Unsure who to vote for? Not these six Canberrans 

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‘The irony of seeing corflutes from Labor candidates planted amongst the long weeds at the side of roads is lost on them.’

ARE we there yet? After a season of cold calling, letterboxes stuffed with flyers and endless political ads, the big day is almost here. 

Canberrans will go to the polls on Saturday (October 17), in another ACT Assembly election to decide who will govern the territory for the next four years. 

Of course pre-poll voting centres have been open across the territory for almost three weeks, with as many as 80 per cent of all votes expected to be cast before Saturday. 

Tipped a close race, the two major parties are pretty much neck-to-neck, but there are still many voters wondering which way they should go. 

Here, six Canberrans share who they’ll be voting for and why…

JOHN RIDLEY

John Ridley… voting Liberal.

This time I’m voting Liberal. The major parties are all trying to outbid each other, cynically anything you can promise I can promise better. But looking at their track record is very illuminating. The cost of Labor’s marriage to the Greens is appalling – $1.3 billion for the light rail to Gungahlin and at least $2 billion for the extension to Woden. The prospect of the high-rise ruin of Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen to pay for it is sickening. The prison, the most expensive per capita facility in Australia, with skyrocketing indigenous incarceration and almost the only smoking jail left in Australia. Reports of violent biker criminal behaviour reported in the media is almost an everyday occurrence. But the greatest shame of all was and is the deferral of the building of the new hospital to make way for the tram projects. This is an appalling display of misplaced community values. So just on track record alone, I am voting to give the other side, the Liberals, a go. They have not got the baggage, and they certainly won’t have the Greens.

SHIRLEY GERRARD

Shirley Gerrard… voting independent.

I WILL be voting independent. I have been a Labor voter my whole life and a resident of Canberra for more than 53 years. I would like to see the ACT Labor/Greens lose their majority because of their neglect of Canberra’s suburbs, difficult and expensive parking and the over-development of Canberra’s town centres and suburbs over the last decade. Huge and ugly monoliths blocking and spoiling our bush-capital views. 

SIMON CHAPPLE

Simon Chapple… voting Belco Party.

Last election I voted Labor and this year I’m voting for the Belco Party in Ginninderra. I feel that the Labor/Greens government has largely ignored Belconnen while doubling our rates and land taxes over the past six years. I worry that we are seeing the replacement of every open space with developments of apartment blocks. I worry that we are losing our right to call ourselves the “bush capital”. Our government needs to be able to manage and maintain the existing suburbs before it considers more expansion and growth. I think the irony of seeing corflutes from Labor candidates planted amongst the long weeds at the side of roads is lost on them. Last time I voted specifically for Tara Cheyne. She was fresh, full of energy, and was keen as mustard but I feel that her ambitions for Belconnen have had to take second place to the political imperatives that come with being part of the Labor party machine. That’s why I’ll be voting for the Belco Party in this election, as a minor party they are free from some of the constraints that the major parties face.

KATELYN KOZJAK

Katelyn Kozjak… voting “probably” Liberals.

Probably the Liberals because that’s how my family votes. I also think the Liberals are doing some really great things at the moment in the non-government school space. Cost of living is 100 per cent a big issue for me. I still live at home, house prices are going through the roof in the ACT, it’s ridiculous how long you have to save up for to break into the housing market, it’s just really hard for young people like me to buy a house. 

JACK TAYLOR

Jack Taylor… voting Labor.

I will be voting for ACT Labor. I like what they have done in the city and I am very happy with their renewable-energy policies and the hybrid buses. I’m a student studying primary school teaching and I believe Labor is doing good things for the public education system. For me, education, healthcare and sustainability are important. There is also a lot of misinformation out there around election time and sometimes it’s hard to work out who to vote for, but this time I’ll give Labor my vote.  

 

RACHEL ANDERSON

Rachel Anderson…. voting Labor.

I WILL be choosing Labor this election. My family are Labor voters and so that’s who I will pick on Saturday. I’m happy with what they are doing as a party especially their ideas around education, health and small business. The other parties haven’t put forward anything that will sway my vote so far. I’ve lived in Canberra for 20 years, I love the community-like feel of the place and everyone is so friendly. The tram is okay, I don’t use it as I like to drive. The only thing that is not so great is how expensive it is to pay for parking in the city. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story included the views of someone who was subsequently revealed to be a political staffer. This was not disclosed to our reporter and, as a matter of fairness, we have deleted those comments.

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