Independent candidate for Morwell Tracie Lund’s decision not to preference any of her opponents has apparently attracted no significant backlash.
Labor candidate Jadon Mintern and Greens candidate Dan Caffrey have preferenced Ms Lund second, despite her not returning the favour.
“I’ve had a few discussions with Tracie and I think our priorities for the Latrobe Valley are quite similar and our preferences reflect that,” Mr Mintern said.
“It’s disappointing that Tracie hasn’t felt prepared to provide a view as to the preferred candidates, particularly in terms of the current government’s performance as she has been a heavy critic of its handling of the mine fire.”
Ms Lund has said she is not convinced any of the major parties are acting in the best interests of the community and has encouraged voters to make their own decision on preferencing.
Mr Caffrey said “Tracie’s agenda is very close to what the Greens would advocate and they are stronger on preventing ill health from power station emissions and coal mines”.
Sitting Nationals member for Morwell Russell Northe has preferenced Australian Country Alliance candidate Stewart Birkett second and Ms Lund third, saying there were synergies between the Nationals and ACA in representing regional Victoria.
He said his party generally determined preferencing, subject to input from the candidates and it was a Nationals decision to preference Greens candidate Dan Caffrey last.
“I know Dan Caffrey pretty well and I know him to be a good person,” Mr Northe said.
The Australian Country Alliance has preferenced the Coalition in both Morwell and Narracan.
Sitting Liberal member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has preferenced ACA candidate David Snelling second and Labor third.
“One of their (ACA’s) major issues is certainly access to public land for recreational hunting and fishing and I’m very much in support of that,” Mr Blackwood said.
Labor candidate Kate Marten has also preferenced Mr Snelling as number two, with Greens candidate Dr Malcolm McKelvie in third position.
“I am a bit concerned with the Greens aligning the upper house preferencing with Clive Palmer and sometimes that distancing needs to be done,” Ms Marten said,
“Country Alliance will be direct competition for the Nationals, so it’s good to give them those votes.”
Greens candidate Dr Malcolm McKelvie said Labor was listed second on his how-to-vote card, but he encouraged people to “make up their own minds”.
Rise Up Australia candidate Norman Baker will preference the Australian Country Alliance second.