The Dubbo Chamber of Commerce has decided to actively participate in the upcoming State government election by holding a candidates forum.
The Chamber is questioning if the candidates are serious about economic development across the Dubbo electorate.
Chairperson of the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce Matt Wright said with increasing activity and economic development across the Dubbo electorate, the election of a candidate with a keen business focus is of major significance in the forthcoming state election.
“From a business perspective, we need to make an informed choice,” Mr Wright said.
“Local business needs to know that it has both the backing and best representation in Macquarie Street.
"Working on a way to enable local business to know how to make the right choice for itself and its employees into the future became a point of discussion for the Chamber Board over recent months."
Mr Wright did acknowledge the Chamber needs to remain "apolitical" while still maintaining an active part in the election.
"The chamber knows its need to remain apolitical, so the board decided the Chamber should host a candidate’s gathering, with the aim to enable local business to discover for themselves who could best represent them," Mr Wright said.
"It is not our plan to ask wider political questions but business is broad so, for example, agriculture is part of the business so there is a fair chance we will ask questions on behalf of the sector
"The nature of the forum will be that general questions may be used and answered.
Mr Wright said the forum would be held on February 12, 2019, in Dubbo from 6 pm to 8 pm.
"Independent MC Tim Gable from the ABC will host the forum," he said.
"We will formally invite all five candidates and we hope by announcing the forum we may lure any candidates that haven't nominated yet but are considering running."
Greens Candidate Rod Pryor said he would attend the forum and looked forward to answering constituents questions.
Country Labor candidate Stephen Lawrence said he would attend and, “hopes and expects there will be lots of members of the community there asking us why we deserve their vote.”
Independent Candidate Mat Dickerson said he was “keen to attend every forum humanly possible as I relish every opportunity to speak with people.”
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Candidate Lara Quealy said she will also attend the candidate forum.
“I’m expecting spirited conversation from the candidates on the needs of the electorate,” she said.
National Party candidate for Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said he hopes all candidates are able to attend, and adopt a positive approach to the discussions.
“I expect candidates will talk about their policies for the future, why those policies are needed, and how they will fund them,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for community members to be involved, and I’m looking forward to the night.”