The Goldstein debate pits Zoe Daniel against Tim Wilson

Independent Zoe Daniel was greeted with enthusiastic applause from a crowd of over 400 people. City Hall was packed and there was a waiting list to attend. Daniel said that Australia could lead a renewable revolution if it focused on what it could gain rather than what it could lose.

“How many wildfires, floods and super storms do we need to have?” he asked him, before the government took urgent action on climate change. “This election is about trust and that’s why I’m running.”

Tim Wilson arrives at the community debate.Credit:Darrian Traynor

Daniel stressed that she was a swing voter and would work with either side of politics to achieve emissions reductions, but only “if they can be trusted.”

Labor candidate Martyn Abbott said he had campaigned for climate action most of his life. He described the Morrison government as “effective climate criminals” and said Labor would turn Australia into a clean energy “superpower”.

Greens candidate Alana Galli-McRostie called for an urgent cessation of burning coal, gas and oil. She highlighted the Greens’ emissions reduction goal of 75 percent by 2030, a higher goal than those of the main parties and Daniel.

Galli-McRostie called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and the reinvestment of money in renewable energy and the imposition of a carbon tax and a ban on any new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Candidate supporters and volunteers outside Brighton Town Hall.

Candidate supporters and volunteers outside Brighton Town Hall.Credit:Darrian Traynor

“Instead of dirty coal, we will sell sun to our neighbors. With the Greens you know where you stand.”

The debate was the only opportunity Goldstein voters will have to see and hear the main candidates in a public forum before the May 21 election.

Moderated by Craig Francis of Southern FM, the forum provided the candidates with a traditional public setting, where locals had the opportunity to question and evaluate their potential representative in the federal parliament.

Based on the audience response, Daniel and Abbott likely took the honors that night. But since it was an event called by the local environmental group, that was to be expected.

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