WITH the federal election looming, the Australian Country Party has announced its candidate for the seat of Muray, Robert Danieli.
The Adviser caught up with Robert to talk politics and the Greater Shepparton region.
Robert Danieli – Australian Country Party
Why have you nominated to run for the seat of Murray?
I have nominated to run for the seat of Murray because we need to change the political landscape and force the government of the day to treat this electorate and its people with the respect we deserve. As a safe coalition seat, we have been taken for granted by Liberal/National governments and treated with disdain by Labor governments.
What are your core values?
We are committed to the representation and preservation of the rights and interests of those who live in, work in or enjoy, rural, regional and urban communities. We will not pander to economic and social agendas that have paralysed our rural communities.
What do you see as the most important aspects of the Goulburn Valley?
Water is the number one issue in the Goulburn Valley. Without irrigation our economic driver of agriculture would be dramatically reduced. Preserving our agricultural output preserves jobs and all our other industries. We need to ensure irrigation water remains affordable, secure and with an efficient and viable delivery system. Health services, education, transport and infrastructure are all important issues that also need attention.
If elected, what would you do to work towards ensuring the region receives the attention and funding that has been lacking over the past 20 years?
If I were to be elected this would make Murray a seat that the LNP and Labor party would aim to win back. Combine this with the real possibility that I could hold the balance of power in the new parliament, would give me a huge bargaining position to rebalance what has been overlooked for many years in our electorate.
What would your primary focuses be?
To rework water policy and the Murray Darling Basin Plan, review all policies, treaties and international agreements that are detrimental to Australian agriculture, businesses and our environment, ensure that fairness is applied when federal monies are allocated for infrastructure projects, transport, health and education, introduce taxation policies that support agriculture and manufacturing and to re-establish our local forestry industries.
How well do you know the region and the issues facing the wider community?
I have lived and worked in the Murray electorate for 21 years. I am an active member of many community groups and have fought for our communities on many issues whether they fell under the responsibility of local, state or federal government.
Why should the community vote for you and your party?
People should vote the Australian Country Party because we are the only conservative rural party that will stand up for all Australians. We offer strength of purpose, common sense and the old-fashioned Australian spirit. We are pro-small business, pro-agriculture, pro-Australian jobs and we will demand a fair share and a fair go for rural communities, in particular people who live and work in the Murray electorate.
What are your thoughts on Sharman Stone’s performance over the years?
I would call myself a friend of Sharman and over the past five years we have worked hand-in-hand on a number of issues, especially on water policy.
In her earlier years I think Sharman may have been a bit more focused on her party’s policies, which weren’t overly helpful; but in recent times she has been outspoken against poor policies. Unfortunately she has been a bit of a lone voice in the LNP.