Monday, May 27, 2024

People power: Big crowd for Q&A event

Recent stories

Chris Oldfield, Naracoorte Community News

Winding up last week’s Q&A event “by popular demand” in the Town Hall, esteemed local MC Glen Hamlyn acknowledged the two mayoral and 11 Naracoorte Lucindale Council (NLC) candidates as “fantastic”. He turned to the crowd of almost 200 people and said they had “a very difficult task of choosing the top 10 candidates out of this group”.

“At the end of the day, we are going to be represented by some wonderful young people that are passionate about our town, and I take my hat off to them for putting their hand up, and look forward to seeing the results.”

The Q&A event, organised by mayoral candidate Patrick Ross, was the second event involving NLC candidates that attracted 160 people to the Town Hall.

Mr Hamlyn welcomed the big crowd and praised mayoral candidates Patrick Ross and Erika Vickery, along with 12 councillor candidates, including a proxy, David Hood, for Peter “Huck” Shepherd.

In attendance – and in order of their positions on the ballot paper – were the high caliber candidates Mr Ross and Mrs Vickery for mayor, and councillor candidates:

  • Ken Banning
  • Andrew “Crash” Downward
  • Damien Ross
  • Julie Earl
  • Peter Ireland
  • Toby Robinson
  • Abigail Goodman
  • Danielle Moore
  • Trevor Rayner
  • Darren Turner
  • Cameron Grundy

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see so many people putting a hand up to take a role in our (council) business,” Mr Hamlyn said.

“Now, this is not a council organised forum, and I have no political agenda here this evening.

“Candidates will have three minutes to speak and I’ll ring a bell after two and a half minutes.

“The questions from the gallery will last for five to seven minutes, depending on how we read the play.

“The two mayoral candidates can have up to 10 minutes to answer questions.”

Following the Q&A event, Mr Ross said he organised it because a lot of people told him they wanted it after the Meet the Candidates forum.

Be it the right to ask questions, or having a different point of view about an issue, Mr Ross said “everyone has a right to be part of a conversation about things”.

“Everyone needs to compromise in a conversation at some point, otherwise no-one is ever going to go forward,” Mr Ross said.

“We can back ourselves into a corner and say everyone’s the enemy, or we can actually show a little compromise and have a discussion and work our way forward.”

Mr Ross said the forum on Wednesday, September 28 in the Town Hall was organised by the council administration.

“Following that meeting, a lot of people told me that they felt disappointed they couldn’t ask any of the candidates any questions (publicly).

“And a lot of the candidates said they were just as disappointed.

“So, I booked the Town Hall for a Q&A event. Then on the following Sunday after the council’s forum I sent out a bulk email to all of the candidates, inviting them to attend.

“The public voted with their feet. There was a full house.

“It’s very encouraging that so many residents took the time to drive in for the event.

 “So we were back by popular demand to answer the questions people wanted to ask.”

Mr Ross said he had deliberately selected Mr Hamlyn as the evening’s MC because he was so well known, highly respected, and although retired, represented the “H” in the business PPHS.

Mr Hamlyn was also well known as one of the district’s leading auctioneers., he also had a big voice and the skills to control a crowd. Incumbent apologies included Monique Crossling, Derek James, Craig McGuire and Tom Dennis.

Mrs Vickery was offered the opportunity to comment at the same time The News contacted Mr Ross, but no reply has yet been received. More coverage of Q & A meeting in next week’s paper.

Related stories: Smart blocks questions in public; Hushed crowd listens

Naracoorte Community News 19 October 2022

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.


Sign up for updates from Australian Rural & Regional News

Manage your subscription

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

For all the news from Naracoorte Community News, go to