Bal­lot wait for Cr Arm­strong

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

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.

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