The Federal Election will be held on May 18 and there are eight candidates running across Forrest electorate.

The South Western Times asked each candidate several questions relating to issues in the region.

1. What was behind your decision to run?

2. Do you have a main policy platform and what is it?

3. What do you think are the major concerns for the people in Forrest?

4. Why will you be able to represent the people in Forrest best?

• The following candidate did not respond to the questions: Kalven Jamieson, Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Nerilee Boshammer - Greens

Nerilee Boshammer

It is clear that communities in Forrest and other regional areas have been largely forgotten in Federal politics. The Morrison Liberal government has created a system that prioritises big corporations, instead of providing opportunity for economic diversification and local business entrepreneurship that benefits all of us.

The Greens’ plan for regional services is about better public education for all, including free childcare, TAFE and undergraduate university degrees. Climate change modelling indicates that Forrest and the wider South West will be hit with the most significant and rapid decline in rainfall in Australia.

We must also continue to protect Forrest tourism, agricultural land and our very way of life from gas fracking in any form. The Labor party, the Liberals and even the Nationals say they care about our regional areas, yet none of them will provide a solid commitment that fracking won’t ever take place in our area.

The NBN is an issue I am hearing about time and time again when I am talking to people in the community and to business owners. There are so many examples where it’s barely functioning, like Kingston, and many others where it’s intermittent at best, including in large commercial centres like Busselton and Bunbury.

I am committed to ensuring our regional and rural areas are great places to live, providing opportunity for economic growth, community capacity, longevity and resilience. We deserve the same opportunities as people living in the metropolitan area.

Mark McCall - Shooter, Fisher and Farmers

Mark McCall

I have a real concern that this wonderful country of ours is losing its way. It seems that governments are more concerned with allocating vast amounts of Parliamentary time and resources to social issues and protecting the rights and interests of those who have contributed absolutely nothing to society, the economy or the future of our country. The drive to support rural and regional-based, medium and small business operations in the face of the current economic climate and existing challenges and barriers.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers policies around outdoor recreation and access could have significant economic benefits to this region in terms of developing and expanding sustainable nature-based tourism. Greater access to our vast areas of public land can assist in reducing the devastation of forest fires, one of the greatest threats to this area.

I have lived and worked in the South West my entire life. I raised my family here and run a successful small business employing 10 local people. I know the South West, the people, the terrain and the problems that affect the region.

Nola Mairino - Liberal

Nola Marino

The South West is one of the best places in the world to live, start a family, own a business and retire. I have always worked for and with my community and will continue to do so for the people of the South West.

I have represented the electorate of Forrest at a Federal level since I was first elected in 2007 and I will continue to do so if re-elected.

I am the first woman to represent the seat of Forrest and the first woman to be named Chief Government Whip. I believe the people of Forrest are concerned with local jobs, a strong economy and a safe community.

I am passionate about supporting small businesses in the South West and investing in key infrastructure within Forrest.

Alex Marsden - Independent

Alex Marsden

In 1989 while I was working as an employment coordinator for people with disabilities, I decided to prepare to run for Parliament to ensure people with developmental disabilities can maximise their abilities. Thirty years later there is still work to be done in providing an equitable lifestyle for people with disabilities. However, over the years my concerns have widened, and now I am involved in creating an even better Australia for all Australians.

At the heart of my campaign is the creation of caring communities. Communities who care about the future of our children and maximising their potential; communities that care about families, the elderly, our local businesses and the environment. Communities where every person is treated with respect and dignity. The centrepiece of my social platform is the introduction of “The Life Plan Centres Private Members Bill”. Life Plan Centres will provide human services for any person who wishes to get their life on track.

The centrepiece of my economic policy is the introduction of the $200,000 personal income tax threshold. Tax will be reduced to 25per cent if income over $200,000 is invested in eligible Australian start-ups and industries.

Job security, home security, the environment, opportunities for our children, out-of-pocket and health and dental expenses for people on low incomes.

My policies have developed by listening to the people of Forrest. As an independent, I can act for the people of Forrest without having to go deal with party politics and power structures. I am willing to fight for Forrest and to ensure Forrest receives its fair share of infrastructure.

Ian Molyneux - WA Party

Ian Molyneux

Essentially I support the party’s push to have our own share of the GST. We are currently draining money to the east, we’ve known that for along time and the effects of that. Bunbury is a microcosm of that – Perth is the black hole where all the funds of the south go. People in Bunbury know that and they resent their money going to Perth. Until we get proper funding we’re never going to be able to do all the things that need doing.

There is a huge amount that needs to be on the separation of the truck, car and rail networks. I live right in the middle of it at Balingup and because it’s next to the Lithium mine, the trucks are only just starting to roll through. A railway line from Perth to Augusta would also ease the burden of cars streaming south every holiday as well.

People of Forrest have such a big range of concerns because there are the rural elements to it as well as the city elements. The main things that are worrying them is that they are ageing, their super is running out and they can’t get the values of their properties back. You can see Bunbury is growing at such a rate and the horizontal village is not a solution.

I will be able to represent this seat well because I have a track record of being able to host and participate in committee structures. That is where all the action is because this is a Federal election. You have to identify the Federal issues, get onto the committees, write the regulations and then write into the acts what will benefit our region.

Wayne Sanford - Labor

Wayne Sanford

I have given more than a decade of service to my local shire, including as shire president. The time is right for me to take the next step in representing our community as the proud Labor candidate for Forrest.

People living in Forrest should have every opportunity to live and thrive in our region. That means improved healthcare, better resources for schools and stable employment.

One of the biggest concerns for people living in Forrest is job security and job creation. Labor has the right policies to bolster our regional economy.

People are telling me they feel taken for granted and are not a priority for the current Government. I know the challenges and benefits of living in our region. I want to be an active part of a Shorten Labor Government and work to attract the support our electorate deserves.

Dale Bromley - United Australia Party

Dale Bromley

I have lived in the South West for 30 years and have spent the last 20 years working with people with a disability, drug addiction and the homeless. I have initiated several projects in the South West and was recognised for my achievements in 2017 by being nominated for Human Services Support Person of the Year. I am excited about the United Australia Party and offering a new alternative in politics.

As we head into the colder months, my thoughts go to our pensioners of the South West, unable to keep warm at night due to high electricity prices. We will increase the pension $150 per week. It's just one way we are supporting our pensioners.

What Australia grows, grows Australia.

We must support our farmers who support us.

The United Australia will build strong policies to help our farmers and to keep our farms Australian owned.

The Capel/Busselton Bussell highway dual carriageway is one of my key issues. The work was begun, and then it stopped.

It is now the most riskiest country road in WA. Liberal and Labor blame each other while people die and businesses down south suffer.

Enough is enough. This will be my first priority if elected.