KATTER’S Australian Party candidate for Mallee Vince Cirillo is concerned the Mallee’s needs will be misinterpreted if The Nationals win the seat.
“I believe the message Canberra will get if The Nationals get over the line is that everything in the electorate is fine,” he said.
He fears politicians unfamiliar with the Mallee’s challenges would not appreciate its need for improved infrastructure, or development, because its voting patterns had not changed for more than 60 years.
“How do you send a positive message?” he said.
Mr Cirillo urged the Liberal-National Coalition to allow a Liberal candidate to run in the seat before the next federal election, to allow for greater political competition.
“Their rule seems to be monopolising the electorate, to some degree,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said he would watch with interest to see how the successful candidate handled the pressure of representing the electorate.
“Because there will be an enormous amount of pressure on whoever is elected,” he said.
He ranked fourth out of the electorate’s 12 candidates, with 3.86 per cent of first preferences.
Labor’s Lydia Senior was third, with 17.34 per cent by Monday morning.
“I expected a bit more, to be honest,” Mr Cirillo said.
“If I did it again, I’d campaign a little bit more in the Wimmera.
“But overall, I think I’ve done okay and raised some concerns and issues, which hopefully whoever does get in will remember and be reminded of.”
Mallee candidate Mark Cory, of the Palmer United Party, had 3.35 per cent of the Mallee’s primary votes.
“Considering we’ve only been around for four months, to get almost four per cent of the vote is an outstanding effort,” he said.
The Greens’ Jane MacAllister lagged behind by less than one per cent.
Although he said the electorate had demonstrated a ‘massive’ protest against the major parties, Mr Cory said the outcome would have been different if political campaign budgets were limited.
“Elections are bought,” Mr Cory said.
“If all candidates were limited to a $20,000 budget, you’d have a whole new election result. People could actually afford to run.”
Mr Cory said the electorate would also benefit from being smaller.
“The electorate really needs to be split at about Wycheproof,” he said.
“People in this electorate are so far removed from each other, there’s literally a change in environment.”
Nevertheless, he promised to keep the Mallee’s newest member to account.
“I only hope he’s as good as his word and that he delivers, because if not, I will be there to hold him to account,” Mr Cory said.