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Herron stands for upper house at state election

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By Colin MacGillivray

LAWYER and victim advocate John Herron will stand for Victoria’s upper house as a member of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party at next month’s state election.

Mr Herron, a Riddells Creek resident, contested the federal seat of McEwen at this year’s federal election, but said the Justice Party aligned more closely with his personal values.

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Mr Herron’s daughter Courtney was murdered three years ago by a man who was released early from prison after a prior conviction for a violent crime.

Mr Herron has since used his professional standing as a lawyer to advocate for an overhaul of the justice system to better support victims of crime.

He will run alongside current Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell in the Victorian Legislative Council.

Mr Herron said he already had a close working relationship with Ms Maxwell, who was elected in 2018.

“I had been approached by some other parties to stand, but they weren’t covering the issues I’ve been advocating for since the death of my daughter,” he said.

“I work with Tania Maxwell and [Member for Western Victoria] Stuart Grimley anyway … we work with a lot of victims and survivors who come to them or me, so I’m doing that work in the background in any case.

“We help people out at the ground level. We help them navigate the system and provide support for them if there’s any liaison that needs to be done with authorities, which is where I come in as a lawyer.”

Mr Herron said there was ‘an endless list’ of families he had assisted in the Macedon Ranges region.

He said the potential for his daughter’s killer to be allowed to leave the psychiatric facility where he has been since 2019 on day release made his campaign more urgent.

He described the attitude of Labor and the Liberal-Nationals Coalition towards victims of violent crime as ‘indifferent’.

“The Justice Party aligned with the advocacy that I’m doing … My plan is to continue to work with victims alongside Tania Maxwell,” he said.

“On the campaign trail I’ll attend the venues that Tania is speaking at and I’ll try to get the message out there as much as I can. I want to speak not only about my own situation, but also what the party is trying to achieve.

“There are people in great need, and there are a lot of them – there are more every day. A lot of them have nowhere to go, so it’s that need that I’m trying to fulfil on their behalf, and that’s the essence of what the Justice Party is trying to do.”

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