Election forums – ask the candidates

Candidate forums will be held for two key Sydney seats with large Jewish populations ahead of the upcoming NSW and federal elections.

WITH both a state (NSW) and a federal election looming, two upcoming communal forums will give members of the community a chance to hear from candidates in two key seats.

One of the must-win battleground seats in the upcoming NSW election – Coogee – will be in the spotlight at the next NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) plenum on Tuesday, March 19.

The electorate is currently held by the Liberal Party’s Bruce Notley-Smith – chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel – by a margin of just 2.9 per cent and will be fiercely contested by both Labor and the Greens.

Notley-Smith’s key challenger is Labor’s Marjorie O’Neill, who sits on Waverley Council. The NSW state election is on Saturday, March 23, with early voting opening on Monday, March 11.

“The Coogee electorate encompasses a number of our major institutions, including Moriah College, Emanuel School and the Montefiore Randwick, as well as a significant percentage of our community members,” JBOD president Lesli Berger said.

“The election forum will be an opportunity for the community to hear directly from the candidates and to put questions to them. Please come along.”

The plenum will be held at the Sydney Jewish Museum Education Centre and begins at 7.30pm. Meanwhile, The AJN has partnered with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) to present “The Great Debate for the federal seat of Wentworth” on Sunday, April 14.

Incumbent MP Kerryn Phelps, who became the first Jewish woman to be elected to federal Parliament when she won last October’s by-election, will be joined by Liberal candidate and former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, Labor candidate Tim Murray and the Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak.

AJN CEO Joshua Levi said, “This is an opportunity for the community to speak directly to the candidates and ask questions ahead of the federal election. “It’s a privilege to partner with AUJS to host this event for the community.”

AUJS chairperson Josef Wilkinson added, “As a seat with a high Jewish population – with a result no analyst is willing or able to predict – this is a fantastic opportunity to see what our candidates have to offer.”

Questions for the Wentworth forum can be submitted now, via https://goo.gl/forms/XQGAYTxGePMaLtM52.

Both events are free.