A selection of candidates for the federal seat of Lyne, hosted by Reignite Democracy Australia, gathered at Tinonee Memorial School of Arts Hall on Saturday, April 9 for a meet the candidates event.
Candidates invited to attend by Reignite Democracy Australia (RDA) were Joel Putland for the United Australia Party, Steve Attkins Independent, Josephine Cashman for Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party and Mark Hornshaw for the Liberal Democrats. Also in attendance was the NSW Senate candidate for the Independent Medical Options Party, Michael O'Neil.
The event was the first of several RDA Meet the Candidates events where the public can hear and talk to candidates invited by RDA.
Dan Warner and Dr Mitch Wilson from Reignite Democracy Australia said they were "delighted to hold the event" and "very pleased" with the turnout given the short turnaround of organising the event, with just shy of 200 community members in attendance.
"We had some outstanding candidates accept our offer to attend," Dr Wilson said.
"The candidates willingly took questions from the community and stayed after to mingle with residents."
Topics raised by the candidates and community members included the hardships that the government lockdowns had caused local businesses, the lack of consultation (according to RDA) between the community and the current federal member, Dr David Gillespie, the impact that rising interest rates will have on families and home ownership, and the lack of vision and action by the federal government on reinvigorating the manufacturing sector in Australia (according to RDA).
"From the feedback we received during and after the meeting there is a mood in the seat of Lyne that the Nationals have taken the electorate for granted and that we are simply considered a safe seat for them," Mr Warner said.
"People want to see that situation change and with such brilliant candidates now on offer from United Australia, Independent, One Nation and the Liberal Democrats there was much hope that the seat of Lyne will never be taken for granted again."
Who is Reignite Democracy Australia?
Reignite Democracy Australia is an anti-vaccination, anti-lockdown, anti-mask and COVID-19 conspiracy group started by Monica Smit in Melbourne during lockdowns. She came to media attention for her 'Sack Dan' campaign against Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews.
Reignite Democracy Australia applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to become a registered political party. Their application was refused in February 2022 because of a lack of members (political parties must have at least 1500 members under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918).