ANALYSIS

Federal election, 2019: Calare's future not so certain, CSU academic says

FEDERAL ELECTION: There will be a swing away from the Nationals party in Calare, CSU political science Associate Professor O'Sullivan says. Photo: FILE
FEDERAL ELECTION: There will be a swing away from the Nationals party in Calare, CSU political science Associate Professor O'Sullivan says. Photo: FILE

POLITICAL campaigning towards certain demographics in the community is vitally important, Charles Sturt University's (CSU) Dominic O'Sullivan says.

With the federal election this Saturday, candidates for the Calare electorate are campaigning hard to attract final votes.

CSU political science Associate Professor O'Sullivan said strategies would be in place to target the 18 per cent of voters in Calare who are aged 70 years or older.

"The population is ageing and rural seats, like Calare and Parkes, more than in urban seats so obviously candidates in those seats will be mindful of that," he said.

"A big part of the Coalition's campaign is targeted towards older people who might be affected by the Labor Party's policy to remove franking credits for people in receipt of pensions from superannuation funds."

Assoc Prof O'Sullivan said, generally speaking, older people were more likely to be engaged in party politics or to attend candidates' forums.

The population is ageing and rural seats, like Calare and Parkes, more than in urban seats so obviously candidates in those seats will be mindful of that.

Charles Sturt University political science Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan

However, he said there were other large demographic sectors in Calare who would be looking for policies that appealed to them.

"Climate change seems to be an issue that is important for people across age groups, but perhaps a little bit more so for younger people," Assoc Prof O'Sullivan said.

"Younger people tend to engage more with social media for example, and perhaps more so on specific issues rather than with political parties."

He said Labor's childcare policy would be very appealing to people with young children.

The drought is the "single most most important issue for people in parts of those electorates" and he said the right policy will attract voters.

Calare might traditionally be a Nationals stronghold, but Assoc Prof O'Sullivan predicts the party might not win so convincingly at this election.

"I think in terms of Parkes and Calare, it's likely the Nationals candidates will prevail, but with a swing against them," he said.

"Both those seats overlap with seats that were won by the Shooters and Fishers Party at the NSW state election.

"Although the Nationals retained the seat of Dubbo in the state election, there was a very very significant swing against the National Party there."

Assoc Prof O'Sullivan said he expects Labor to win the federal election but that there were "some very interesting seats that are a bit difficult to predict".

Talkin' 'bout your generation, and voting...

Robert 'Stumpy' Taylor, Baby Boomer

Q: Have you already decided which party or who you will vote for?

A: Yes, I've known for a long time.

Q: Are you a swinging voter or do you tend to stick with the same political party?

A: I do swing. When you're in business you do vote for the party that is going to do the best for your business.

Q: What are your greatest concerns in the Calare electorate?

A: My biggest concerns are electricity prices and water security. The cost of electricity is the biggest burden, especially for businesses.

Q: What changes would improve the quality of life for you or your family?

A: Immigration has to be looked at. They're all banging on about water security, but we've got to feed them all [migrants]. Let's get it right now with the people we've already got before we let more in. To all the do-gooders and lefties, if they want to stand by their word and let these people in they should be prepared to pay an extra 2.5 per cent tax to let them in and support them.

Chris Connor, Generation X

Q: Have you already decided which party or who you will vote for?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you a swinging voter or do you tend to stick with the same political party?

A: I really stick with the person, or the same party - ideologically that's who I tend to vote for, they tend to believe and push for the things I believe in.

Q: What are your greatest concerns in the Calare electorate?

A: Probably social harmony, more so how we tolerate refugees - I think we seem to be heading down a path of people wanting to find blame in other people for the situations they're in. People are under the impression they're a burden on society, but it's more that they add to our society financially and socially. Yes, the government hasn't kept up with the infrastructure, but that's not the fault of immigrants. I'm also concerned about the medical side of things and hospital waiting times - the waiting times are getting longer and there's a disparity between the people who are able to afford private insurance and not afford private insurance.

Q: What changes would improve the quality of life for you or your family?

