Independent candidate for Eastern Victoria Michael Fozard has organised an event with the intention of allowing concerns in the community to be heard by all the region’s upper house and Narracan electorate candidates.
The event is part of Mr Fozard’s attempt to enlighten voters about those vying for the job and challenge a belief in the community that nothing can be changed at a political level.
“I’m arguing strongly, you can change,” Mr Fozard said.
“Half the time they [voters] have no idea … who represents them in the upper house.
“[We] need now to show people that politicians, their elected representatives, are willing to put their name out there and are willing to listen.”
The future of the Country Fire Authority has been an issue close to Mr Fozard’s heart as a former volunteer firefighter at Labertouche and he is hoping CFA volunteers will be present at the forum.
“To me, the CFA is a vital part of country town and communities. We cannot afford in any way to jeopardise that position of our CFA volunteers,” the Yarragon business owner said.
The Andrews government’s controversial bill to split the fire services was knocked back in Parliament earlier this year, however, Mr Fozard has concerns for what would happen if similar reform went ahead in the future.
“Let’s see how we can best get a result so CFA volunteer fire stations continue to provide for the community and are valued by government in regard to their contribution to our society,” Mr Fozard said.
Mr Fozard is inviting any community groups wishing to present their case to attend the rally. He extended an open invitation to any political candidates seeking to be involved, however, he said no candidate had yet confirmed their attendance.
He intends to host similar rallies in other areas of the Eastern Victoria region such as South Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula if there is sufficient interest.
The rally will be on Thursday, November 1 at 11.30am at Fozigobble Café, 79 Princes Highway, Yarragon.
For more information, phone 0418 513 092.