Warragul & Drouin Gazette
Trump slogan for local candidate
“Make Gippsland great again” is the political slogan of a Yarragon businessman who will stand as an independent candidate in the upper house for November’s state election.
Michael Fozard is no stranger to politics, being a former Baw Baw Shire councillor and Democrats candidate for the state seat of Narracan in the 1999 election.
He now turns his focus to the upper house, declaring himself as an independent candidate for Eastern region.
Mr Fozard said he was interested in the development and prosperity of the community and was worried at the current trends in people’s feelings towards politicians.
“Frustration and annoyance is at an all-time high. People do not know where to turn and if anything can be done to address the negative feelings.
“The elected representatives do not appear to respond to our needs. Party structures do not allow them to stand up and seek resolutions.
Mr Fozard believes this can be changed, but as a community “we must be willing to push for change and draw a line in the sand.”
“One question we should ask ourselves, is the person chosen by the major parties truly a person that understands our issues or appreciate the concerns that we confront in Gippsland? Or, are they selected for their party allegiance and or party faction
“Gippslanders and Gippsland communities are frustrated with the current attitude of the government and its lack of understanding of what we need our frustrations, problems and aspirations. People feel that they no longer have representatives listening to them.
“We do have the power to make change and get a better result from our representatives,” he said.
Mr Fozard said Gippsland residents needed a local person who “has walked the walk and talked the talk” and has a broad understanding of Gippsland and the issues and diversity of its communities.
Mr Fozard and his wife sought a “bush change” from city life, moving to Labertouche in 1982 where they became hobby farmers.
They purchased a coffee shop and after five years decided they would try their hand at being “real farmers,” buying a dairy farm at Willow Grove that they operated for nine years.
Since then, Mr Fozard has worked in a number of management and sales manager roles, establishing a garden supply business and manager of Old Gippstown Heritage Park for seven years until 2012. Mr Fozard now owns and manages cafe in Yarragon.
Mr Fozard has an extensive list of community service to his name, including serving on many community based boards including tourism, training and development organisations, school and youth organisations and Trafalgar Rotary.
“I now seek support from Gippslanders and the communities of Gippsland to get behind me and seek a new beginning for our region together we can make Gippsland great again and an important region in the future of Victoria.
“One Nation or other parties are not our solution - the major parties are lost in their internal fighting,” Mr Fozard said.