A FEDERAL election forum has been cancelled due to lack of interest.
Bendigo’s major party candidates Lisa Chesters and Greg Bickley were expected to speak and answer questions at a forum on Thursday, but low attendee numbers mean the event will not go ahead.
Bendigo Business Council made the decision, saying it might be too early for local issues to come to the fore.
“Even though there is a bit going on in Bendigo, both politically and socially, people are focused on the federal leadership struggle and with such a long election period, people aren’t as focused on Bendigo issues yet,” executive officer Patrick Falconer said.
“Also maybe with Easter coming up, that might have come into it.”
Mr Falconer admitted the numbers were “a little disappointing” but remained confident that Bendigo residents would become more concerned with local issues closer to the September election date.
“There is a lot happening in Bendigo, including the hospital debate; and we are expecting an announcement at the end of March, which might incite some interest and become a strong local issue,” he said.
Most people Mr Falconer had spoken to were surprised by the low attendance numbers and he said BBC would not make a habit of cancelling events.
Labor candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, said she was disappointed that the proposed election forum had been postponed.
She said she had her speech prepared and was looking forward to having the opportunity to debate with Liberal candidate Greg Bickley about the future vision for Bendigo.
“In the lead-up to the forum I have been speaking to local businesses and a number of people involved with the forum and I was keen for the debate,” she said.
“I look forward to rescheduled forum and a return of a policy debate.”
Liberal candidate for Bendigo, Greg Bickley said Bendigo business owners were busy and he understood why the forum had to be postponed.