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Greens on top

Friday, 8th March, 2019

Election Manager for Barwon Darren Flowers gets ready to pull out a candidate name, with the electoral office’s Senior Office Assistant Kylie Bennetts helping out. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Election Manager for Barwon Darren Flowers gets ready to pull out a candidate name, with the electoral office’s Senior Office Assistant Kylie Bennetts helping out. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

With the state election only a few weeks away, the ballot order for Barwon candidates was officially announced yesterday.

Overall, nine candidates nominated for the seat, with several micro-party nominations coming within the last few days.

The ballot draw was conducted by Barwon Election Manager Darren Flowers with help from Barwon Electoral Office’s Senior Office Assistant Kylie Bennetts. 

The order the candidates were drawn, and how they'll appear on the ballot, will be listed as follows:

-Leigh Williams, Greens
-Phil Naden, Independent
-Darriea Turley, Country Labor
-Andrew Fleisher, Liberal Democrats
-Roy Butler, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
-Owen Whyman, Independent
-Maree McDonald-Pritchard, Sustainable Australia
-Jason Alan, Animal Justice Party
-Andrew Schier, The Nationals

Speaking after the draw, Mr Flowers debunked the common idea that being top or bottom of the ballot was somehow better for the candidates.

“Some people say (it’s beneficial) for the donkey vote, so for those who don’t really want to vote and number the candidates from top to bottom or bottom to top,” he said.

“So they’ll say that if you draw number one or the bottom position it’s an advantage.

“But I’ve done enough elections to know that that’s not really the case. I think it’s just a myth.

“People know who they want to vote for and will vote for their candidate accordingly.

“Or if they want to do a preference vote, they’ll then follow the how-to-vote card which is handed out by the political parties.”

One thing which did surprise him was the number of candidates though.

“Last state election we had six which I thought was a large number because the one before that I think we only had four,” said Mr Flowers.

“So to have nine was a bit of a shock, and I think it’s a surprise all over to be honest. 

“We have 93 districts and not many would have this many candidates, so we could possibly have the most.”

Only two of the Barwon candidates were at yesterday’s ballot draw, the National’s Andrew Schier and Independent Phil Naden.

Mr Schier said being named last on the ballot was no concern but that he was also surprised by the number of candidates.

“I’m happy to be starting at nine and I don’t think it’ll make a great deal of difference overall,” said Mr Schier. 

“I didn’t think there would be that many (candidates) though. Right at the end they seem to have come out, but the more the merrier.”

On the challenge being posed by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Roy Butler, Mr Schier questioned what a candidate like him would be able to accomplish if elected. 

“I’ve got full respect for Roy as a candidate but I do have to point out, what can the Shooters and Fishers do?” he said.

“They haven’t got too many policies out there, they’re just shouting from the grandstands so to speak. 

“So, what are they able to achieve in government? They’re never at the cabinet table so unfortunately for them it’s always about picking up crumbs.”

He also said that getting the right water infrastructure along the Darling River was important and that the he would be making a key announcement out at Lightning Ridge on the weekend.

Mr Naden said being second on the ballot paper was a ‘perfect position.’

“The messages that I’ve received across the electorate around where people should be positioned anecdotally, is that being second is a good position,” said Mr Naden.

“So that has cemented for me that being second (on the ballot) is good.”

With pre-poll voting beginning on Monday at the Old Schinella’s building on 334 Argent Street, Mr Flowers has reminded locals that the parties will be handing out how-to-vote cards outside the polling booth on 334 Argent Street, and not to ask electoral office staff about who to vote for.


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