Bass residents will have their chance to hear from both major party candidates in a debate setting next week, as they attempt to win over voters in the volatile Northern Tasmanian seat.
Presented by the Launceston Chamber of Commerce and The Examiner, the May 8 debate is set to cover key issues facing businesses in the electorate and will feature Labor's incumbent Ross Hart and Liberal contender Bridget Archer.
"From a chamber point of view, it's very important to have the two main candidates put in the spotlight, not just for the political contest, but to see where they see the election delivering for business," said executive officer Neil Grose.
"It will really put the focus on those two candidates ... not just party policy, but what these two individuals can bring to Bass if they are elected as our representative in Canberra."
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Of voters in the seat, who have elected a new member at eight of the past nine federal polls, about three-quarters live in the Launceston metropolitan area. A recent redistribution dropped Labor's 2016 margin from 6.1 percent to 5.4 per cent.
Bass has received much attention so far in the campaign, with the Liberals hopeful of snatching it and the adjoining Northern seat of Braddon back from Labor. The two have been among the most frequented in the country by the party leaders and their deputies since the end of February.
Recent internal polling from the Liberal party has suggested a close contest between Mr Hart and Ms Archer in Bass. The seat of Lyons is also in the Liberals' sights.
It will really put the focus on those two candidates ... not just party policy, but what these two individuals can bring to Bass if they are elected as our representative in Canberra.Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Neil Grose
"Federal elections are fought on federal issues, but it's critically important local people get an understanding of what local issues mean" at a federal level," Mr Grose said.
"What are the implications of decisions that can be made in Queensland down here in Tasmania?"
The Bass Candidates Debate will be held at Launceston's Tramsheds Auditorium on Wednesday, March 8 from 6.30pm.
Tickets for the free event are available here.
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