A NEW candidate has thrown their hat in the ring to vie for the seat of Mallee.
Leigh Firman will contest as the Science Party's candidate at the next federal election.
He is the fourth candidate to nominate for the seat.
It was announced in December that outgoing Member for Mallee Andrew Broad would not re-contest his role after he was embroiled in a sex scandal.
Mr Firman is based in Maryborough and started his career in the print industry, but has been gardening on a professional basis for 15 years.
His reasoning behind nominating for the seat of Mallee was due to Australian politics being a “constant source of frustration to (him) for many years”.
“The constant shenanigans of various politicians and the ludicrous overspending on badly thought out projects and consultancies just keep on piling up,” he said.
“So now, even though I do not consider myself a politician, I am someone with a thirst to help the people achieve a better, safer, more productive way of life with the help of the best new technologies we can employ.
“To this end I offer myself forward to help build a brighter, healthier and happier future for the Mallee electorate.”
He said Mallee was a unique electorate.
“It's an extraordinarily large electorate and even though I'm at the other end of it, I do hope to get to each shire encapsulated by it, in order to learn the requirements of each area. Then if elected I will at least know everyone's major concerns,” he said.
Science Party leader Dr Andrea Leong said Mr Firman was a long-term member who approached the party about being their candidate.
“I had a good long chat with Leigh, and it was clear from that he is on board with what the Science Party is trying to do,” Dr Leong said.
“We believe it is access to technological advancements that drives a lot of that improvement.
“We want to firstly improve the opportunities that are already available, through things like doubling funding for scientific research, and we want to make sure everyone has access to those opportunities through equitable health care and education and social safety net,” she said.
Dr Leong said the original fibre-to-the-premises NBN plan, and its potential to improve telemedicine in regional areas, was the kind of policy the Science Party would support.
“What we want for Mallee is for people to have the opportunity to vote for someone who isn’t the usual two major parties,” she said.
“Giving a small party your number one vote is actually really powerful because it shows the major parties what you want and puts them on notice that they have to do better.”
The Liberal Party’s preselection nominations opened on January 15. A spokesman for the party said the preselection meeting date had not been set.
A Greens Party spokeswoman said the party had started its preselection process.
The Wimmera Mail-Times contacted the Victorian Labor Party for comment, but did not receive a response before deadline.