The country will be hearing a lot from politicians over the next six weeks as they campaign for Australians' votes in the 2022 federal election.
But on Saturday May 21, it is the people's vote that will determine whether Scott Morrison keeps, or Anthony Albanese takes, the top job.
The Standard is therefore keen to bring readers the views of south-west voters in its 'pub test' panel series - a weekly check-in with a cross-section of the community to share their thoughts during the campaign.
Much like the masthead's election issue readers' survey, the environment and climate change dominated initial campaign conversations among panellists.
First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria Elder's Voice co-chair and Gunditjmara woman Charmaine Clarke, 55, said she would like to see climate policy headline the election campaign.
"We're running out of time, if not already, it's a big problem upon us," she said.
"It doesn't just affect cities, it also affects country areas with droughts and bushfires."
Ms Clarke, who has consistently voted for the Greens, said Indigenous policy would also determine her vote.
"There's really not much in regards to Aboriginal issues (with major party policies)," she said.
"Our health statistics are still needing a lot more work.
"We need a lot more services to tackle family violence and drug and alcohol (abuse) in regional areas. There's a lack of resources, facilities and housing here."
Warrnambool's The Dart and Marlin general manager David de Carteret, 38, said there had been a "lot of lag" with the Liberal party's climate change acknowledgement and action.
"It'd be good to see some shifts with the discourse to tackle those issues," he said.
For Mr de Carteret, business and industry support was a key election issue he would be following closely.
"That's been pretty critical for us the past two years," he said.
"Seeing how that's managed post-pandemic will be very interesting."
Mr Cateret has previously voted for Labor and the Greens but said he was not ideologically tied to any party.
"I'm aware of the independent (candidate) Alex Dyson who seems to represent the voice of young people in the region," he said.
"But I'm not sure if his policies have been well-articulated. It will be interesting to see if that happens over the next six weeks."
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Former-academic and Warrnambool Association of Independent Retirees spokesman Rod Carter, 84, said climate change and aged care were important issues for him this election.
"I have difficulty separating those two at the moment," he said.
"But aged care is a time-bomb. With the staff problems and ideology (debates), it is a major issue that will confront us very shortly."
Mr Carter said he would like to see Prime Minister Scott Morrison be more truthful on the election trail.
"There's not much doubt that he has a problem with the truth," he said.
"That is enough to demolish him in my mind."
Traditionally a Labor voter, Mr Carter said Anthony Albanese needed to show stronger leadership and better "enunciate the party's policies".
"They need to show that they're thinking into the future, not just getting through the first three years," he said.
Deakin University psychology student and first-time federal election voter Michael Killen, 21, said he would prioritise mental health reform, environment and climate change policy and asylum seeker justice with his vote.
However, the handling of the COVID-19 crisis has been at the forefront of Mr Killen's mind.
"It's important to consider as well," Mr Killen said.
"Even though a lot of things have happened, and it's hard for it to stay in the public consciousness, we had some of the harshest lockdowns in the world."
Mr Killen said he wanted to see transparency and more policy-focussed campaigning from the prime ministerial candidates.
"There's a lot of identity politics going on, and I think it'd be nicer if they stuck to the actual policies," he said.
First Ladies freelance video producer Colleen Hughson, 49, who was unavailable for the initial pub test meet-up will be contributing to the panel at a later stage.
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