A LONG battle with state bureaucracy has driven West Wimmera farmer Trevor Domaschenz to stand as an independent candidate for the State Election.
He will run for the seat of Lowan, held for The Nationals by Hugh Delahunty.
Mr Domaschenz, a yabby farmer, has been battling strict regulations from PrimeSafe, the regulating body for seafood in Victoria.
He said when the Coalition government came to power, it promised to abolish the 'ridiculous requirements' imposed by PrimeSafe.
Mr Domaschenz said since then, nothing had changed. He said he would try to effect change by running for election.
"I just want to highlight issues and try to make a change. I don't expect to get many votes," he said.
Mr Domaschenz's battle began years ago when changes to PrimeSafe regulations made it difficult for him to sell yabbies after 20 years in the industry.
"I applied for a licence from PrimeSafe, which would have been acceptable to every other state, but was knocked back," he said.
Mr Domaschenz researched what changes the regulators thought he had to do to sell a safe, live yabby.
"I spent more money, re-applied knowing it was unviable and harder to produce a safe, live product under their rules," he said.
Mr Domaschenz said under the regulations, he must starve yabbies for two days in a shed before selling them. "Yabbies don't like getting hot and it is a huge risk putting them in a shed like that. I have lost about $80,000 in yabby sales," he said.
Mr Domaschenz said the regulations made it almost impossible for anyone to buy a yabby from Victoria.
He said he was given a commitment in writing from the government that the regulations would change, yet nothing had.
"This government said it would not interfere with a regulator, so it seems it doesn't matter how crazy the rules are or how out of touch Victoria is with every other state," he said.
Mr Domaschenz said he had also taken the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
"I shouldn't have to go to VCAT eight times to do something that was already promised to me," he said.
Mr Domaschenz said his run for election was 'born entirely out of frustration'.
"I have a long list of things that have had a huge effect on me that are just bad government decisions. This last one was simply the last straw," he said.
"I expect to be ridiculed, but we can't have a state where politicians don't keep their word."
"I don't know what to expect, but we will see what happens."
Mr Domaschens said poor decisions were made because policy makers were too far removed from reality.
"All the local commonsense people have been moved to more regional centres like Horsham and, once there, they lose their basic grounding in commonsense because they no longer mingle with reality," he said.
"I guess I am standing to attract a group of people to try to reverse the population trends in smaller towns.
"I just hope to create change one way or another."