Atkins en­ters elec­tion race

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­outhie@ne­me­

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 three­way con­test with sit­ting mem­ber Tim McCurdy and an­other former Wan­garatta coun­cil­lor Dr Ju­lian Fidge (Aus­tralian Coun­try Party).

La­bor and the Greens are still yet to an­nounce can­di­dates.

PHOTO: Mel Guy

THEN THERE WERE THREE: In­de­pen­dent can­di­date for Ovens Val­ley Tammy Atkins launched her cam­paign for Novem­ber’s state elec­tion in Wan­garatta yes­ter­day. Sit­ting Na­tion­als mem­ber Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley) and Dr Ju­lian Fidge are also con­test­ing the seat.

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