FROM Laang to Lorne and dozens of localities in between, Libby Coker has been clocking up the kilometres as the Polwarth Labor candidate.
The former journalist and teacher is representing the opposition in one of the state government’s strongest seats but she argues her stand is about offering voters choice.
Mrs Coker was named as the Labor candidate for Polwarth in August after the previous contender — firefighter Joe Brown — had a very public falling out with the ALP over social media.
The former Surf Coast Shire mayor said the shift from local government to state campaigning had been relatively smooth.
“People want to talk about grassroots issues like the condition of our schools, like the way our roads are pot-holed,” Mrs Coker said. “I’ve lived in Aireys Inlet for 27 years, so I know the wider region well. The state government’s TAFE cuts are something people are angry about and that’s in many parts of Polwarth.
“I’m a beneficiary of (former PM) Gough Whitlam’s policy of a free university education and it’s something that has driven me in this campaign. We should provide options for people seeking out differing types of education, whether that’s at uni or at TAFE.”
Mrs Coker said many Victorians were ready to return Labor back to power in Spring Street due in part to an unpopular Coalition government at a federal level.
But she acknowledged Labor was unlikely to win Polwarth, which is held by state transport minister Terry Mulder on an ultra-safe margin of more than 13 per cent.