Last night at the Balgowlah RSL Club, Senator Kristina Keneally assisted candidate Dean Harris in officially launching the Labor campaign for Warringah at the next Federal election.

The event attracted over 150 people, exceeding the expectations of organisers.

“Tonight was a wonderful demonstration of the desire for change in Warringah at the next Federal election,” said Mr Harris. “People from across the political spectrum have come here tonight because they want to be represented by a local member who listens to them and is prepared to represent their views in the Australian parliament.”

Recent polling conducted by Mr Harris of 756 voters in the electorate showed that only 40% of voters agree or strongly agree with the statement that The Federal member, Tony Abbott, represents my views and what’s important to me. Even among Liberal voters, only 62% agreed that Mr Abbott represented their views.

“Every day it seems we get another out-of-touch opinion from our current member. It’s a frustrating example of a political environment that’s become so coloured by self-interest and skewed by dogma that it makes us all shake our heads in disbelief and say, “Surely we can do better”. It’s why I’m standing for election in Warringah,” said Mr Harris, “To give this community a genuine choice, and a chance to have their voice heard.”

Senator Keneally addressed the crowd, stressing how important listening was for people who stand for public office – and endorsing Mr Harris as a candidate who’ll do exactly that. “We have a duty as elected representatives and as candidates to engage with and carefully listen to people in the communities we represent. A healthy, functioning democracy requires that of us. In Dean Harris you have a candidate who listens for a living, and is passionate about bringing an understanding of people’s needs, hopes and desires as part of informed decision-making.”

The national issues Mr Harris has heard the Warringah community talk about include a better NBN, protection of the ABC from privatisation, more support for renewable energy, and reduced carbon emissions. “These are some of the most pressing national issues that people in this electorate are concerned about. They’ve been raised consistently in the discussions I’ve had with people across the electorate and have been confirmed by our recent poll. I believe our community deserves to be able to choose a federal member who is prepared to represent their views at the next election, not merely his own.”