■ State can­di­date for Ovens Val­ley does not rule out run for Indi in 2019 fed­eral elec­tion

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS - By STEVE KELLY

OVENS Val­ley can­di­date Tammy Atkins has not ruled out mak­ing a switch to fed­eral pol­i­tics or con­test­ing Voices 4 Indi’s (V4I) pre-se­lec­tion for the Indi elec­torate in the lead up to next year’s fed­eral elec­tion.

Euroa and Vi­o­let Town will be a part of the Indi elec­torate from next fed­eral elec­tion on­wards.

V4I put a call out to peo­ple last Fri­day “who as­pire to be­come an Orange In­de­pen­dent can­di­date for Indi in the fu­ture,” how­ever V4I spokesper­son Alana John­son said they don’t know if it will be to re­place Cathy McGowan for the 2019 elec­tion.

Off the back of her Vic­to­rian Ovens Val­ley cam­paign, Ms Atkins ac­knowl­edged Ms McGowan’s ten­ure say­ing “who­ever re­places Cathy has big shoes to fill”.

“I’m not sure it’s the role for me, but who knows, I’m not go­ing to rule my­self in or out,” Ms Atkins told North East Me­dia.

“We need to con­grat­u­late V4I for un­der­tak­ing a trans­par­ent pre­s­e­lec­tion process and for be­ing up­front with the peo­ple of Indi.

“V4I is a com­mu­nity group that’s again demon­strat­ing best prac­tice com­mu­nity-led pol­i­tics.

“V4I’s ap­proach is un­like that of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties where too of­ten it’s back room deals that de­liver can­di­dates.”

‘Team Orange’ sup­port­ers had en­dorsed a suc­ces­sion plan­ning mech­a­nism in a re­cent sur­vey and those who were en­rolled to vote in Indi and had pre­vi­ously signed V4I’s Val­ues State­ment took part in it.

“Ap­pli­cants will be asked to sign the V4I Val­ues State­ment and en­dorse the ‘The Indi Way’,” Ms John­son said.

“Cathy sup­ports suc­ces­sion plan­ning and wide­spread en­gage­ment in the process.

“The V4I team and Cathy are ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties of Indi will have a strong Orange In­de­pen­dent can­di­date in the fu­ture.”

All reg­is­tered Orange sup­port­ers liv­ing in Indi will be in­vited to take part in the suc­ces­sion process at an Orange In­de­pen­dent fu­ture can­di­date fo­rum in Be­nalla on Jan­uary 12, next year.

Orange sup­port­ers who choose to at­tend the fo­rum will be able to lis­ten to ap­pli­cants, ask them ques­tions, re­flect on their suit­abil­ity and, fi­nally, de­ter­mine a fu­ture Orange In­de­pen­dent can­di­date.

Ms McGowan said the out­come will as­sist her de­ci­sion about her fu­ture.

She told the ABC on Fri­day it does not sig­nal her re­tire­ment.

“We’re putting it out there for ev­ery­body in a re­ally open and trans­par­ent way,” she said.

“I want to make sure the next per­son who takes up be­ing the mem­ber for Indi has got the same love for my com­mu­nity that I’ve got, has got the same care and is pre­pared to do the hard work.

“I’m not go­ing to go un­til I can be re­ally happy that this lovely com­mu­nity that I love and care for is go­ing to be in bet­ter hands than it is now with me.”

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