BRISBANE’S LGBTI community will have their chance to directly question candidates for the LGBTI-centric seat of Brisbane Central, with a forum to be held in the lead up to the January 31 Queensland state election.
Brisbane Pride Festival, Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group and the Star Observer have partnered together to provide a platform for people to canvas representatives from each of the major parties on issues affecting them.
“Forums likes this are an important part of the democratic process as they give the community the opportunity to get to know the candidates and ask them questions about the issues and topics that are important to them,” Brisbane Pride president Peter Black said.
“The public are encouraged to attend and take the opportunity to hear from candidates specifically on issues directly impacting on LGBTI Queenslanders.
“All candidates will be given the opportunity to speak, followed by questions from the audience. Members of the community will be given numerous options of putting their concerns forward.”
Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group convenor Phil Browne said how candidates approach equal rights and treatment of the community would play a crucial role in how many decide who to vote.
“Come and quiz the candidates on their party’s policies and voting history – decide who will treat you with the most respect and dignity, by granting you equal civil rights,” he said.
“Legislating identical equal rights for everyone costs nothing. There is no justification for Queenslanders having lesser rights than people living in other states. A government that values all citizens will grant equal rights, while also balancing the economy.”
Speaking on the importance of community forums, Star Observer editor Elias Jahshan said that they were an important part of a healthy democracy.
“Opportunities such as these serve a vital role in ensuring a vibrant and engaged democracy. In addition, the importance of keeping the community informed and allowing them to directly interact with candidates cannot be understated,” he said.
“As with most Australian elections, out of all the issues, promises and debates presented by the major political parties, the economy is often in the spotlight the most. However, it is crucial to remember that an economy is made up of a diverse range of people whose voices deserve to be equally heard.”
What: Brisbane Central LGBTI Community Forum
When: Monday, January 19. 6.45pm (for 7pm start)
Where: Sportsman Hotel, 130 Leichhardt St, Spring Hill