Emmery plans to fight
Wednesday, 4th August, 2010
His stay may have been brief but Labor candidate Christian Emmery has thrown down the challenge to other Farrer hopefuls with his visit to the region.
Mr Emmery arrived in Broken Hill yesterday as part of a two-day tour which began in Hay on Monday and has taken in Balranald, Euston and Wentworth.
The 20-year-old is so far the only candidate to venture into the western portion of the vast electorate during the campaign, apart from the incumbent, Sussan Ley.
One other candidate, Nationals member- turned-independent Louise Burge, has indicated she also intends to visit this week.
Mr Emmery, one of eight candidates for Farrer, said he thought it was important to get out and see as much of the electorate as possible.
People, he said, wanted to meet the candidates they were thinking of voting for. “People don’t want to vote for a piece of cardboard, they want to talk to people,” said Mr Emmery, who met with councils, branch members and locals in each of the centres he has visited.
“You really get a good feel for a community and what the government is doing right and what the government is not doing right.”
Yesterday he met with mayor Wincen Cuy and general manager Frank Zaknich, who brought the Albury local up to speed on some of the more pressing issues affecting the city.
These included concerns surrounding revelations that almost half of the beds in the hospital’s medical ward were taken up by aged care and dementia patients.
Plans by the area health service to run its own placement program for nursing students, and the affect that will have on the city’s University Department of Rural Health, were also discussed.
“We’ll be f ighting very hard to keep that (the UDRH) here,” offered Mr Emmery, who added that the city’s Eyre Street film studio, and its need for additional funding, was also discussed.
Last night residents were also invited to meet the 20-year-old at two local clubs. Mr Emmery, who heads back to Albury today, said he would have liked to have spent more time in the area and would try to return before the election.
“I don’t think it’s enough time but we try and utilise it as best we can.” Mr Emmery faces an uphill battle to unseat Ms Ley who retained Farrer at the last election with an 11 per cent margin.
While he has previously criticised Ms Ley for not doing enough for Farrer, Mr Emmery also said there was a good reason why people should not vote for one of the independents or minor parties.
Unlike Labor, they only stood or a single issue or section of the electorate, he said.
Those other candidates include Mathew Crothers, a software engineer with the Secular Party of Australia; Greens candidate Peter Carruthers, a retired school teacher; winemaker Jason Clancy; Australian Democrats candidate Stephen Bingle; and farmer James Male, Christian Democratic Party.
“We try and benefit as many people as we can,” Mr Emmery said.