A new voice for Ovens Valley
TO paraphrase the Moving Pictures (Shannon Noll) rock anthem – What about the Ovens Valley? It isn’t fair, we’ve had enough and we want our share.
That could well be the theme song for independent candidate for Ovens Valley Tammy Atkins, who launched her election campaign in Wangaratta yesterday.
A former Wangaratta councillor, former member of The Nationals and a founding member of Voices for Indi which launched the federal political success of another independent female candidate Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi), Ms Atkins put the major parties on notice, particularly incumbent member Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley), that the safe Nationals seat was missing out on major State Government investment while neighbouring electorates were booming.
“We’re missing out,” Ms Atkins said.
“Wodonga, Shepparton and other regional centres are getting far more.
“We need to change the way we do politics and the way we vote. “We need to be marginal.” Ms Atkins pointed to the success of Shepparton independent Suzanna Sheed (MLA, Shepparton) who she said had transformed the electorate since defeating the retiring sitting Nationals member Jeanette Powell’s replacement in 2014.
The Nationals/Country Party had held the seat since 1945.
Interestingly, Ms Sheed’s campaign motto back then was ‘Stand Up, It’s Our Turn’.
“If we don’t change the way we vote we’ll never get a good outcome,” Ms Atkins said.
She said her platform would be centred around securing jobs in manufacturing and stronger investment in education and renewable energy.
“A lot of investment has gone into Wodonga but not here (Wangaratta) or Yarrawonga or Bright,” Ms Atkins said.
“There’s no reason that can’t come to our region.
“There isn’t enough connectivity within the electorate, from Yarrawonga to the Alpine region. “Ovens Valley lacks identity.” The battle for Ovens Valley is now at least a three-way contest with sitting member Tim McCurdy and another former Wangaratta councillor Dr Julian Fidge (Australian Country Party) already on the ballot paper.
TIME TO FIGHT: Independent candidate Tammy Atkins launches her campaign in Wangaratta yesterday.