WITH the two major parties working tirelessly to try to set the political agenda ahead of the upcoming federal election, The Queanbeyan Age caught up with some local residents on what their biggest concerns are.
Local mum Lisa Freeman said the issues that mattered most to her were job security for public servants, education funding and assistance in covering the cost of day care.
Both Lisa and her husband Peter work full-time and they currently receive a childcare subsidy which covers 50 per cent of their fees for just five months of the year.
"I wish someone would just acknowledge that having two working parents earning a decent wage doesn't make you a high income earner," she said.
Local restaurateur Paul Berger, who owns The Strip on Monaro St, said he wanted to see the federal government assist small businesses by cutting red tape.
"I know at the moment that small business is really struggling," he said.
"We've been in small business for 10 years and things have never been as tough as they are right now."
And down the road at the Copper Kettle Cafe, owner Frank Bresnik has overheard and engaged in much pre-election chatter.
He said he'd like to see the Government get back into the business of governing.
"My personal opinion is I'd like to see people get off the boat people issue. It's actually quite trivial and everybody is getting paranoid about it," he said.
"However, for the last 20 to 30 years the government has let our infrastructure slip to the point where it is going to cost us so much money to bring it up to scratch again."
Based on what his customers tell him, Mr Bresnik said the biggest obstacle both parties will have to overcome is a lack of credibility, especially when it comes to their leaders.
"People don't like any of them," he said.
"I think at the moment there is a bit of a lean toward Abbott but it's not so much a lean toward him as much as it's that there are people who loath Rudd and then there are those who'll tolerate him."
And when it comes to our pubs and clubs the level of political pungency depends on where you drink.
If you stop in for a drink after work at the Royal, as many of our pollies frequently do, you'll find the topic off limits. There's no rules against it, bar manager Jason tells us, people just opt against it.
Over at Walsh's however it's a different story altogether.
The forged-in-stone political allegiances are ever present, licensee Trent Miller says, and nobody is likely to change anybody else's mind (not that it's ever stopped anybody from trying).
So when it comes to the 'hot topics' Mr Miller doesn't think any of them will impact too heavily upon his regulars.
"We've got a 50/50 split here, half are staunch Liberals the other half are dyed in wool staunch Labor so either way I don't think this election campaign is really going to change anyone's minds," he said.