With a Federal Election occurring this year, the first round of pre-election debates in the Myall Coast area took place last weekend.
At the invitation of North Arm Cove Residents Association, current sitting member for Lyne National Party MP Dr David Gillespie went head-to-head with Labor Candidate for Lyne Mr Peter Alley.
The two are no strangers on the campaign trail having both contested the seat of Lyne in the 2013 Federal election.
Whilst David Gillespie was successful after securing 53.19% of the ballot, Peter Alley recorded the second highest number of votes.
Following a coin toss, Labor candidate Peter Alley was first speaker, outlining his 25 years of experience in IT, banking, finance and telecommunications.
He has also worked extensively in the not-for-profit-sector with schools and church groups.
Mr Alley said he is passionate about what can be achieved as a community together in the seat of Lyne.
“A good government has three basic cords – economy, environment and community, all working together,” Mr Alley said.
“Labor consistently gets these right,”
Mr Alley said he was interested in the stories of people who are struggling with decisions made by the government.
“The major parties owe it to the Australian people to fiercely contest every seat to keep the other side honest,” he said.
Dr David Gillespie MP then took to the floor outlining his 33 year medical career, experience with small business and his country background raising beef cattle.
Dr Gillespie said it was a great honour to represent the people of the Myall Coast Area in Canberra.
“You need to get your agenda out down there and I’ve delivered in spades,” he said.
“People come up to the coast to retire so health and aged care are important.”
“There was $90 million coming into Lyne for aged care when I first started and now there is more than $105 million.”
Dr Gillespie said he was also concerned with capital works, long-term infrastructure and innovative programs creating jobs.
Greens candidate, former mayor of Gloucester Julie Lyford was unable to attend the presentation.
Although unconfirmed, Dr Gillespie said the Federal Election could take place as early as 2 July.
With the candidate’s campaigns set to ramp up in the coming months, both Dr Gillespie and Mr Alley said they plan to visit the area regularly.
By Daniel SAHYOUN