Anti-abortion advocate Mark Farrell could claim Western Victoria's fifth upper house seat

POSSIBILITY: Anti-abortion advocate Mark Farrell could claim Western Victoria's fifth upper house seat. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

POSSIBILITY: Anti-abortion advocate Mark Farrell could claim Western Victoria's fifth upper house seat. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

LABOR'S decision to preference the Democratic Labour Party could result in anti-abortion advocate Mark Farrell claiming Western Victoria's fifth upper house seat.

With the Labor and Liberal parties each likely to win two seats, preference decisions have put the DLP and the Greens at the forefront of the contest for the final seat.

Mr Farrell, the DLP's lead candidate on the ticket, said right-to-life was a key issue for the party.

"We support life always. We want to give more relief to women in crisis with unplanned pregnancies, including counselling for women who had abortions who suffer grief from that," he said.

"We believe doctors should have a right to a conscience."

The DLP will seek to amend Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act, the provision which ensures doctors who have an objection to abortion must complete an abortion or refer patients to another practitioner.

Mr Farrell said it made him sick that pregnant women could be tested for Down Syndrome and other illnesses and then aborted.

"They're just hunting down one class of human and we believe that's wrong," he said.

"I've been through this process where they tried to con me my child had issues and my child's fine.

"They're drafting people through the abortion cycle."

Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber said Labor had abandoned its values.

"Labor wants to beat the Liberal Party but destroy the Greens and they're willing to walk away from the values of their own voters in who they preference," he said.

He said he believed Mr Farrell was about a 40 per cent chance to win the seat over the Greens' lead candidate Lloyd Davies.

At the 2006 election, the DLP's Peter Kavanagh was elected to Western Victoria despite winning only 2.5 per cent of the primary vote.

"We already had the debate on abortion law reform in a previous parliament and I can tell you Mr Farrell will spend the next year talking about it and negotiating to get his private member's bill voted on," Mr Barber said.

The Mail-Times contacted the Labor Party for comment.

Mr Farrell said he decided to enter politics after he found the government had placed a mining excavation licence on his property.

"The first I knew about it was when I intercepted a surveyor on my property," he said.

"This is the way they treat farmers, this is the way they treat the common man."

Mr Farrell said encouraging more people to play sport was another key issue for his party.

He said he planned to lobby the government to pay for amateur sport insurance to reduce fees.

"If the government was to cover that it would reduce roughly half the cost which would make it easier for parents to pay their sporting dues," he said.

Mr Farrell said if elected he would also fight for an independent agronomy hotline for farmers and reintroduce the Victorian Sports Grass Institute to help country golf and bowling clubs.

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