KOROIT businesswoman Tanya Waterson has joined forces with Port Fairy accountant James Purcell on his Vote1 Local Jobs ticket for the November 29 state election.
The mother-of-three announced she would stand as Mr Purcell’s running mate for the fledgling party yesterday — one of 45 candidates running for the region’s upper house electorate.
Ms Waterson said her party was the only group contesting the upper house solely with south-west candidates.
She decided to run for the upper house after discovering the vast majority of contenders were from Geelong, Ballarat and suburban Melbourne.
“Everyone knows who their lower house MP is but when it comes to the upper house, we’re represented by people who aren’t local,” Ms Waterson said.
“I decided to stand because Vote1 Local Jobs is now the only party with all local candidates. Why should we be represented by someone in the upper house who isn’t from this area?”
Mr Purcell formed Vote1 Local Jobs earlier this year after two campaigns as an independent candidate four years ago. The former Moyne Shire mayor has signed up more than 850 members after a region-wide recruitment drive. The group aims to clinch the fifth spot in the region’s upper house which generally is secured by a minor party.
National Party MP David O’Brien has held the spot for the past four years.
Ms Waterson said the Liberal and Labor parties would win two seats each with a question mark over the fifth position.
“I decided to run because I’m a mother of three kids and I want them to be able to get the best education locally. I think we need someone like James (Purcell) in the upper house who understands the local area.”
Six of the 45 candidates running for the region’s upper house seats are from south-west Victoria: Ms Waterson and Mr Purcell, Mr O’Brien, Labor candidate Jacinta Ermacora, Palmer United candidate Cameron Hickey and Animal Justice candidate Jen Gamble.