Northern Grampians election debate rejected

NORTHERN Grampians south-west ward candidates have rejected the idea of an election debate.

Sam Haamid invited his fellow candidates to discuss issues in an open forum at Halls Gap on Friday night.

Other candidates are Ross Clementson, Dean Thomas, Don Gardiner, Jason Hosemans, Graeme Anyon, Stephen Odgers and Barry Marrow.

Mr Haamid said six candidates rejected the invitation.

“I am disappointed both as a candidate and a resident that the challenge has not been seized by my fellow candidates,” he said.

“It is up to the voters of the south-west ward and indeed the residents of the whole shire to draw their own conclusions as to why my fellow candidates have chosen not to participate.”

Mr Haamid said the offer of a debate would remain open for any candidates wishing to change their mind. 

He said the format of the debate was designed to protect candidates from being ambushed.

“No questions were to be posed from candidate to candidate, nor would questions be allowed from the audience,” he said.

The by-election will be on March 15 and follows Paul Russell’s resignation from council in December.

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