A CROWD OF around 150 locals gathered at the Benalla Lakeside Community Centre to meet their Indi candidates.
Victorian Senate independent candidate, Susan Benedyka attended the event but was not allowed to participate because Liberal Senator, Greg Mirabella did not attend.
Benedyka is a founding member of Voices for Indi and a potential threat to, Mirabella’s seat.
Mirabella’s electorate office is in Benalla and some people expected he’d attend the local forum.
Benedyka has challenged Mirabella to a debate. Will he accept the challenge from the independent?
Nadia David – Labor Party
Labor (Lab) candidate, Nadia David is campaigning against the closure of the Benalla Centrelink office. Originally temporarily closed at the start of the Covid pandemic, the office has since been closed permanently.
Global corporate services provider, APM is now located at the former Centrelink office.
David wants to see action on climate and decided to run during the 2019/20 climate fires.
The Lab candidate is an active union member and has extensive experience in the public sector.
At the 2019 election, Eric Kerr was the Lab candidate and won 12.09pc of the primary vote.
Dr Julian Fidge – Democratic Labor Party
Wangaratta GP, Julian Fidge told the crowd the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) was not ideologically left or right and he wants to “do the best for Indi”.
He said his party believed in personal freedom, is against vaccine mandates, and wants smaller government and less taxation.
The DLP want to tackle climate change using nuclear power.
At the 2016 election, Fidge ran for the Australian Country Party and won 2.07pc of the primary vote.
Liz Fisher – National Party
The Nationals candidate, Liz Fisher has a degree in business and worked in the corporate sector, later moving into regional development and is now a farmer.
I’m someone like you, I have three girlsLiz Fisher
Fisher said her work in regional development means she knows how the grant system works and is experienced building partnerships.
Benjamin Gilbert – The Greens
Benjamin Gilbert from the Greens began his introduction by declaring his enjoyment hearing the Didgeridoo played during the Welcome to Country.
Gilbert’s an artist and is deeply concerned about the ‘climate crisis’ and said he’s running so he can look his kids in the eye.
The Greens candidate told the crowd their party “has fully costed policies” and Australians should be the richest people on the planet – we need to “value add on resources”.
Dr Helen Haines – Independent
The current Member for Indi, Helen Haines spent 30 years working as a nurse and midwife before further study obtaining a Master of Public Health and a Doctorate in Medical Science.
Before entering Parliament in 2019, Haines worked in research, teaching and administration.
During her first term, Haines introduced the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill 2020.
The Morrison Liberal National Coalition used their numbers in Parliament and a Covid procedural loophole to block debate of Indi’s Bill, which otherwise has broad support inside and outside of Parliament.
It’s been a very difficult three years … … we started with the worst bushfires in history, we’ve had a global pandemic and here in the North East we felt this even more with the closure of the NSW Victoria border. I worked very hard to stand with you, beside you and advocate for you.Dr Helen Haines
Proud to be an independent Member right now.
Ross Lyman – Liberal Party
The Liberal candidate has a background in the military and business, has worked on health and defence projects and also has experience in the wine industry.
A former commando deployed to Bougainville, Ross Lyman later went to UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent several years in the Gurkha Brigade operating with the, “Afghan” national army and also went “out to Nepal”.
The reasons I’m running for the Liberal Party is around lower taxes and being able to engage the private sector to deliver the essential services we need.Ross Lyman
Stephen Williams – United Australia Party
The United Australia Party candidate, Stephen Williams is a former police officer and spent 20 years in the fire brigade where he was a station officer.
Williams wants constitutional and legislative change so “they can’t shut us down”.
We need to make sure we’re free again and they can’t take it off us.Stephen Williams