Brisbane candidates battle for keys to City Hall
Three of Brisbane’s five Lord Mayoral candidates faced off in a live forum and debate at the ABC Brisbane studios yesterday.
Independent candidate Chris Carlton arrived late and Australian Sex Party Rory Killen failed to show.
Pictured left to right: Andrew Bartlett (Greens), Ray Smith (Labor), Graham Quirk (LNP).
ABC drive presenter Tim Cox questioned Greens candidate Andrew Bartlett, Labor’s Ray Smith, and the NLP’s Graham Quirk about infrastructure, cost of living and rate increases.
Mr Bartlett pledged to be more consultative with the community and refocus infrastructure spending away from toll roads and towards public transport.
He pointed to his history as senator with the Australian Democrats as evidence that he could work productively and negotiate with other political parties.
When asked how he could be mayor when he had never attended a council meeting, Mr Bartlett said: “Well we have just elected a Premier who has never been in Parliament”.
Mr Smith stuck to his key campaign message of cost of living, pledging to cap future rate increases to the consumer price index.
Mr Smith also wanted to focus on local roads which he believed had been neglected while council focused on toll roads.
He also pledged to offer free public transport on council buses and ferries for pensioners during off-peak times.
Mr Quirk pointed to his experience in council and said he wanted to focus on easing traffic congestion and continuing flood recovery.
Mr Quirk said he doubted Mr Smith could afford his promises, saying that LNP promises amounted to $200 million while the ALP’s totalled $800 million.
The candidates were asked if they would consider funding the Premier Literary Awards scrapped recently by Premier Campbell Newman.
Mr Bartlett said he would if there was space in the budget.
Mr Smith said he wouldn’t fund the awards but offered to make City Hall available for the awards.
Mr Quirk didn’t support council funding for the awards but promised the establishment of the Writers-in-Residence program to support local authors.
Photo: Shirley Way