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Candidate out of race

Friday, 11th January, 2019

Natasha Bearman has dropped her Greens candidacy for the Federal seat of Parkes. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Natasha Bearman has dropped her Greens candidacy for the Federal seat of Parkes. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

The Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Parkes, local Ability Links worker Natasha Bearman, has decided to drop out of the electoral race.

Ms Bearman made the announcement on her political Facebook page last week and has since said that issues around time and money have caused her to drop her candidacy.

“I realised that with all of the work I’ve been doing recently, and watching candidates in the state election and how they’re campaigning, that I don’t have the time and money to be doing what I believe needs to be done. To do justice to these communities in Parkes,” she said.

“While I know so much about Broken Hill, and that I’m passionate about it and want to do everything I can for it, I hadn’t really gone anywhere else (across the electorate) yet because we were waiting for the state election to be finished first. That was when I would’ve gone out and explored the electorate more.

“But I just haven’t got the capacity at the moment to do that.

“Also, I didn’t want to be a disappointment to people. I didn’t want people to think ‘she’s full of hot air, she doesn’t know anything about our community’ because the truth is for a lot of communities I don’t.”

Ms Bearman admitted that the timing of the announcement wasn’t ideal and that withdrawing now owed to a fair bit of political naivety.

“Yeah, I should’ve (considered this before),” she said.

“When I said I was going to run, people said to me that this would happen. They questioned why I would choose to run for the Greens in Broken Hill.

“But I’m a stubborn person who’s determined to do something and make a change. However, it wasn’t until I got into it that I realised that that change wasn’t going to happen.

“So it’s a hard lesson (I’ve learnt) and I apologise to those (who were invested in me.) But I couldn’t go ahead with it because I don’t think I was doing anyone any justice outside of Broken Hill.”

Another challenge of the candidacy was trying to change people’s perception about the party, she said.

“The most interesting thing I learnt (while I was in the race) was that no matter who you are as a person the party that you’re running under is what people choose to see,” she said.

“So for me, running for the Greens in regional Australia, it’s a part of the country that’s not well known for embracing the party.

“So some didn’t see me as a candidate but instead saw ‘Greens, Newtown, left-wing.’ 

“The party’s very grassroots and we can approach our issues here, but I don’t feel like I could ever get that across because people just saw the Greens and freaked out.

 “And that’s not what I want, I want to make a change. I don’t want people to be caught up on the party, I just want to get out and do something.

“Also, when you run, your life (becomes a bigger part) of everyone else’s life and people will say things about you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

“I’m also a bit of a sensitive soul sometimes so when people criticise you behind keyboards, that sort of stuff doesn’t sit well.”

While her short-term plans don’t involve anything in politics, Ms Bearman said she may one day try running to be a councillor again following an unsuccessful attempt in the last local elections.

“If I chose to run for a political position again, I’d probably focus on something locally,” she said.

“I would much rather have more impact here and make change here, instead of scattering it all over the place, because I think that’s more effective.

“So if I just focused on Broken Hill, (it’d be much better) because that’s what I love.”

As for whether a new Greens candidate for Parkes would be running in the Federal election this year, Natasha said she hadn’t heard anything yet.

“I’ve tried to find out (who the new candidate is), but I’ve got nothing as yet,” she said.

“I don’t know, at such short notice, whether they will (bring in a new candidate.) I don’t know if they were even going to put a candidate in for Parkes before I put my hand up.”

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