Belsar stands for Australian Christians

Father-of-two Ashleigh Belsar is the Australian Christians party’s Gippsland candidate.

Mr Belsar said his main concerns for Gippsland included the breakdown of family values mixed with issues of unemployment and the subsequent problems “plaguing” sectors of the community.

“My childhood was spent in a housing commission area of the Latrobe Valley surrounded by such issues including high rates of suicide, domestic violence and crime,” Mr Belsar said.

“I believe healthy families with strong values to be fundamental to turning this around. However, governments are perpetuating these problems by not having the fortitude to tackle the root causes of these problems.”

Mr Belsar said he was running for the Australian Christians as they had “a realistic view towards the future and share my concerns”; and there was far greater freedom within a small party to be straightforward and honest.

Mr Belsar opposes same-sex marriage, saying “there is more than enough evidence showing the loss of freedom of speech and conscience in countries where it has been legalised”.

“It also relates to my main concerns for Gippsland, being a breakdown of the family unit. Where possible, every child deserves a mother and a father, and studies suggest they do better when this is the case,” he said.

Mr Belsar also opposes the Safe Schools program.

He said research into renewable energies was exciting but economically and practically appeared a way off yet.

“If the decision is made to move away from coal we’ll likely need a bridging energy strategy. Cleaner than coal, yet economically within reach,” Mr Belsar said.

He said natural gas was cleaner and cheaper than renewables and cited gas exploitation and fracking as possible alternatives.

“In Western Australia fracking has been in use for over a decade with no negative consequence, so further investigation may be warranted if we want to better manage our environment and energy requirements,” Mr Belsar said.

He said the region’s diverse range of industry made Gippsland a promising place to live and raise a family.

“I will push for a future of healthy families, a clean environment and a flourishing economy,” Mr Belsar said.

“I want the region to be a place offering a work and lifestyle balance where people are proud to put down their roots.”