Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP) may have failed to send a candidate to Monday’s Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network (GLBN) state election debate, but the event gave almost 150 LGBT community members a chance to ask other state election candidates questions before going to the polls this Saturday.
After three weeks of negotiation, GLBN president Troy Quaife was contacted two hours before the forum advising that no LNP candidates could attend.
The debate instead included candidates from the ALP, the Greens and Katter’s Australian Party including Deputy Premier and Treasurer Andrew Fraser (ALP), Grace Grace (ALP), Anne Boccabella (Greens) and Rob Waldrop (KAP).
The seat for the absent LNP candidate was filled with a stuffed monkey during the forum, which covered civil unions, small business, community liaison, coal seam gas and LGBT suicide amongst other topics.
Wardrop, the South Brisbane candidate for KAP, fielded questions regarding the party’s homophobic television advertisement, and stood by the campaign.
“My understanding is that the image used was from a campaign for gay adoption,” he said.
“It was designed to be confrontational and to get airplay …. Yes, I suppose I do [support the video].”
Treasurer Andrew Fraser made no new promises to the LGBT community, refusing to commit to equalising the state’s age-of-consent laws or to review religious exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation.
He also dismissed accusations that the timing of the Bligh Government’s civil union legislation implied a political stunt.
The next Brisbane GLBN event will be Fruits in Suits on Thursday, April 5 from 6.30pm at Gerties Bar and Restaurant, New Farm.
Watch the full GLBN debate here.
INFO: www.glbn.org.au/events or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.