Stopping over in Griffith on Friday for a whirlwind start to his Farrer campaign, Kevin Mack made it clear his fight was about "listening, learning and acting" on behalf of regional communities and returning them to their "former glory".
He says he is "in it to win it" despite currently maintaining his position as Albury's mayor.
Mr Mack hit back at claims made by current member Sussan Ley that he would only be "part time" in both roles, all the while making it clear his campaign would not be about personal attacks.
"At the end of the day, Sussan Ley has had 18 years to secure water for this economy. Instead this economy has withdrawn and so has she," Mr Mack said.
"It’s her party's policies that have not accommodated for regional Australia, and that’s the bigger issue. I don’t believe it is Sussan's fault at all."
Mr Mack says Griffith and the wider region can only benefit from having an independent representative without the "significant" restraints of party politics or policies.
"Griffith is a vibrant centre of the Riverina, and it’s a shame with water allocation and other issues, it’s becoming a place where people are struggling to make ends meet," he said.
While he believes the Murray-Darling Basin plan needs to remain to secure the water, significant changes need to be made to make agricultural business viable again. That includes fighting against buy-backs.
"You lose that sort of commodity out of a region, suddenly you are losing that money, you're losing that vibrancy and you are losing that opportunity.
"I think to restore that it’s like finding gold - it’s like having a gold rush - lets have a water rush."
At the end of the day, Sussan Ley has had 18 years to secure water for this economy. Instead this economy has withdrawn and so has she.Kevin Mack
But while it may be the topical, water is not his only fight. On his radar is Griffith's housing crisis, health, education and youth employment.
Mr Mack says Griffith has seen the current government making reactionary decisions rather than "proactively provide" for the community's needs.
"I see the government pork-barreling about Griffith health - where was Adrian Piccoli? I mean let's be honest do people see through that?"
He says he has seen a lot of "shape-shifting" politics which hand-balls issues to other spheres of government instead of advocating on behalf of the people.
"Actions speak louder than words… my history is out there is out there - six years in local government, five years as mayor of Albury."
With Voices for Farrer, a grass-roots political interest group throwing their support behind him, opening up an office in Deniliquin, Griffith may be next.
Mr Mack says here along with Albury are being considered for bases as well - however said it was not about the shopfront but more about the person getting out into the community and meeting the people.
"Opportunity leads to outcome - so lets make it happen," he said.
"People in regional Australia deserve better than what they are getting."
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