Sharma and Phelps detail agendas to win over Wentworth voters

Wentworth frontrunners Dr Kerryn Phelps and Dave Sharma have outlined sharply different ballet box blueprints as the race for a spot in the 46th parliament kicks off.

Incumbent independent MP Kerryn Phelps says climate change will dominate the election while her Liberal rival Dave Sharma will run on a platform of “strong economic management”.

When asked by The Wentworth Courier, Dr Phelps highlighted renewable energy as a key issue in her campaign.

Dr Phelps won by a slim margin last time. Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

The former AMA president and practising GP also put an end to the Medicate rebate freeze, reviewing changes to complementary health and collaborating with members from all parties at the forefront of her agenda for a full term.

Dr Phelps said: “This is a climate change election, I strongly oppose the Adani mine and the use of any public money to underwrite new coal assets or prop up ageing coal fired power stations.

“I support policies that encourage investment in renewable energy as we transition to a clean energy future.”

Sharma (right) is focusing on local issues and the economy. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Mr Sharma said winning the trust of voters came down to tackling housing affordability, building a strong economy, “responsible” action on climate change and protecting our natural environment.

“Building a stronger economy also means backing small businesses, encouraging start-ups and innovation, pursuing trade and export opportunities, building infrastructure, and keeping taxes low — to encourage hard work, saving and enterprise.”

But on more local issues the pair shared plenty of common ground. Dr Phelps and Mr Sharma back restoring cardiac services at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

“If elected I will work closely with the state government to ensure that the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick can provide the same clinical services as Westmead,” Mr Sharma said, in what amounted to the first time a Liberal has backed doctors over the issue.

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Dr Phelps said she too supported the push and had met with senior doctors at the hospital. “Parents in the eastern suburbs would expect their children to be treated locally at Sydney Children’s Hospital rather than at Westmead,” she said.

The candidates also backed a second public high school.

On tax, they oppose Labor’s plan to abolish franking credits refunds and are against over-development, typified by the West Bondi Junction “twin towers” stoush.

“I believe this twin towers proposal raises serious concerns … I have met with NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes and conveyed the serious concerns of the community regarding this proposal, and if elected I will take further steps,” Mr Sharma said.

Dr Phelps too said she opposed the proposal.

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