CANDIDATE: Former Bathurst councillor Gordon Crisp.Bathurst’s Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) will host its pre-election candidates’ forum tomorrow morning, and this year the event will break with tradition.
The forum is usually staged to give CPSA members and the general public an opportunity to meet the candidates for the state seat of Bathurst, compare their policies and proffer questions.
Taking to the stage this year will be candidates including sitting member Paul Toole, the Greens’ Tracey Carpenter and Labor’s Cass Coleman.
But also making an appearance will be former Bathurst councillor and now NSW Upper House candidate Gordon Crisp.
Mr Crisp will become the first Upper House candidate to take part in what is traditionally a Lower House forum.
The decision to break from tradition and grant a wildcard entry to Mr Crisp has been explained by the CPSA’s president John Hollis.
“We believe that Gordon is a very community-minded person who has made a great contribution over many years to the city of Bathurst, including his many years involved with Bathurst Regional Council. So, on that basis the CPSA agreed to let him speak at the forum,” Mr Hollis said.
“It was a discretionary decision made by the CPSA committee and, at the end of the day, it will give CPSA members and the attending public a perspective on the Upper House.”
Mr Crisp has previously rejected claims that his attendance would be an anomaly, saying he had “issues and policies which people should hear”.
Mr Hollis said Mr Crisp’s inclusion in the forum was to be strictly supervised.
“Mr Crisp will address the forum first, speaking for five minutes,” he said.
“He will not take part in the question and answer session at the end, that will be strictly for the Lower House candidates – as is our tradition.
“I expect that Mr Crisp’s discussion will focus on the contribution that he can make for the Bathurst community.”
Mr Hollis said the candidates’ forum always created a lot of interest and was an important event which should maintain its focus on policy and plans that would affect Bathurst.
“It is not a political meeting nor a public meeting. It is a CPSA meeting with guest speakers,” he said. “It is important that candidates give us a commitment that they’ll sustain policies and plans that will support the growth of Bathurst and a population that is living longer.”
The CPSA forum will be held tomorrow at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre and members of the public are welcome to attend from 10.30am.
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