Virtual Candidate Forum - Eildon Electorate, Victorian State Elections, 29 November 2014

Over the past months, MCN has approached the candidates for the Eildon Electorate by inviting them to participate in a Virtual Candidate Forum. To prepare the survey, questions have been contributed by MCN members and collated by an editorial team of MCN board members.

The questions to the Candidates were the following:

1. Do you accept that climate change is occurring? If not, what specific scientific sources and references do you rely on to justify rejecting the scientific consensus?

2. Do you believe that all politicians have a moral obligation to understand the science of climate change?

3. Are you aware that over 97% of climate scientists globally, the CSIRO, the Australian Academy of Science and every major national science academy in the industrialised world (whose membership includes climate scientists) agree that the planet is warming, that the observed climate change is mostly human caused, and that if we continue with business as usual, harsh impacts and irreversible changes to the climate system will occur?

4. Is it your position that Australia needs to urgently adopt policies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with scientific recommendations? If not, what specific scientific sources and references do you rely on to justify rejecting the scientific consensus?

5. Do you think carbon emissions should be priced? If so, how? If not, why not?

6. If elected, how will you ensure that the State of Victoria reaches its emissions reduction goal for 2020?

7. Are you aware that the renewable energy sector employs 5 times more people than the coal industry and is the fastest growing industry in Australia? What is your position on the Renewable Energy Incentive Scheme?

8. Do you believe that financial contributions of the Victorian government to the coal mining sector are compatible with the Renewable Energy Target? If yes, why? If not, why not?

9. Can you offer residents, businesses and community groups of your electorate incentives to address climate change at a local level? How?

10. The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act requires the Victorian government to actively protect listed species. In our electorate, particularly in the Upper Goulburn catchment, large areas provide habitat to a considerable number of listed flora and fauna species. This habitat has come under additional stress due to the Black Saturday bush fires and continued logging activities after the fires. What actions do you suggest and support to protect endangered species in our electorate?

11. Do you support the creation of a Great Forest National Park in our electorate to provide a greater level of protection to the mountain ash forests? (

12. Given that VicForest has not been able to run a profitable operation from its logging operations of public state forest over the last 7 years and has been relying heavily on government subsidies, what is your position on the future of VicForest and on the logging of public state forest in general and in our electorate in particular?

13. Given the limited public funding, if only one of the projects could be built - the East-West Tunnel or the Melbourne Rail Link Tunnel - which one would you support and why?

To date, we have received answers from the following candidates (in alphabetical order):

Bruce Argyle (Independent)

Cindy McLeish (Liberal)

Jane Judd (Independent)

Marie Sellstrom (Greens)

Sally Brennan (Labor)