HAVE YOUR SAY

Federal election: Warringah candidates forum

FORUM: Steven Tripp (One Nation), Dr Shireen Morris (Labor), Zali Steggall (independent), David Shoebridge (Greens), Kristyn Glanville (Greens), Andrew Robertson (UAP) and Katherine Deves (Liberal) at the Warringah candidates forum on Thursday. Picture: Supplied
FORUM: Steven Tripp (One Nation), Dr Shireen Morris (Labor), Zali Steggall (independent), David Shoebridge (Greens), Kristyn Glanville (Greens), Andrew Robertson (UAP) and Katherine Deves (Liberal) at the Warringah candidates forum on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

NUCLEAR power must be part of Australia's future, Liberals candidate Katherine Deves says, but independent Zali Steggall says it's too expensive and too slow to set up.

What comes next after fossil fuels was a hot issue at the Warringah candidates forum, held at Dee Why RSL on Thursday night.

Ms Deves told the forum's 300 attendees that Australia could be a "world leader" in nuclear, with One Nation candidate Steven Tripp backing her calls for nuclear power.

"The potential of small modular nuclear reactors is one that can provide cheap, reliable dispatchable baseload power, that will keep the lights on while keeping the costs low and best of all, no emissions," he said.

But, incumbent MP for Warringah, Ms Steggall, said nuclear was "the only technology that is getting more expensive as the years go by".

"At the end of the day we need to get to zero emissions in the most fiscally responsible way, the difficulty is nuclear takes too long and is too expensive," she said.

FORUM: Liberal candidate Katherine Deves said Australia could be a "world leader" in nuclear power. Picture: Supplied

FORUM: Liberal candidate Katherine Deves said Australia could be a "world leader" in nuclear power. Picture: Supplied

During a trip to India, Ms Steggall said she was advised "it takes 18 years to get nuclear up and and it takes 18 months to get large-scale solar up".

"This is a race, we need to move quickly, and it will be with renewable solar, wind and battery for storage," she said.

Greens candidate Kristyn Glanville too many people focus on the cost of building a nuclear power plant, rather than the environmental damage it will cause.

At the end of the day we need to get to zero emissions in the most fiscally responsible way, the difficulty is nuclear takes too long and is too expensive.

Incumbent independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall

"There's also huge environmental costs of mining uranium, and that's First Nations country that will be trashed in order to get the uranium," she said.

"People also forget about the huge waste problem created by nuclear energy.

"Some waste streams will be radioactive for tens of thousands of years."

Ms Deves said nuclear power is affordable and reliable.

POWER: Nuclear power is too expensive and too slow, incumbent independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall told the crowd. Picture: Supplied

POWER: Nuclear power is too expensive and too slow, incumbent independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall told the crowd. Picture: Supplied

"We have the most uranium out of all the developed nations, we could be a world leader in this space. There are small modular reactors that will be up and running in the next couple of decades," she said.

Also at the forum was Kate Paterson (Animal Justice Party) and Andrew Robertson (United Australia Party), while Labor's David Mickleburgh was absent due to illness.

Senate candidates David Shoebridge (Greens) and Dr Shireen Morris (Labor) were also on the panel.

Each speaker was given three minutes to tell the audience about themselves and what their policies were. Moderator Anna Maria Nicholson then took questions from the crowd for the panelists.

During her speech to the crowd, Ms Deves addressed her previous controversial comments.

"Most of you have only likely heard what the media has said about me, and what they have decided to say, and they have done that with a view to selling newspapers," she said.

I'm all for clean energy, I'm all for innovation in this field, but I believe the best way to prove these things work is by actually showing people technology and letting them partner with your idea or partner with your technology. Do not do it at the end of your gun, do not do it by telling me I'm stupid or I'm not following science.

United Australia Party candidate Andrew Robertson

"I have issued two apologies that are on record, I don't believe it would be productive to traverse those issues again here tonight."

Mr Tripp told the crowd that a vote for Ms Steggall could lead to a hung parliament.

"If we have a hung parliament I feel that Ms Steggall will be the Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor of Warringah," he said.

Ms Paterson said too much focus is put on the impact of fossil fuels on climate change, and there was not enough put on the impacts of animal agricultural industry and deforestation.

Mr Robertson said while Australia has "abundant natural resources", that "we're being subverted by foreign countries, we're relying on some of the most expensive, unreliable and inefficient forms of energy".

"I'm all for clean energy, I'm all for innovation in this field, but I believe the best way to prove these things work is by actually showing people technology and letting them partner with your idea or partner with your technology. Do not do it at the end of your gun, do not do it by telling me I'm stupid or I'm not following science," he said.

He also said UAP will mandate interest rates at three per cent for existing owner occupied home loans to protect home ownership.

FORUM: Steven Tripp (One Nation), Dr Shireen Morris (Labor), Zali Steggall (independent), David Shoebridge (Greens), Kristyn Glanville (Greens), Andrew Robertson (UAP) and Katherine Deves (Liberal) at the Warringah candidates forum on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

FORUM: Steven Tripp (One Nation), Dr Shireen Morris (Labor), Zali Steggall (independent), David Shoebridge (Greens), Kristyn Glanville (Greens), Andrew Robertson (UAP) and Katherine Deves (Liberal) at the Warringah candidates forum on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

Dr Morris said not enough focus had been put on education during this federal election campaign.

"Nobody is talking about education standards going backwards, backwards, backwards and I'm really scared about what's going to happen with my young son's schooling," she said.

Mr Shoebridge said the window is narrowing on climate change.

"We cannot believe that both the Labor party and the Coalition are taking to this election a commitment to open up 114 new coal and gas projects across the country. That's like pouring petrol on a fire," he said.

"Think about the economic opportunities we'd get if we had that surge of investment in renewables, instead of dirty power based on 20th century technology, if we had an expansion of clean, green renewable energy with the federal government helping rather than hurting in that space."

  • Need to cast an early vote? There are pre-poll locations in Brookvale, Manly, Terrey Hills and Warriewood.

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