Ballot wait for Cr Armstrong
Nationals upper house candidate Jo Armstrong expects to know this week whether she has the strongest possible chance of winning a place in State Parliament.
The National Party selected Yalla-y-poora district farmer and mother of four Cr Armstrong, 50, and Andrew Black from Miners Rest as western region seat candidates.
It must now strategically decide where both sit on an election ballot paper.
The Nationals, looking to fill one of five western region seats, have numbers three and five on the ballot paper with the candidate listed at three to win any ‘top line’ generic Nationals vote.
The circumstance means a Nationals candidate listed at five on the ballot paper is in the field but faces long odds of winning a seat.
Two Labor and two Liberal representatives and one independent hold western region seats.
Victorian Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford sits in one of the seats for Labor.
Cr Armstrong, Ararat Rural City Council deputy mayor, was among five western region pre-selection candidates for the National Party. Party members in Ballarat on Saturday selected her and Mr Black as representatives.
Cr Armstrong said she considered the preselection process a tremendous experience and now had to sit back and wait for the ballot order.
“The support from Ararat district people is just phenomenal,” she said.
“The western region covers 11 lower house electoral divisions and I’m keenly aware of local issues. The trials and tribulations of living regional are pretty common, obviously with local variations.
“Where we live is pretty much the heart of the western region, which means we’re brilliantly placed geographically to maintain contact with people.
“From my experience in local government I’m blessed to have tremendous insight into how we can keep on celebrating being regional Victorians.
“There are great opportunities in the country, so let’s get on with it and get it done.”
Cr Armstrong said such a strong field of pre-selection candidates was a clear indication about how passionately the Nationals represented rural Victoria.
“I’m enjoying having the opportunity to lift the profile of the Nationals. The needs in country Victoria are really quite different to Melbourne and that needs to be reflected in parliament,” she said.
Cr Armstrong, married to Pete Armstrong, is originally from New Zealand. She has lived in Ararat district for about 30 years.
She said she would continue on the Ararat council unless she won a Legislative Council seat at the November election and needed to resign.
“In the end I get to serve people and that’s what I’m all about,” she said.