Citizens’ agenda: COVID-19 restrictions, health services, public transport top voters’ concerns
A Murray Bridge News survey suggests voters in Hammond are more worried about ending pandemic restrictions than ending the pandemic itself.
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Ending the COVID-19 pandemic – and the restrictions associated with it – will be the number-one issue for voters in Hammond at the upcoming state election, a Murray Bridge News survey suggests.
Of the 100-plus people who have so far responded to the survey, a majority named the pandemic as the issue they most wanted the candidates to talk about in the lead-up to election day.
Many were concerned about how to stop COVID-19: they wanted rapid antigen tests to be made freely available, and wondered whether South Australia was right to open its borders in November.
But even more people wanted an end to the activity restrictions, QR code check-ins and discrimination between vaccinated and unvaccinated people – and many harboured doubts about vaccine safety.
For the record, SA Health and all the relevant authorities say COVID-19 vaccines – administered to billions of people around the world over the past year – are safe and effective.
But, as Murray Bridge News reported on Tuesday, the vaccination rate in the Murray Bridge district remains lower than almost anywhere else in Australia.
Health funding, public transport, climate change among key issues
Funding for health care, including ambulance and mental health services, was the next-biggest concern among survey respondents.
Some wanted to find out more about why private GPs needed to staff the Murray Bridge hospital’s emergency department, too.
Other issues local voters wanted to see on their citizens’ agenda included:
Corruption in politics
Public safety, domestic violence and illicit drugs
The shortage of rental properties and public housing
Road maintenance and freight movement
Education and school funding
Support for small businesses
Read the complete first version of the citizens’ agenda below.
Introducing a new mode of election coverage
Murray Bridge News will ask candidates about each of the top five issues, as chosen by survey respondents, over the next five weeks.
Survey responses will be weighted according to how highly respondents rank them.
Click the button below to have your say in the citizens’ agenda survey.
Three candidates have so far declared that they will run in Hammond at the election on March 19: Liberal MP Adrian Pederick, independent candidate Airlie Keen and the Nationals’ John Illingworth.
Candidates have until February 28 to nominate with the Electoral Commission of South Australia.
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