Country News

Chance to test the candidates

By Country News

Farmers and community members will have the opportunity to question candidates on how they plan to deliver for agriculture during a VFF forum in Shepparton this week.

The five candidates standing for the state seat of Shepparton at the November 24 election have been invited to the forum on Wednesday, November 7, where they are expected to be asked the hard questions by voters.

‘‘The VFF launched its 2018 state election platform back in July and so far parties and candidates have provided largely underwhelming responses to demands that they deliver for agriculture,’’ VFF president David Jochinke said.

‘‘We’ve put candidates on notice, and farmers will be expecting answers on their key issues during these forums.’’

The VFF will be pushing its agenda at the debate.

The organisation’s election wish list includes funding for a guaranteed energy future, fit-for-purpose roads, reliable telecommunications, responsible animal care and a fair and equitable rates system.

The candidates who have confirmed to Country News they will be attending the forum are:

■Incumbent member and independent Suzanna Sheed.

■ALP candidate Bill Heath, who will discuss the current government’s record with water.

■Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer, who will speak about water, farm rates and roads.

■Greens candidate Nickee Freeman, who will speak on water and mental health.

Nationals candidate Peter Schwarz failed to answer phone calls from Country News.

■The forum will be held on Wednesday, November 7, at Shepparton’s GV Hotel at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

■See the VFF’s key election campaign demands at: www.deliveringforagriculture.org