Marong forum ‘a success’

A CANDIDATE forum in Marong has been hailed a success by candidates and the organiser. 

All seven people running for the Lockwood ward attended Tuesday night’s meeting to share their vision for the area and discuss residents’ concerns. 

Organiser Bert Roberts of the Marong Community Action Group said postal voting made it hard for people to talk to candidates first-hand. 

“We had about 35 residents there and it was very informative,” he said. 

“You don’t get to meet-and-greet candidates at the polling booths in this environment so to get all the candidates there was very good.” 

Mr Roberts said the main concerns had been over the potential fire hazard of the Australian Cable Reel Company, the danger of the town’s main intersection and concerns the town’s new kindergarten may not open on time and the current building not be reused. Candidates Elise Chapman and Karel Zegers said residents had been unhappy with the performance of sitting councillors. 

“It was clear people in the audience were disappointed with the representation they’ve had over the years, and rightly so,” Ms Chapman said. 

Karen Corr said the forum had been beneficial for candidates and the public, noting that it was important to encourage local business in a balanced and well-managed way. 

Councillor Barry Lyons said there was a message that residents “probably need a bit stronger representation” and praised the forum for allowing the free expression of views. 

Councillor Rod Fyffe agreed that residents felt “left out” by the council and listed projects he would work on for the town if elected. Wendy Radford said people had been forthright in their opinions and said the questions had been relevant to Marong residents. Bruce Phillips could not be contacted.

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