LATER this month, we go to the polls for the State Election – and it’s vital people make the right choice for them, and be informed to do so.
In three weeks’ time, voters in the Ripon electorate have the choice of the Labor Party’s Sarah De Santis, Anna Hills of the Animal Justice Party, Peter Mulcahy of the Democratic Labor Party, the Greens’ Serge Simic and sitting member Louise Staley of the Liberal Party.
In Lowan, the contest is between the Labor Party’s Maurice Billi, sitting member Emma Kealy of The National Party and Independent candidate Barry Shea.
Nominations will close next week.
Many of these candidates and their parties have been pledging money and their support for existing and planned projects across the region for many months.
They pledge to splash money towards projects in areas including agriculture, transport, schools, recreation and health should they be elected to their seat – and their party elected to power – on November 24.
These pledges are important and have the power to shape the future fabric of our region – but they also mean little if that candidate is unsuccessful.
Members of the Labor party are visiting communities across Ripon – a far more marginal seat than the Nationals powerhouse of Lowan – multiple times each week.
Sometimes the pledges are for Ripon-based projects, but often they are of a statewide nature and the party is taking the opportunity to make their presence known within the electorate currently held by the Liberal Party.
Whether Louise Staley continues her work, or that work is passed to another party – is in your hands.
The Lowan election was looking a non-event until only last month when Mr Shea and then Mr Billi put their hands up.
These men have a fight on their hands against Ms Kealy, who earned 54 per cent of the first-preference vote in her first bid for the seat of Lowan in 2014.
The team at the Wimmera Mail-Times will continue to document the remainder of the campaign period, online and in print, and we call for your input.
If you have a burning question for a candidate, we will endeavour to have it answered. Have a comment to make? Write us a letter. Need more information, so you can make an informed choice? Let us know.
The power is in your hands.
Jessica Grimble, editor