Independents fight to share new ideas

Independents who are vying for the electorate of Eden-Monaro said the main challenge they face on their campaigns is getting the same amount of attention as major parties.

“[The Liberal candidate] Peter Hendy can afford not to go to any forum and answer questions of the public,” Independent candidate Daniel Grosmaire said.  

“Most of the major parties have had their major policies explained on TV or radio. 

“If we talk face to face with someone there is no problem, but because we do not have much media attention we can’t spread the word easily.” 

Mr Grosmaire said when you have a new idea, like an Independent may have, it takes a much longer time to explain it to someone.

The advantage of an Independent, he said, was that if they won the Eden-Monaro seat they would work with whatever major party won the federal election. 

Independent candidate Ray Buckley also said the main problem he was having was getting heard. 

“It’s hard to get out there and reach people,” he said.  

He said another challenge Independents face is being restricted when they say they will run for an electorate. 

He said they have four weeks from the day an election is called to when nominations close. 

Mr Buckley said the role of Independents was to raise awareness of different issues that are not just government-related. 

“Liberal and Labor are sort of controlled by what goes on in the backrooms by lobbyists and their party leaders,” he said. 

“Independents offer a differing point of view.” 

The electorate’s last Independent candidate, Andrew Thaler, said the role of Independents was to communicate public opinion to major party representatives who do not easily associate with the broader electorate. 

“We don’t see Peter Hendy in the electorate, and we have not seen Mike Kelly since he lost three years ago,” he said. 

“The elected representatives are usually based in Queanbeyan and are Queanbeyan-focused.

“[Independents] are part of the community 24/7.” 

Mr Thaler said most Independents’ campaigns, including his own, are self-funded and do not receive major donations. 

EXASPERATED: Independent candidates for Eden-Monaro Andrew Thaler and Ray Buckley are frustrated at the difficulty of being heard.

EXASPERATED: Independent candidates for Eden-Monaro Andrew Thaler and Ray Buckley are frustrated at the difficulty of being heard.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop