A Liberal candidate has invited 10,000 voters to an election forum at an Adelaide cafe – without warning the business.
Pane e Latte is an Italian cafe at Broadview, near the northern edge of the federal seat of Adelaide.
Liberal candidate Shaun Osborn’s decision to issue flyers inviting thousands of residents to the cafe on Thursday came as a shock to owner Matteo Giordano – not because of the potential numbers of attendees, but its political nature.
“I was very surprised, because no one consulted me,” Mr Giordano told the ABC.
“Some of my customer base have different political beliefs or would not appreciate the fact I was [appearing to] endorse or approve the Liberal Party values.
“I don’t want to be associated with any political party – I’m a permanent resident. I don’t have any rights to vote in Australia.”
Mr Osborn is planning campaign forums and “coffee catch-ups” at cafes throughout the electorate.
However, Mr Giordano said he was caught off guard.
“We’re always prepared to cater for customers, but our main concern was creating disappointment – people may avoid us knowing we’re endorsing the Liberal Party,” he said.
When Mr Osborn realised the mistake, he decided to shift the event to a nearby oval.
But the cafe had another solution – inviting the other aspiring members for Adelaide.
“I’m Italian, I don’t really know how things work in detail … but I found out there’s no one time or place when [the candidates for Adelaide] catch-up before the election,” Mr Giordano said.
Candidate apologises for cafe mishap
Labor’s Steve Georganas will join Mr Osborn for the expanded event – possibly over an espresso and a hot cross bombolone.
Greens candidate Barbara Pocock and United Australia Party candidate Antonio Rea have also been asked to attend.
Mr Osborn told the ABC he had apologised to the cafe owner for the mishap.
“In my enthusiasm to be accessible to local voters and to meet with them, I overlooked discussing this with the cafe owner,” Mr Osborn said.
“I’ve since apologised, but am really grateful they are still happy for us to meet local voters there.”
Mr Giordano confirmed Mr Osborn had since spoken to the cafe personally.
“This morning he apologised … he decided to come here and meet the other candidates,” Mr Giordano said.
The seat of Adelaide has been held by Labor’s Kate Ellis on a margin of 8.3 per cent.
She will retire at the upcoming federal election, with Mr Georganas being moved across from his seat of Hindmarsh to campaign for Adelaide following the redistribution of the state’s electorates last year