Fairfax Media to present federal election debate for rural SA

Choices: The Liberals, Nick Xenophon Team, Labor, Family First and the Greens will be contending for 400,000 votes from country South Australia at the upcoming federal election. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Choices: The Liberals, Nick Xenophon Team, Labor, Family First and the Greens will be contending for 400,000 votes from country South Australia at the upcoming federal election. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Voters in country SA could be forgiven for feeling powerless at the upcoming federal election.

The contest always seems to be decided in western Sydney, and even when the nation's attention wanders, it usually seems to stay in the eastern states.

No longer.

Fairfax Media's network of 16 SA news outlets, stretching from Ceduna to Naracoorte, will join forces next week to shine a light on the issues that matter to country South Australians.

Representatives of the five leading parties in our state – the Liberals, Labor, Nick Xenophon Team, Family First and the Greens – will gather for a series of debates that will be broadcast around SA via your local paper's website.

Send us the questions you want answered and we will put the best of them to Liberal Senator Anne Ruston, Labor Senator Nick Champion, independent Senator Nick Xenophon, Family First Senator Bob Day and Greens Senator Robert Simms.

Tune in at 7.30pm each evening between Monday, June 13 and Friday, June 17 to find out how they respond.

Each debate will focus on a separate aspect of life in country SA and the parties' solutions to the issues that get talked about in our communities, from a lack of jobs to nuclear waste and same-sex marriage.

Some of the issues that we feel need to be addressed are clear in the results of the survey which has driven this promotion. These results will be published over three weeks.

The stakes in the upcoming will be high: at this double dissolution election, South Australians have twice as great an opportunity to influence the make-up of Australia's Senate.

All 12 of our Senators are up for re-election.

Among Liberal, Labor, NXT, Family First and Greens candidates alike, every vote will count in the quest for power and influence on our behalf.

More than 400,000 votes will be up for grabs in the country electorates of Grey, Barker, Wakefield and Mayo, representing a quarter of South Australia's population.

The magic number for each Senate candidate will be 7.29 per cent – each candidate who achieves that percentage of the overall vote will be elected.

At least three Senators will earn their jobs based solely on the votes of country South Australians.

Watch the debates to see who steps up to the mark.

  • Ask a question: email community.sa@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
  • Watch the debate: Visit this newspaper's website at 7.30pm each evening from June 13-17.
  • Join the conversation: Use the hashtag #countrySAvotes.
This story Election debate soon: ask a question first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.