HIGH-PROFILE Southern Grampians councillor Katrina Rainsford will run as an independent for the state seat of Lowan, seeking to capture the region’s Liberal vote.
The Bulart farmer and veterinarian will take on the National and Labor parties in the conservative stronghold at the November state election — the third time she has made a run for either state or federal Parliament.
Mrs Rainsford has branded herself as an “Independent Liberal”, following in the British parliamentary concept of broadly representing a party’s ideals yet remaining unaffiliated as a member.
She told The Standard funding for country roads and securing the future of the Hamilton-based National Centre for Farmer Health will be priorities.
“I support the re-election of the Napthine government but we need someone in there who won’t just toe the party line,” Mrs Rainsford said.
“People want someone who represents what they believe in but also wants to stand up for the local area.
“I’ll be the candidate with a Liberal background who can attract people from the National Party and even the Labor Party, someone that can bridge the gap.
“I’ve never been a political player. I’m running because we need someone who won’t do whatever the leader says and stands up for the local area.”
Mrs Rainsford has served as a Southern Grampians councillor for more than a decade.
The 58-year-old is best known for standing as an independent Wannon candidate at the 2010 federal election after losing Liberal Party preselection and subsequently resigning from the movement.
She also stood as the Liberal Party candidate for Lowan at the 2006 state election, losing to National Party MP Hugh Delahunty.
Mr Delahunty announced his retirement earlier this year with the National Party endorsing hospital administrator Emma Kealy as his replacement.
The Liberal Party has stated it will not field a Lowan candidate while the Labor Party is standing Murtoa resident Bob Scates.
“A number of people across Lowan have got in contact with me asking me to stand,” Mrs Rainsford said.
“We need more than a National Party/ Labor Party race because we all know who’s going to win that battle. I’m providing a real alternative which is a country-based alternative.”