Forum to give Cowra community chance to meet the council candidates

The 16 candidates running for Cowra Council. Photo supplied.
The 16 candidates running for Cowra Council. Photo supplied.

The Cowra community will have the chance to hear from the people on the ballot paper with a council candidate forum to be held this Sunday.

The forum, which will be held at the Cowra Services Club from 2.30pm, came about after the creation of the Cowra Conduit Facebook page.

Marc McLeish, who created the page, said the idea behind forum was to allow residents to hear from the candidates and make an informed decision when they head to the polls.

"What I've found is the information and the campaigning this year, through having so many candidates, has been very spread out," he said.

"If we're going to have an educated opinion on our vote, it needs to be in comparable distance to each other.

"We need to get them under one roof."

The forum, Mr McLeish said, will also help combat misinformation and bring transparency.

"We don't want our councillors frightened of social media... the trouble is information travels fast, right or wrong, we're seeing federal and state elections decided on funny memes instead of actual facts," he said.

"Local government needs to stay in front of it and hopefully this is the conduit to do that."

The forum will begin with introductions from the candidates before each one answers one of 16 questions relating to local issues.

"We'll give the candidates a short period of time to tell us their vision, their goals," he said.

"The candidates will be given notice of 48 hours or more on all those questions but they just don't know which one will be asked.

"We're trying to stimulate the idea that each candidate has done their homework and is actually addressing the issues that are relevant to a council election."

The forum is free however attendees must register before the event by visiting https://www.123tix.com.au/events/23451/cowra-conduit-council-candidate-forum-2021

Attendees must abide by all COVID-19 regulations, including the wearing of face masks, signing in via QR Code and having proof of double vaccination.

Residents are asked to allow plenty of time to sign into the club.

As for the Cowra Conduit Facebook page, Mr McLeish would like to see it become a platform for ideas and, if enough people get involved, issues can be taken to council.

"The Cowra Conduit is something that I hope will grow into a more or less a virtual service group," he said.

"The Cowra Conduit and this forum, there will be no aggressive language, there will be no "they should, they should, they should", we want reasonable conversation that's civil and therefore progressive.

"It's a more accessible, public platform for discussion."

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