Greens assume nothing

GREENS candidate Andrea Millsom is not assuming traditional Labor voters will move their support behind her at the Gippsland South by-election.

Labor has decided not to field a candidate in the by-election for the traditionally conservative seat.

High profile local Labor figure Darren McCubbin recently said he would be supporting Liberal candidate and fellow Wellington Shire councillor Scott Rossetti.

At the state election, Labor received almost 22 per cent of primary vote.

Ms Millsom said she could not assume that would all go to her this by-election.

“It’s not as simple as Labor votes going to the Greens,” she said.

“ALP voters are really angry that they are not being represented by the state party.

“Each voter is going to have to make a really hard choice.”

Combined, the Labor and Greens vote from the election made up 31.5 per cent, well short of the 57.3 received by Peter Ryan for the Nationals.

Last year, the Greens vote declined by 0.3 of a per cent from the 2010 poll.

During discussions with residents, Ms Millsom said onshore gas extraction had been a major issue.

“Everywhere I go people talk about the threat of coal seam gas,” she said.

“The electorate has been waiting for their chance to have a say on coal seam gas.”

While welcoming the Nationals policy to give farmers the right to veto approaches from gas companies, Ms Millsom said they should go further and turn the current moratorium on the industry onshore into a permanent ban.

Ms Millsom said she was looking to provide voters an alternative to the conservative parties.

She said the antics of federal MPs, particularly in the Liberals, could sway how people vote in the by-election.

“Everything that’s been happening in Canberra is a vote away from the Coalition,” Ms Millsom said.