Rikki Lambert, a senate candidate for the Conservative Party, is hoping to provide representation for regional South Australians in federal government.
The Port Lincoln Times reports, Mr Lambert, a former lawyer from Berri in the Riverland, began working as chief of staff for Cory Bernardi in 2017, and launched the Australian Conservatives with him that year.
He has travelled to regional sites over the past week starting in Angaston, and has come to Port Lincoln to let the community know his aims if elected.
"My main driver is to represent regional people and their concerns in the senate," he said.
"The more I saw (in federal politics) I realised there's plenty of people like me, but they actually need a voice. So I want to amplify Cory's voice for conservative people," Mr Lambert says he has particular concerns for industry on the Eyre Peninsula, including commercial fishing quotas and the rail closure.
"What a mess, and it's a mess that is going to involve federal politics," he said.
"What I'm calling for is we need more transparency around this issue and very quickly we need that report published in to what should happen with the grain handling here. Having come along the highway and seeing how many trucks are already coming through the centre of town, it is ridiculous to suggest that they automatically come through here to the port," Mr Lambert also spoke of protecting fisherman and farmers from a 'social licence' that activists place on workers in these industries.
"The quota is a classic example, the government keeps trying to dictate to fishermen and farmers how to go about their business, when there's this underlying slur on these fishermen that they don't operate in a sustainable way. Other parties in particular go on and on about introducing or reducing quotas, and that's taken hold within the bureaucracy and all that is doing is it's killing jobs in places like Port Lincoln," Mr Lambert said vigilante activists were now being encouraged to attack farming practices also.
"It's a slur on them from activists to suggest that we must treat all farmers like they're criminals or cruel to their animals," he said.
"I keep saying the social licence that you have as a farmer, is that you're a farmer...when it comes to ranking of who we have respect for in society farmers are very high up in those charts," Mr Lambert said by trying to hold the balance of power in the senate, the Conservatives could hold government to account and ensure legislation passes a common sense test, and a lower-taxes, smaller government test.
He said he also wants to ensure the future of regional cities are secure by keeping younger generations employed in the area.
Mr Lambert will contest one of six seats in the senate that have opened up for re-election for South Australia in the upcoming federal election.
To read Lauren Dinning's full story, click here.
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