Last Thursday, Taree radio station 2RE got more than it bargained for when it hosted a debate between Nationals leader Mark Vaile and the ALP candidate who’s going up against him in the seat of Lyne, James Langley.

After the debate was over, the host allowed a listener’s question.

Peter Warner, a farmer from Nabiac, fired up on the “Australian Wheat Board fiasco”. He told Vaile: “Before I make my vote, can I get a rock solid guarantee from you that what you said to the Cole Inquiry was above board and correct.” Vaile replied: “Everything I said was absolutely true.”

Warner then proposed a challenge: if Vaile was prepared to take a lie detector test over the issue, he would be prepared to donate $5,000 to Legacy. Vaile skirted around the issue, labelling it “a futile sort of an exercise … we have been through a Royal Commission.”

However when pressed to give a “yes or no” answer as to whether he’d do it, Vaile replied: “I’m quite happy to do that, yes”. To which Warner piped up, “I’ll organise it”. (To listen to the conversation, click here)

In a press release, Langley said: “These amazing events overshadowed my win in the debate, but it is probably going to be far more interesting to watch this unfold.”

Crikey understands that the lie detector test will not be going ahead — at least not on 2RE. It was deemed to be more one man’s quest than a matter of more general public interest.

We tried to track down Warner to see if he will be pursuing the issue with Mr Vaile but were unable to get hold of him. In the public interest, Crikey is prepared to host the polygraph. Paging Peter Warner…

We’d be interested to see what it makes of the words “do not recall”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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