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06 April 2022
There was a notable and expected absentee from the guest list at a Nhill forum that allowed Mallee division candidates for the approaching Federal Election to respond to community questions.
Incumbent Member for Mallee Anne Webster from the Nationals was there, so too independents Claudia Haenel and Sophie Baldwin, as well as Citizens Party candidate Chris Lahy and United Australia Party’s Stuart King.
All had an opportunity to speak about why people across a vast electorate spanning much of western Victoria should cast votes their way.
But where was the Australian Labor Party representative? Not there, because the primary party trying to dislodge the Coalition from government has still yet to announce a candidate for the seat. We suspect it is not going to happen.
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So much for Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s impassioned plea to the Australian people to consider his party when responding to the Federal Budget.
It means that at the moment, if you’re registered as a Mallee resident and if you wanted to vote for Mr Albanese through a Labor representative – you simply can’t. Justification for why people have always voted for conservative representatives in this part of the world? Or punishment for the same reason? Or something else? Make up your own mind.
Mallee, and Nicholls on the central Murray, also held by the Nationals, are the only Victorian federal seats for which Labor has yet to nominate candidates for the election.
We’ve said it ad-nauseum and we’ll say it again – this is more than a little disappointing, for all voters in the electorate and especially individuals keen to compare major-party policies and candidates against each other as well as the independents.
The same disappointment applies for all electorates where the country’s two major political adversaries, including the Coalition, throw in an early towel.
We hope Labor pulls a last-minute rabbit out of the hat for Mallee, but we’re not holding our breath.
The last time we looked both Mallee and Nicholls were ‘represented’ alongside Ballarat, Bendigo, Corangamite, Gippsland, Indi, Monash and Wannon as part of Victorian Labor’s ALP’s Victoria branch Country Labor Executive. This executive supposedly ‘forms the voice of regional Victorian within the Victorian Branch of the ALP’.
The entire April 6, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!