United Australia Party candidate for Nicholls, Stewart Hine, is making water a major issue in his campaign.
The Dingley mortgage broker says his party wants to abandon the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and implement an immediate pause.
‘‘Abandoning the plan is not something that can be achieved overnight, so it’s imperative that we do pause the plan immediately if we are going to act in time to save what is left of the agricultural sector in Nicholls, and particularly the dairy farming industry; as the starting point for reviving a once thriving local economy with farming at its core,’’ Mr Hine said.
Mr Hine has visited a number of farms in the Goulburn Valley in recent weeks and attended a recent forum organised by the National Party in Mooroopna.
He was critical of Member for Nicholls Damian Drum for not being able to articulate the Nationals’ water policy at the meeting.
Mr Hine, a father of five and resident of south-east Melbourne, is a former National Gallery of Victoria and State Treasury accountant.
He has unsuccessfully stood for local government and the Victorian upper house.
Other candidates standing in Nicholl, formerly Murray, are Labor’s Bill Lodwick, the Greens’ Nickee Freeman and independents Andrew Bock and Nigel Hicks.