Greens an­nounce can­di­date

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

The race for Euroa is heat­ing up with the Greens an­nounc­ing Kep­pel Cas­sidy as their can­di­date for the seat in the up­com­ing elec­tion.

Mr Cas­sidy is a com­mu­nity men­tal health worker and mu­si­cian who lives in cen­tral Vic­to­ria.

He de­scribes him­self as pas­sion­ate about men­tal health and healthy, con­nected ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

He has seen first hand the dev­as­tat­ing im­pacts of men­tal ill­ness on fam­i­lies in re­gional Vic­to­ria, ex­ac­er­bated by high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, in­come stress, home­less­ness and in­ad­e­quate com­mu­nity sup­port ser­vices.

‘‘I am stand­ing for the Greens be­cause they are the only party with a plan to fully re­store the fund­ing for com­mu­nity men­tal health that has been stripped away by the coali­tion and ALP gov­ern­ments over the last five years,’’ Mr Cas­sidy said.

‘‘In­vest­ing in pre­ven­ta­tive men­tal health ser­vices has been found to save both lives and money, com­pared with the cost of wait­ing un­til peo­ple have be­come men­tally ill and re­quire hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion.’’

Mr Cas­sidy said he was com­mit­ted to see­ing all fully costed plans of the Greens im­ple­mented, in­clud­ing a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in af­ford­able hous­ing, which would see 40 000 pub­lic hous­ing homes built dur­ing the next four years.

‘‘The Greens have also com­mit­ted to trans­form­ing our age­ing, un­re­li­able pub­lic trans­port sys­tem, pro­tec­tion of Vic­to­ria’s stun­ning forests and bring­ing our en­ergy sys­tem back into pub­lic hands, where it be­longs,’’ Mr Cas­sidy said.

‘‘Fi­nally, the ev­i­dence is be­com­ing in­creas­ing clear that we are fac­ing a cli­mate emer­gency, and the cost of do­ing noth­ing will be­come greater ev­ery year.

‘‘The Greens are com­mit­ted to tak­ing re­spon­si­ble ac­tion to re­duce dan­ger­ous emis­sions, with a de­tailed plan to tran­si­tion to 100 per cent re­new­able en­ergy by 2030, and sup­port for re­gen­er­a­tive agri­cul­tural prac­tices that have ex­tra­or­di­nary po­ten­tial for com­bat­ing cli­mate change.

‘‘We are also com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the mag­nif­i­cent forests of this state, such as those found in the Strath­bo­gie Ranges, that are be­ing rav­aged by clear­fell log­ging by the cur­rent La­bor Gov­ern­ment.’’

Mr Cas­sidy joins Ni­cole Rowan, the Greens lead can­di­date for the up­per house seat of North­ern Vic­to­ria.

Ms Rowan is a lawyer and tax trainer liv­ing in Rid­dells Creek with her fam­ily.

Ms Rowan grew up in coun­try Vic­to­ria and de­scribes her­self as a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for the rights of ru­ral and re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans to re­ceive the same qual­ity of ser­vices as those liv­ing in metropoli­tan Mel­bourne.

She hopes to be­come the first ru­ral Greens MP elected to state par­lia­ment.

‘‘The Greens bring an im­por­tant per­spec­tive to ru­ral and re­gional Vic­to­ria,’’ Ms Rowan said.

‘‘The Greens are the only party that is stand­ing up for farm­ers and ad­vo­cat­ing for sup­port and in­vest­ment to mit­i­gate against the ef­fects of cli­mate change.

‘‘As a lawyer and in­ves­ti­ga­tor en­gaged in tax law anal­y­sis, I will bring those skills to the Vic­to­rian Par­lia­ment and en­sure that ev­ery piece of leg­is­la­tion recog­nises and sup­ports is­sues fac­ing re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans and con­sid­ers the ram­i­fi­ca­tions for our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.’’

Kep­pel Cas­sidy

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