Greens eye north­ern Vic­to­ria

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Michael Mat­tingly

VIC­TO­RIAN Greens can­di­date Ni­cole Rowan was in Kyabram re­cently as the Greens tar­get north­ern Vic­to­ria in an at­tempt to de­liver the party its first re­gional Vic­to­rian MP at this year’s state elec­tion.

Mrs Rowan, a Mace­don Ranges-based lawyer, is the can­di­date for North­ern Vic­to­ria, and is hop­ing to se­cure the fifth seat from the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Party or La­bor.

“We ac­tu­ally only lost to that Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Party by 183 votes,” she said.

“That was four years ago now, and two years ago when we had the fed­eral elec­tion we ac­tu­ally dou­bled our vot­ing in places like the Mallee where I grew up.

“On that ba­sis we re­ally hope to win that last seat.”

Mrs Rowan has been trav­el­ling around the state in re­cent weeks, gath­er­ing a deeper un­der­stand­ing of what the re­gion needs.

“I don’t think be­ing rusted on has helped coun­try Vic­to­ri­ans and I think peo­ple are start­ing to re­alise that,” she said.

“We need long-term strate­gies in re­la­tion to drought man­age­ment and farm man­age­ment en­sur­ing that farm­ers are get­ting good ad­vice.

“We are not see­ing that com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion oc­cur, it’s just pol­icy by thought bub­ble.

“We re­ally have to look at our whole ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem also, and re­ally re­form that.

“We need to en­sure in coun­try Vic­to­ria that schools don’t close; when the school closes it of­ten means the be­gin­ning of the end for that par­tic­u­lar town.”

Mrs Rowan said we need to cap­i­talise on what makes coun­try Vic­to­ria great.

‘‘There are op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring peo­ple into the re­gion ... if we ac­tu­ally sat down and had a re­gional strat­egy we could re­build some of the com­mu­ni­ties that are suf­fer­ing in north­ern Vic­to­ria.’’

ON THE HUSTINGS — Greens can­di­date Ni­cole Rowan with po­ten­tial fed­eral can­di­date Nic­kee Free­man in Kyabram last week.

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