THE new Greens candidate for the Bendigo electorate says she wants action on climate change, free childcare, and affordable housing.
Dr Cate Sinclair, an occupational therapist and health researcher, has lived in the Castlemaine area for about 20 years. Dr Sinclair said she knew it was time to throw her hat into the political ring.
"I've chosen to run after being frustrated with the policies of the Coalition and the Labor Party over a long, long period of time," Dr Sinclair said.
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"My concern is about climate change, but also my concern is about our environment and the limited resources that are being put to the environment.
"I felt like this was actually the right time to run so that there is a clear voice to the current major parties that people are concerned."
While Dr Sinclair does not have political experience, she said she was an activist.
"I'm thinking back to the activism around nuclear disarmament back in the '80s, all the way through to other environmental policies and climate change," she said.
"As an OT, I work with families all the time and particularly with children. My main area is working with young people who have chronic pain.
"So I'm working with families where mental health and pain is a really major issue and I can see that the policies we have on community wellbeing and mental health are really lacking.
"We need far more commitment in those areas. So rather than just listening, I felt like I needed to be active as well."
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Dr Sinclair said as a Greens candidate, she would be pushing for quicker action on climate change rather than waiting for the 2030 or 2050 targets on renewable energy.
Dr Sinclair said she would also focus on issues like health, affordable housing, and free childcare.
"There are lots of families that are finding it very hard at the moment and childcare is really important for women to be able to be in the workforce as well," Dr Sinclair said.
"I think free childcare is something that is essential for families."
While the federal election has not yet been called, Dr Sinclair said the Greens wanted to get on the front foot.
"We need to be prepared in case there is an election called quickly," she said. "It also gives us time to meet people, speak to people, and be prepared."
The next federal election should take place sometime before September next year.
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