A GROWING field for the region’s upper house seats ballooned yesterday with Warrnambool’s Cameron Hickey throwing his hat into the ring for Palmer United.
The small businessman will be placed third on the ballot for the minor party’s Western Victoria ticket, behind St Arnaud farmer Catriona Thoolen and retired Ballarat policeman Gerard Murphy.
Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer announced in Melbourne yesterday that 19 candidates would contest the state’s upper house in a balance-of-power bid. Mr Hickey said his run for office was driven by a need to shake up the political status quo.
“I think a lot of people are unhappy with the state of politics but instead of complaining, I decided to do something about it,” he said.
“If you want a healthy democracy, you want average people taking a stand and getting involved rather than sitting on the sidelines.”
Mr Hickey is the fifth south-west based candidate for the upper house so far with Port Fairy accountant James Purcell running for Vote1 Local Jobs, former Warrnambool mayor Jacinta Ermacora for the Labor party, Penshurst barrister David O’Brien for the National Party and Warrnambool nurse Jennifer Gamble for the Animal Justice Party.
Twenty-three candidates from 12 different parties have announced a run for Western Victoria with more expected to enter the race.
In a press statement, Mr Palmer said the three Western Victoria contenders all had business backgrounds that make them well-equipped for public office.
“Catriona, Gerard and Cameron are all hardworking and successful individuals with a sense of what is right,” the PUP leader said.