Election race begins

CANDIDATES for the seat of Gilmore have welcomed last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard that the federal election will be held on September 14.

“Bring it on,” said Liberal candidate Ann Sudmalis.

“There are now 227 days until the people of Gilmore go to the polls to vote on the performance of the Gillard Labor Government,” she said.

“They have two options before them – to continue the instability, waste and broken promises, or choose a candidate who’s following on from the hard work of Joanna Gash in doing the absolute best for the people of Gilmore at all times.

“Since I was first preselected in April 2012 I have been mentored by Joanna Gash, and have personally knocked on more than 10,000 doors across Gilmore, and met thousands of local residents during the more than 100 local village visits in addition to community events.”

Labor’s Neil Reilly also welcomed the poll announcement.

“I think it’s good to be decisive. No one likes the to-ing and fro-ing that often surrounds the announcement of an election,” he said.

“I’m glad it’s been dealt with. We now have a date to work towards. I always start with the end in mind and, for me, the end is to be the representative for Gilmore in the federal parliament.”

Mr Reilly took a swipe at Ms Sudmalis’s reference to being mentored by outgoing Gilmore MP Joanna Gash.

“I think her statement shows that she is a follower and a not a leader. There’s nothing original, nothing for Gilmore and she needs to refer to the previous member, not what Gilmore needs.

“It needs a leader not a follower. No matter what happens in this election, Gilmore will have a new representative and people need to look upon this election as an opportunity for original ideas and prosperity.”

Mr Reilly said he was glad it was not going to be a short campaign.

“In past campaigns, oppositions have always complained the reasons their promises are not costed properly is the lack of time. This campaign will provide sufficient time to have all promises costed properly.”

Meanwhile, Greens candidate Terry Barratt said the early poll announcement underscored the need for fixed-term parliaments.

“We need a fixed-term federal parliament with elections held the same time at least every three years, but preferably every four years,” he said.

“The Prime Minister has cleared the way for us to plan with certainty. It forms a framework for a productive period of policy debate.

Mr Barratt reiterated his party’s support for the carbon tax.

“The fires and floods of January 2013 are a portent of the future if we do not act to reduce our carbon footprint.

“By the time of the election we will have had 15 months of the carbon tax and we will find that the sky hasn’t fallen down.

“But we need more investment not less to achieve a carbon free environment, a crucial element in a sustainable future. We need improved job opportunities based on commitment to a green economy, so we can move rapidly into this sustainable future. And we need to stop chopping and changing solar policy which threatens green jobs,” he said.

Mr Barratt also called for a “millionaires’ tax” to fund a $50 increase to the Newstart allowance.

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