Kath Alderton sees boat people and health as being two of the bigger issues in the coming federal election.
Kath Alderton sees boat people and health as being two of the bigger issues in the coming federal election. Mike Knott

Residents consider vital issues

HEALTH, affordable housing, unemployment and boat people are all among the important issues for Bundaberg residents as the nation prepares to head to the polls on August 21.

The NewsMail spent yesterday morning on Bourbong Street talking to shoppers and asking which issues would affect them in the coming election.

While many people had an opinion about what should be the big election issues, a large number said they had no opinion at all.

At least 30 people told the NewsMail they did not know or care which issues would be central to them when it came time to vote.

Among those with an opinion was Winfield resident Kath Alderton, who was in Bundaberg to do some shopping.

Ms Alderton said one of her major concerns was the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia via boat.

“I think half of them are not refugees like they claim to be,” she said.

Also weighing on retiree Ms Alderton’s mind was the health system.

“They seem to feed us a lot of information about health and not do much,” she said.

“They put all this money into sport and nowhere near as much into the health system.”

Avenell Heights administration worker Sue Jorgensen also felt health should be an important focus for the election.

“It’s been an ongoing issue for such a long time.

“If you are in the public system you get stuck there.

“They need doctors who actually care about patients and more in the regions.”

Bargara salesperson Annette Stevens said health was significant but felt the economy needed more attention.

“They just need to keep everything ticking over and concentrate on not getting inflation too high,” she said.

“If there are not enough jobs, everything falls over.”

Walkervale mother Elaine Davies admitted there were a number of election issues which caused her concern including the cost of living, care of the elderly, housing issues and unemployment.

“I’m worried about the young ones who might end up on the street because there is nothing out there for them work-wise,” she said.

Ms Davies’ friend, Maree Carkeet, said her number one concern was affordable housing.

“I pay $260 rent in a week and over a fortnight that is half my pay gone already in rent,” she said.

“After paying bills, there is hardly anything left in my cheque for food and other essentials.”

What do you think the vital issues are? Have your say - leave a comment below.

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