By Colin MacGillivray
LABOR candidate Bill Lodwick has put his hand up for a second time in the race to represent the electorate of Nicholls at next month’s federal election.
Mr Lodwick stood as a Labor candidate for Nicholls at the 2019 election and was announced as the party’s candidate again when nominations officially closed last week.
Despite Nicholls, which includes the northern Mitchell Shire towns of Broadford and Seymour, and its predecessor Murray traditionally being one of the safest Liberal-National coalition seats in Australia, Mr Lodwick said he was undaunted.
“I don’t think it’s a difficult thing to run for Labor, because they are fundamentally the party that looks after people,” he said.
“In times when the current government is saying the economy is booming, it’s not booming for everybody. There are some people struggling very hard out there with the cost of living and the affordability of life.
“They need to know that Labor people like me in the country as much as in the city care about their welfare and recognise that it’s not their fault if they’re struggling.”
Mr Lodwick, who has lived in Broadford and Seymour and worked at Mitchell Shire Council and the Puckapunyal Military Area, said he wanted to see the Nicholls electorate become more marginal.
“I think a lot more people are starting to realise that marginal seats get more goodies. If you want to be cynical about it, you would vote your seat into a marginal position,” he said.
“If you’re not voting along ideological lines and you’re thinking, ‘well we’re missing out on sports rorts, infrastructure and investment, and any interest in our water problems’ then I think you would vote for someone other than the conservatives.”
Mr Lodwick said he hoped to change the minds of people who did not traditionally vote for Labor.
“I’ve had people tell me ‘I can’t vote for the Labor Party, but you seem like a nice bloke’,” he said.
“I say ‘good. Don’t vote for the Labor Party, but put me number two’. That way maybe their conscience is clear and they’ll still end up with a good representative in Parliament.”
The ballot order for Nicholls candidates, drawn randomly last week, is: 1. Tim Laird, Liberal Democratic Party; 2. Sam Birrell, Nationals; 3. Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell, One Nation; 4. Bill Lodwick, Labor; 5. Jeff Davy, Australian Citizens Party; 6. Rob Peterson, United Australia Party; 7. Ian Christoe, Greens; 8. Andrea Otto, Fusion Party; 9. Steve Brooks, Liberal; 10. Eleonor Tabone, Australian Federation Party; 11. Rob Priestly, independent.