With a Federal election due to be held in May, candidates in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are stepping up their campaigning, with the Australian Conservatives Victorian candidate for the Senate, Kevin Bailey, back in Mildura this week for his third visit.
Speaking to the Mildura Weekly ahead of a forum he held at the Mildura Golf Resort on Tuesday night, Mr Bailey said the big focus for his party, being a Senate party, was to “keep the bastards honest”.
“Our job is like the Democrats – to hold the Government-of-the-day to account,” he said.
“We’re putting ourselves forward as a common sense party. We’re not going to have ‘grenades’ going off, we have solid candidates in each State who will be conviction politicians, who are coming into politics because they’re fed-up with the status quo, like most people are.”
Mr Bailey said his decision to join Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives was determined by the fact that the mainstream parties
didn’t have any attraction for him.
“You can’t do something about the state of affairs by joining one of the major parties,” he said. “One of the problems the Liberals have, is all their ‘in-fighting’, and I’m certainly not joining the Labor Party, and so the best investment for us is to win one of the Senate seats in Victoria," he said.
“According to the polling, 20 percent of people are not voting for the major parties or the Greens and so if we can capture a substantial stake of that, we can achieve the quota we need to be elected.”
One of those Senate seats the Australian Conservatives will be targeting is Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.
“You have Derryn Hinch defending his seat, he’s voted with the Greens more than 80 percent of the time in the past three years when he wasn’t asleep,” Mr Bailey said.
“He had the casting vote for the ‘Medivac’ Bill which will allow convicted criminals, including pedophiles – all sorts of people – into
Australia ‘ for supposed’ medical treatment.
“Given his strong stance on sexual predators his hypocrisy is astounding.” Mr Bailey said given the changes to the Senate voting
rules, people only have to vote one to six above the line or one to 12 below the line.
“People can vote for the party of their choice in the House of Reps, and that’s their business - we are asking them to give the Australian Conservatives their vote in the Upper House, by marking the white ballot paper and putting us first,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Greens are our enemy and have become a destructive force. They represent a real threat to regions like Mildura with their disastrous water policies they are not a friend of people living in this region. We will not be like the Greens who have absolutely
stuffed up everything that they have touched," he said.
“They have lost a third of their members in the past 12 months, and are in disarray and their primary vote has fallen from 12 percent to round about eight-and-a -half percent.”
Mr Bailey said that if people vote for the Liberals or Nationals in the Senate, it will be a wasted vote because they won’t control the
“The real game over the next three to six years is going to be the Senate,” he said.
“The major parties will continue with their in-fighting, and therefore people need to recognise that the Senate is where the action is
going to be. That’s why my colleagues and I are spending a lot of time and energy to fix the problem by getting elected.” Mr Bailey has been critical of the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s decision to only relocate 25 positions to Mildura, arguing that the entire Authority should be headquartered there.
He told the more than 30 attendees at the forum that it was obvious to anyone that the Murray Darling Basin Authority needed to
move to Mildura.
“By moving it here, they can actually be a part of the community, they can experience first-hand what’s going on, and then they can make prudent, appropriate decisions for everybody whose involved,” he said.
“The need to move the Authority holus-bolus in its entirety to Mildura is something I will be championing, and I won’t step back an
once on that. Overwhelmingly I have been focussing my campaigning in rural and regional Victoria and I have found that people are fed-up with the inner-city Greenies, the trendies and the in-fighting in the major parties,"he said.
“Twenty percent of the population live in Victoria and they are forgotten. We have to have Senators who represent the whole State
and the interest of people in regional Victoria. I live in the city, but I’m out and about across the State all the time and I think this is where our base is because country people have got common sense.”
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