Muswellbrook voters prepare to have their say on the 2019 federal election

FINAL COUNTDOWN: The Nationals' Josh Angus and Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon are preparing for election day on May 18.
FINAL COUNTDOWN: The Nationals' Josh Angus and Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon are preparing for election day on May 18.

WITH a day or two remaining before the federal election, locals are beginning to iron out where their loyalty lies ahead of the big day.

Despite Labor coming in heavy favourites at $1.01 on Sportsbet, there are a plethora of opinions within the town and some hot topics that will demand attention from whichever candidate proves to be successful.

Climate change and employment problems were the main talking points as The Chronicle spoke to members of the public throughout the week.

"I would judge my vote on climate alone, but other big issues in the area would be youth unemployment," said one resident, named Peter.

Paul, another local, said his alliance had always laid with one party and neither side had done anything to reverse that.

"I always go Labor, because I always got told by my parents it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't know," he said.

"I think the biggest issues are to do with unemployment and homelessness in the election."

As to be expected, different demographics have different issues, and the pension was brought up by older members of the community, who want more affordable access to health, dental and optical services.

Another resident, Rhian, raised a problem that proved to be a common theme, which is the lack of communication from parties about their intentions in the region.

"The biggest issue for me is not being educated enough on everything [they're doing]," she said.

While a fairly large percentage of the population has already voted, a final judgement won't be able to be made until after the polls have closed on Saturday, May 18.

In the local shire, voting will take place at the Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre and PCYC, from 8am to 6pm, as well as Denman Anglican Parish Hall and Sandy Hollow Public School.

There are eight candidates vying for the Hunter seat, as current MP Joel Fitzgibbon, The Nationals' Josh Angus, One Nation's Stuart Bonds, United Australia Party's Paul Davies, Janet Murray of the Greens, Animal Justice Party's James Murphy, Christian Democrat Party candidate Richard Stretton, who also ran at the state election, and Socialist Equality Party's Max Boddy fight it out for power.

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