A Labor challenger in Gippsland South

DENISON farmer Denise Ryan has announced she will stand as Labor’s candidate for Gippsland South at the November 24 state election, challenging incumbent, the Nationals’ Danny O’Brien.

Coming from a local dairy farming family, Ms Ryan is also a former nurse and active in community organisations, including being the former president of the Host Farmers Association.

Ms Ryan explained her reason for standing was to provide a voice for local people.

“We have seen how upper house member Harriet Shing has been able to deliver for the Sale Specialist School, increase public transport funding, ensure water security for Korumburra, Loch and Poowong, a new TAFE campus in Sale and improved hospital services in Yarram,” she said.

“But there is still more to do.

“I want to be another strong voice representing our region.”

Ms Ryan said her priorities were fighting for improved health funding, better public transport connecting the region and to protect Gippsland’s environment.

“It was the Andrews Labor government who banned fracking and stopped coal seam gas exploration in Victoria, and they are serious about providing clean renewable power with huge investments in clean energy technologies.

“As a farmer, I understand we must continue to protect our clean green Gippsland brand, look after the health of the Gippsland Lakes and improve the sustainability of our land.”

Ms Ryan also welcomed Labor’s commitment to roll-out three-year-old kinder in South Gippsland Shire by 2020, if re-elected.

“Three-year-old kindergarten will come to our community first — because nothing is more important than the future of our kids,” she said.

Ms Ryan said she also understood the need to do more for vulnerable people, and promised to make their concerns a priority if she is elected.

“There are many families in Gippsland doing it tough, and they deserve a fair go,” she said.

Ms Ryan said she was committed to listening to the needs of local people and representing their views at this election.

“Gippslanders deserve to be taken seriously, and I will be giving them another choice at the ballot box.”