Last night, at the Merlynston Progress Hall in North Coburg, Climate Action Network hosted a Wills electorate candidate forum with a focus on the climate and sustainability.
In attendance was the current Wills MP Peter Khalil, Greens candidate Adam Pulford, Victorian Socialist Sue Bolton and Animal Justice candidate Chris Miles. The evening was chaired by the CEO of Moreland Energy Foundation Limited Alison Rowe.
The evening began with a five-minute statement from each candidate before the floor was opened up to audience questions.
Khalil used his time to argue that of the candidates on stage, he was only one able to create change, stating that “Labor is the only progressive party that can form government at this election”.
He also criticised the current Government, saying “we have had no action on climate change in six years in this country”.
The Greens candidate, Adam Pulford, was the second most prominent candidate and he used his statement to push against the Labor narrative arguing that “Labor like to talk about climate action and put it on their flier and poster but doesn’t like to match their words with the science it demands.”.
He pushed the need for more progressive policies. “If you don’t have a plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground now, then you don’t have a plan to tackle climate change,” he said.
Questions from the audience ranged from asking each candidate what their plans would be for greater public transport, should fossil fuel money be taken out of politics and would each candidate agree to ban logging.
On the matter of public transport, Khalil said he would be aiming to double the Sunbury Line, and that he had spoken to Opposition spokesman for Transport Anthony Albanese about the matter, but that logistically it would need to happen after the current upgrade to the City Loop has been completed.
Local resident and voter, Sebastian Horey, said he too was worried about climate change and that this would be a deciding factor for him in voting.
“We’re running out of time. It’s just that simple. We need action on the climate and this election is the only time left to do it,” he said.
Liberal Party candidate Peter Killin and the United Australia Candidate Manju Venkataswamappa did not attend the event.