Vietnam Veterans John Macartney and Mike Gibb were part of a crowd who met with candidates.
Vietnam Veterans John Macartney and Mike Gibb were part of a crowd who met with candidates. Scottie Simmonds

Candidates get grilled by Vets

THE Bundaberg Vietnam Veterans’ drop-in centre yesterday managed the rare feat of getting four candidates for the seat of Hinkler together in one place.

Two new candidates announced they would be running late yesterday, bringing the total to six.

Organiser John Macartney said he had been organising the event for about two months and it was pure luck it turned out to be at the beginning of the first week of the federal election campaign.

Sitting member, the LNP’s Paul Neville, Labor’s Belinda McNeven, The Greens’ Adrian Wone and independent Cy d’Oliveira were each given the chance to address the audience gathered at the drop-in centre and then took questions from the floor.

Mr Macartney said the event was organised so veterans could have an informed choice when they voted.

“It was an opportunity to meet the candidates and see what they’re like in real life,” he said.

But the candidates still have some work ahead of them in getting the votes, going by some of the comments after the event.

Veteran Mike Gibb said none of them had convinced him to change his vote because he had not yet made up his mind.

He said Mr d’Oliveira was concentrating on only two subjects and needed to broaden his focus.

“I’m not happy with Labor, but I wouldn’t like to see (Opposition Leader Tony) Abbott get in because I don’t trust him,” he said.

Dave Young said he could not vote for Mr Abbott because of his support for the Catholic Church, with its record of “aiding and abetting” the abuse of children by priests.

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