It’s a budget battle

Cr Ali Cupper says her candidacy in Mildura is in response to discontent with recent budget announcements.

Cr Ali Cupper says her candidacy in Mildura is in response to discontent with recent budget announcements.

EARNING the faith of voters in outlying parts of the Mildura electorate looms as Ali Cupper’s greatest challenge ahead of ­November’s state election.

Preparing for her third tilt at the seat, and second as an independent, Ms Cupper said while rusted-on Nationals voters were unlikely to support her, she had planned a “grassroots” campaign intending to appeal to those whose ties to The Nationals were “more flexible”.

She also hoped to entice those within the “broad church” of the Liberal Party to back her, arguing regions that prioritised “party loyalty over results” would be “taken for granted and left behind”.

“This makes it harder for us to secure the essential services that the rest of the state enjoys, like passenger rail and a publicly managed hospital, and harder to attract the funding needed for job-creating infrastructure that would help improve our social and economic fortunes,” she said.

“It feels less like negotiation and more like begging when you’re in a safe-seat ­environment.”

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