United Australia Party's Wannon candidate says the electorate is ready for change as he hopes his work in the community rather than political experience will differentiate him from the major parties.
Casterton local Craige Kensen said the United Australia Party's (UAP) selection requirement of candidates without a political background would make him stand out.
"People are ready for a change," Mr Kensen said.
"We've had the same leaders and parties in. It's hard to tell the difference between the two, they seem to just flip from one to the other."
Mr Kensen cited UAP leader and former Liberal Party MP Craig Kelly as an inspiration and the main reason for joining the party.
"He's been pretty much sticking to everything that he's stood for for the last two years, even though he's had a huge amount of opposition," Mr Kensen said.
"I admire that in people."
Mr Kensen said his connection to the community and shared experience with those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccination mandates would resonate with voters.
"I've got a fair bit of experience dealing with people in different professions from retail through to emergency health," Mr Kensen said.
"I'm also part of the community that's been affected [by job losses] in Wannon.
"People are just really upset that they got mandated to have something they didn't want."
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Mr Kensen worked as a builder for 20 years before he became an ambulance community officer at Ambulance Victoria.
He lost his job at Ambulance Victoria due to the company's vaccine mandate.
"I just want the choice," Mr Kensen said.
"My wife, and myself, and my two adult children all lost their jobs because we decided we didn't want to be mandated.
"I'm not against vaccines. I've got pretty much all my vaccines."
Mr Kensen said he was in the process of gathering the electorate's UAP members' concerns to decide on other policy focuses but stressed he would mainly be campaigning against vaccine mandates.
"I'm getting around the Wannon electorate at the moment, and the main issue people had was the mandate," he said.
"People definitely didn't like to be told what to do by government."
Mr Kensen said he also wished to change the electorate's issue of not being "serviced properly" by those in power.
"They haven't appeared very often, and they certainly haven't put their hand up to help things to make life better," he said.
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