On again off again debate is off again
By Alex Easton
IT'S on, then it's off, then it's on, now it's off again.
Plans for a debate between Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot and her Nationals challenger Dr Sue Page have now hopped in and out of existence so often the campaign is beginning to resemble a performance of the Hokey Pokey.
After last week apparently reaching an agreement there would be a debate at the South Tweed Community Centre, Dr Page has said she will not attend, after Ms Elliot said the topic of debate would be restricted to industrial relations.
Dr Page had said she wanted to cover a broader range of issues, such as industrial relations, global warming, health and nuclear energy, along with anything else members of the public attending the meeting wanted to raise.
However, Ms Elliot responded to that by saying next week's debate would be restricted to IR, and other issues could be debated at other times.
Dr Page has followed that with a statement saying she will not attend the South Tweed debate, saying she would be happy to have it later, and provided the issues for debate are chosen by the general public.
"My priority at the moment is a conversation with ordinary local residents through doorknocking and community group meetings," Dr Page said.
"I will be happy to debate the MP further down the track on a broad range of issues chosen by locals, rather than her."
Ms Elliot accused Dr Page of 'running away' from the debate, saying the event would go ahead regardless of whether her opponent showed up and that the invitation to Dr Page remained open.