AFTER what seems like never-ending campaigning and mud slinging, the federal election is almost here.
Saturday's vote may well be a close one across many electorates in Australia.
Here in the seat of Farrer, there are eight candidates in the mix, including incumbent Sussan Ley.
While many have already cast their vote via pre-poll or postal voting, Saturday is the official election day.
For those who have yet to case their vote, The Area News asked Farrer candidates to give their final pitch.
I AM a former youth mayor of Albury and the 2022 Young Citizen of the Year.
I've been a passionate advocate for Albury's young people, in particular on mental health, LGBTQIA+ rights and the urgent need for action on climate change.
For too long, Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce have been running a circus in Canberra while the rest of us have been left to pick up the pieces. We've witnessed years of corruption, rorts and lies that have resulted in detrimental policies for our region.
Farrer deserves a voice in Parliament who will get things done for us.
I am standing for all mental and dental health care to be covered under Medicare and the need for a new hospital on the Border, free TAFE, university and early childhood education, and an urgent transition away from fossil fuels.
THE people of Farrer should vote Labor for a better future.
Labor will strengthen Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor. Labor will invest in Medicare and change the rules to improve access to GPs.
Labor will make child care cheaper for almost every family, so that it's easier for working families to get ahead. An Albanese Labor government will lift the child care maximum subsidy rate to 90 per cent - meaning 96 per cent of Australian families will be better off under Labor than they are now.
The people of Farrer should choose Labor for more secure work, better pay and a federal government which will help ease the cost of living pressures.
Labor believe we should make more things here In Australia. Labor will ensure we make more things here in Australia and I will work with business to invest in manufacturing and renewables to create more Australian jobs.
Labor's future made in Australia Plan will create more secure jobs by co-investing with business in strategic industries like manufacturing to make more things in Australia again.
Labor will invest in fee-free TAFE to fix the skills shortage. Labor's $1.2 billion plan for fee-free TAFE and more university places in areas of skills shortage will provide more opportunities for apprentices and trainees and fill skills shortage gaps like those in trades and construction and advanced manufacturing.
Most importantly, the people of Farrer deserve a federal representative that has integrity. Only Labor will implement a National Anti-Corruption Commission to end the rorts and corruption.
I AM proud to have committed over half a billion dollars in extra programs and projects to Farrer since 2019, including over $200m alone for Griffith, Leeton and the MIA.
We can do this because, despite the pandemic, our economy is still essentially strong, unemployment is low and we still have a AAA credit rating.
Cost of living is a big issue for many right now and, while events abroad are causing much of this, the six-month cut to fuel excise, $420 tax offset and extra $250 payment to those who need it most, are designed to take some of the pressure off.
For this election, I have three priority commitments across health, communications and the Basin Plan.
In short, our rural health policy is aimed at attracting new GPs to practise in the community and our hospitals.
We're expanding wireless nbn capacity and mobile broadband, like the towers we're planning south along the Newell Highway, around Narrandera, Leeton, Merriwagga, Langtree Nature Reserve and Hillston.
The Basin Plan must move from a water recovery approach to better river management - this is absolutely vital for our region's long-term future and prosperity.
SOME of the issues facing the electorate of Farrer run far deeper than the requirement of adequate funding for schools, roads and medical facilities.
You have private individuals and companies no longer complying with water management plans set in place by the NSW government.
The mass proliferation of on-farm storages of water in the northern regions of NSW, which has increased by over 140 per cent since 1994 and have created a tight squeeze on the natural flow of water. These deliberate and selfish actions have caused a critical deterioration of not only flora and fauna, but local communities mental and physical health.
The rate of motor neurone disease cases has spiked by over seven times the national average in areas such as Griffith, which has occurred to natural water sources being corrupted by the propagation of blue-green algae.
I believe that we can do better for the region, by actually working with the both the Wiradjuri people, and residents of these communities to identify key issues being faced as hey occur, not months or years afterward. Take action now in order to secure a better future for all those who reside there.
We need to fix issues at the source, which is why it is so important to address floodplain harvesting at the national level, and find a way to help stem the damage done to both communities and the environment.
I AM here to provide people the option to vote for the Liberal Democrats.
I was once a National Party member, but they no longer represented my interests or those living in rural areas I believe.
The Liberal Democrats are starting to grow their profile.
Electoral Commission funding being what it is, if people can vote or put a minor first when voting, then this can send a message through the bank accounts of these major parties.
The Liberal Democrats I believe have rural and regional people at heart.
We know there are a lot of issues and there's plenty that can be done to fix these.
I THINK more needs to be done for our region.
I want to make, if nothing else, Farrer a marginal seat.
I want to shake the government up and say "you can't keep taking us for granted". I have really strong feelings on a number of issues. If by some miracle I am elected, straight away I would insist on a federal ICAC to stop corruption.
Secondly, I want the government to take steps to recover the ownership of any essential services that are in foreign hands.
I also want the government to legislate minimum staff numbers in aged care and increase funding there.
I would also like to see manufacturing of all varieties come back to Australia.
I am a big advocate for better mental health services in rural areas and I believe we also need to continue to investigate alternatives to carbon-based energy.
The Area News reached out to United Australia Party candidate for Farrer Julie Ramos and One Nation's Richard Francis, but both were unable to submit a response prior to the deadline.
Those casting their vote in on Saturday can do so at the following locations from 8am to 6pm:
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