fossil fuel and the reinvestment of money to renewable energy and the imposition of a carbon levy and a ban on any new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Supporters and volunteers for the candidates outside the Brighton Town Hall.

Supporters and volunteers for the candidates outside the Brighton Town Hall.Credit:Darrian Traynor

“Instead of dirty coal we’ll sell sunshine to our neighbours. With the Greens you know where you stand.”

The debate was the only opportunity Goldstein voters will have to see and hear the main candidates go through their paces together in a public forum before the May 21 poll.

Moderated by Southern FM’s Craig Francis, the forum gave the candidates an old-fashioned public stage, with locals given an opportunity to question and assess their prospective representative in federal parliament.

Based on audience response, Daniel and Abbott probably took the honours on the night. But given it was an event convened by the local environment group, that was to be expected.

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