Warragul & Drouin Gazette

Trump slogan for local candidate

- By Yvette Brand

“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.

 ??  ?? Yarragon businessma­n Michael Fozard is standing as an independen­t in the upper house at the November state election.
Yarragon businessma­n Michael Fozard is standing as an independen­t in the upper house at the November state election.

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