Ratepayers in Campaspe Shire have a tough job ahead of them.
In the next week they have to choose three out of eight candidates to lead the Echuca ward.
This is serious stuff.
These three people will make decisions that will impact ratepayers and the town for the next four years – possibly longer.
Together we have to choose the three people we think will make this town (and the Campaspe Shire) a better place in which to live.
There’s nothing funny about that.
So why, on Monday night at the Mercure Port of Echuca forum, did I find myself laughing?
Probably because — honestly — some of the candidates were laughable.
Not in the good way either.
I was laughing at them, not with them.
I went to listen to what each candidate could do for me, and report to you on what I saw and heard.
I didn’t go for personal attacks between the candidates but that’s what I, and the small audience, heard.
I’m not saying every candidate should drop their head in shame, there were some exceptions, but there were also some bad examples too.
Yes — there were some statements that needed to be said — but the rest was rubbish.
And that’s not all that annoyed me about this forum.
I receive complaints about Campaspe Shire every week.
Why is the former Oscar W’s still closed? What’s going on with the Port of Echuca? How much does Echuca’s swimming pool make? Why isn’t my road being graded when X’s is?
So why, when finally we as ratepayers are given the opportunity to find out who to vote for, does no-one turn up?
It was a cold Monday night so you could be forgiven for wanting to stay in.
But you shouldn’t have.
A forum such as Monday night’s was critical to attend, which is why I was also disappointed so many seats were empty.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. That’s up to you.
But I do hope Monday night’s attendance was not a reflection of the informed votes this election will attract because that would be the biggest shame of all.