Meet the Six Candidates

Darren Chester - Nationals

The battle for Gippsland is on ahead of this Saturday’s Federal Election.

Nationals member Darren Chester has held the seat, which covers an area of more than 33,000 square kilometres, since 2008 and is the $1.01 favourite for a Canberra return according to bookmaker Sportsbet.

The field looking to cause what would be a major upset features Labor’s Jannette Langley, Greens’ Marjorie Thorpe, One Nation’s Greg Hansford, United Australia Party’s Gregory Forster and Liberal Democrats’ Jim McDonald. Ahead of polling day, the candidates state their case on why they deserve your vote.

Darren Chester – (Incumbent)

Growing up as a boy, attending Guthridge Primary and then Sale High School, I would never have dreamed that it was possible to represent our region in Federal Parliament.
My dad Jim was a plumber, and mum Lois was a homemaker, and the idea that one day I would rub shoulders with prime ministers and premiers was ridiculous.

And that’s one of the main reasons why I want to continue as the Member for Gippsland. I want to help all young people growing up in our region to achieve their full potential and to let them know that anything is possible if they work hard, and are passionate about their studies, or the jobs they do.

We should never sell ourselves short and we should be proud of everything our region contributes to the nation.

I believe Gippsland is the best region of the greatest country in the world, and I’ve been extremely honoured and proud to work in partnership with our community to deliver record funding for local projects and critical services.

It’s not perfect and there’s always more to be done, and I have the energy, enthusiasm and experience to keep delivering for all Gippslanders.

If I’m elected on May 21, I will keep working to build a safer, stronger and fairer Gippsland.
We’ve achieved a lot together but there’s more to be done to build better transport and communications links we need to prosper in the 21st century and deliver the health services, aged care, childcare and disability support for our most vulnerable people.

At the same time, we need a strong economy to provide the resources to care for our environment and keep our defence force strong in an ever-changing world.

I will continue to back jobs in our traditional industries and work to secure funding for investment in new and emerging sectors.

For a kid from Guthridge Primary School, it’s been a privilege to represent Gippsland and I’m asking for your support to continue the work we have started.


Greg Hansford – One Nation

My name is Greg Hansford, your One Nation candidate for Gippsland.
I’m standing because I’ve lost confidence in the leadership of our major parties.
They clearly have no idea of the issues facing regional Australians today.
They’ve allowed our great nation to gradually waste away industrially, economically and socially.

Now they seem to think they can spend their way out of our current situation.
If elected my main focus will be one of rebuilding our area’s economy by applying federal funding to projects that create ongoing, long-term jobs here, including reinstituting apprentice training for our young.

To do this One Nation will build new high efficiency, low emission coal fired power stations to take advantage of our 500+ years of known cheap coal reserves.
This will also benefit our state, its people and industries through access to a low cost, reliable power supply 24/7.

Fourteen per cent of our best farming land (372 million ha) and 20 per cent of our water supplies are owned by foreign financial speculators who buy and sell shares in these just to make profits.

We’d like to return these to Australian control/ownership, ban any further sales of freehold farmland and limit tenure of leasehold farmland to 25 years.
One Nation is the only party with a specific pro-life policies.

We will seek to roll back Labor/the Greens’ laws which legally allow abortion up to birth, sex selective termination and restore a doctor’s rights to conscientiously object to perform this procedure.

One Nation will seek the abolishment of Dan Andrews’ cruel two tiered
vaccinated economy, allowing unvaccinated Australians to return to work, earn a living again, feed their families and pay their bills.

It would also go a long way to solving the critical labour shortages being experienced in many businesses and professions.


Marjorie Thorpe – Australian Greens

I believe our biggest responsibility is to care for our country and the people who live here.
In Gippsland, we need better access to better services like healthcare and education.

We need urgent action to tackle the climate crisis and to transition our homes, our businesses, our economy to renewable energy.

To strengthen our resilience across all of Gippsland’s communities, we need to lift standards of social justice and improve preparedness for natural disasters.

Together we can create new employment opportunities in power generation, industry and agriculture and build a better future for us all.

I am a proud Gunnai, Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung woman.

