Mick makes the move to politics

Photo: File

Gippslanders may spot a familiar name on the Senate ballot at this year’s Federal Election.

Look under Group D on said ballot, and there will be found the name of one Mick Harrington.

The local businessman, musician and former grand finalist on The Voice is making the move to politics, citing his family as the key reason why.

“I suppose some might consider it a selfish reason, but for me, it’s making sure that Gippsland and Victoria is a good place to live for my kids and for other people’s kids,” Mr Harrington said.

“Becoming a parent really makes you think about where you live and what you want it to be.”

Mr Harrington will be running for the National Party, and identified their policies and ideals as reasons for doing so.

“I align really strongly with the Nats on a number of issues, but particularly their advocacy for regional communities,” Mr Harrington said.

“I know the local Nats’ members for State and Federal parliament quite well, and I just love the fact that they love the community they come from, and that they do everything they can to support it.”

Mr Harrington admits that he has “next to no political experience”, but believes that will be an asset rather than a detriment.

“I think people are sick of politicians being politicians,” he said.

“They want them to be real people, and they want them to understand everyday people and the things that they go through – cost of living, paying a mortgage, driving on a decent road, looking after their families.”

He also notes that being a “Mower Man” and running his own small business puts him in good stead with the public.

But there is an additional hurdle – Mr Harrington has drawn fifth spot on the Liberal/National group ticket.

With over 70 candidates contesting the Senate in Victoria and just five seats, it will be virtually impossible for him to be elected, a fact Mr Harrington recognises.

“Most people would probably consider it an unwinnable position, but even to be considered (to have) a very slight chance to represent the people of Victoria, it’s a privilege and an honour for me.”

Given his prominence as a musician, Mr Harrington’s tilt for Canberra is drawing comparisons with Peter Garrett, the frontman of Midnight Oil who served as a minister in the Labor governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

The key difference, of course, is that Mr Harrington is running for the opposite side of politics.

With people in the arts typically supporting parties on the left of the political spectrum, the Gippsland Times asked Mr Harrington whether he’d received any backlash for his affiliation with the Nationals.

His answer is surprisingly philosophical.

“Even though there are differences in politics, I think that most people from most sides of politics want the same thing,” he said

“They want a good place for their kids to grow up, they want good infrastructure, they want the environment to be good – they want all these things, they just have a different way of going about it.

“So I don’t think they ever question my intent or my morals; I think they might just question my tactics and how I would go about something, and that’s what makes this country beautiful – is that we get to disagree and have different opinions.”

The 2022 Federal Election will be held on May 21.