A: I certainly think some action on climate change would be a big thing - it will impact on everybody in the future and I think we could get more renewables. Quality of life is certainly going to diminish if we do nothing because it's going to start costing. Certainly power prices would come down with more renewable resources.

Elyse Hudson, Generation Y/Millennial

Q: Have you already decided which party or who you will vote for?

A: No, I feel I need to sit down and do some research on what parties are standing for. I've been a little bit slack leading up to this election. I's a very tough election to decide.

Q: Are you a swinging voter or do you tend to stick with the same political party?

A: I choose to be a swinging voter because my vote is about the electorate I live in. If they've [the political party] got the best politics, then they've got the best politics.

Q: What are your greatest concerns in the Calare electorate?

A: Based on my experience in Lithgow, the biggest concern is employment and employment into the future. With talk focused on climate change, Ms Hudson fears it may have an impact on Lithgow's two big employers - mining and manufacturing. If we transition away from that, what's the future of our employment?

Q: What changes would improve the quality of life for you or your family?

A: Employment opportunities. As a young person, many people don't see their career opportunities in our area. Often they feel they have to leave the area in their 20s to 30s to get a better education or career.

Madalyn Date, Generation Z

Q: Have you already decided which party or who you will vote for?

A: Yeah, I think I have already. I sort of have always had an idea of who I wanted to vote for in terms of policy and political spectrum.

Q: Are you a swinging voter or do you tend to stick with the same political party?

A: The state election was the first time I voted and I will probably vote the same way, but it's a bit more difficult this time. Personality is a big factor for me and I've grown up being quite well represented by Andrew Gee.

Q: What are your greatest concerns in the Calare electorate?

A: This is a little difficult - I live in Calare, but I study in Wollongong. Education is a big issue and I think more money could go to government schools in Calare. Access to better health services for those who do live in regional Australia is important. Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo do have good services, but for those who live in smaller areas have to travel two to three hours for services.

Q: What changes would improve the quality of life for you or your family?

A: Our water tanks have been dry for about three years and we're in town so I definitely think in terms of our family's quality of life that there needs to be a better focus on the drought and how it's affecting people. We're buying water in to drink.

Where to vote

Polling booths are open from 8am until 6pm sharp.

Barry Hall, Bathurst Public, Bathurst South Public, Bathurst Cathedral Parish Centre, Bathurst High, Bathurst St Stephen's Church Hall, Black Springs Public, Blayney Shire Community Centre, Bloomfield Hall, Borenore Public, Canobolas Public, Canowindra High, Capertee Hall, Carcoar Public, Cargo Public, Cudal Public, Cullen Bullen Progress Hall, Cumnock Community Centre, Eglinton Public, Eugowra Public, Geurie Public, Glen Alice Public, Gulgong Memorial Hall, Hampton Public, Hargraves Public, Hartley Old Public, Hill End Public, Ilford Public, Kandos Memorial Hall, Kelso Public, Cooerwull Public, Fatima Hall (Lithgow), Hermitage Progress Association Hall (Lithgow), Lithgow Public, Zig Zag Public, Lucknow School Hall, Lue Public, Lyndhurst Public, Mandurama Public, Manildra Memorial Hall, Meadow Flat Public, Millthorpe Public, Molong Hall, Cudgegong Valley Public, Mudgee High, Mudgee Police Citizens Youth Club, Mullion Creek Public, Mumbil Public, Nashdale Public, Neville Public, O'Connell Public, Oberon High, Anson Street Public, Bletchington Public, Bowen Public, Calare Public, Glenroi Heights Public, Integra Health Club (Orange), Kenna Hall (Orange), Orange Anglican Grammar, Orange High, Orange Public, St Barnabas' Hall (Orange), Old School House (Peel), Perthville Public, Portland Central, Raglan Public, Rockley Public, Rylstone Public, Presbyterian Church Hall (South Bowenfels), Spring Hill Public, Spring Terrace Public, Stuart Town Public, Trunkey Public, Ulan Public, Wallerawang Public, Wattle Flat Public, Wellington Public, Wellington Scout Hall, Bathurst West Public, Windeyer Recreational Hall, Yeoval Central, Yetholme Hall.