I campaigned to save the Grandmother trees on Tjapurong, the land of my
grandmothers, and will continue to advocate for the protection of our forests, rivers, native vegetation and animals.

The health of our environment is essential for our social and economic well-being, but it is under threat.

As an elder my responsibility is to protect the land, water, and people, by participating in the community with integrity and passion.

To ensure a safe future for us, for our children, and for future generations, we need to do the right thing and fight climate change, protect water resources, and halt the shocking loss of biodiversity now.

Your vote is powerful.

Vote 1 Marjorie Thorpe in the House of Representatives and Vote 1 Greens in the Senate.
Send a message loud and clear for the next federal government to hear.
We care about our wellbeing now and our future.


Gregory Forster – United Australia Party

When you go to vote, ask yourself, “What future am I voting for, for my children?”
The United Australia Party (UAP) has a vision and a plan to take Australia out of debt, and into a bright future.

Our national debt has exploded to a mind boggling one trillion dollars. One million millions.
The UAP is the only party with a plan to pay off the debt.

By putting a 15 per cent license on Australia’s iron ore exports, our debt will be paid off in 20 years, rather than the 180 forecast by the current government.
Less debt means more money for Australia.

More money for hospitals, schools, infrastructure and other essential services.
We will cap home loan interest rates at 3 per cent to save your home from rampant rate increases.

I want to see you able to keep your roof over your head and your kids to feel secure.
In addition to this measure, we will bring back a trillion dollars of Australian Super funds that are currently invested overseas, back to Australia to invest in Australian industries.
It is time for a real plan to invest in regional growth.

We will introduce a 20 per cent tax concession for all Gippslanders living and working more than 200km from Melbourne’s CBD.

This will invite real, long-term investment in our regional areas.

The current piece-meal approaches offering incentives for ‘city folk’ to fill short term roles don’t work.

We will establish reliable, affordable energy, as well as on-shore processing of our resources.

This will allow us to promote manufacturing of Australian goods here, in the Valley, and more broadly across Gippsland.

Thriving businesses means jobs for you and your children.

Like you, I want a bright future for my children.

Isn’t it about time we actually became the clever country?

Jannette Langley – Australian Labor Party

These next few days before the 21st May is your final chance to cast your vote in this extremely important election.

It is urgent that you remember the past nine years.

So many sections of the community have been ignored resulting in the Aged Care Royal Commission results, the cost of child care to families, inflation and the rising cost of living plus a decline in Medicare services.

An Albanese Labor Government will revitalise local industries and small businesses.
This in turn will provide employment opportunities.

Gippsland should be a manufacturing and energy hub which will be enhanced by the $10 million logistics prescient announced in the Latrobe Valley recently.

Training and retraining through extra University places and free TAFE courses is another way of improving employment opportunities for local people.

An Albanese government will address climate change and has committed to a net zero emissions by 2050 and has the plans to make green energy a reality.

The recent bushfires and floods both in Gippsland and in other parts of the country shows how urgent this has become.

We must have a sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren’s future.
By putting your faith in me at the ballot box I promise to fight for the people of Gippsland and to listen to the community’s needs and be your voice in Parliament.

Jim McDonald – Liberal Democrats

Despite multiple requests for comment, the Gippsland Times did not receive a response from the Liberal Democrats candidate for Gippsland, Jim McDonald.
The following statement and Mr McDonald’s image has been lifted from the official Liberal Democrats website.

Jim McDonald was born in Gippsland and grew up on his family’s beef farm near Meeniyan.
After completing high school, Jim worked as a stockman on sheep and cattle stations and as a machinery operator and rigger on construction projects.

In 2016, Jim successfully qualified for his commercial pilot’s licence and saw him begin his current career as an Ag Pilot.

He can often be found spraying and spreading fertiliser in the hills around South Gippsland.
Jim became interested in politics when the Labor Party shut down the live export trade in 2011, causing severe hardship to many of his friends in the cattle industry.

With governments becoming ever more brazen at taking away our rights and
liberties, Jim is proud to stand for the party that fights against government overreach for the seat of Gippsland.