LABOR has given the three independent candidates for Mallee a huge boost in their quest to unseat The Nationals at the federal election by directing preferences to them.
Labor candidate Carole Hart on Friday confirmed her preferences would go to Jason Modica, Cecilia Moar and Ray Kingston with Fraser Anning Conservative National Party candidate Rick Grosvenor last, Rise Up Australia’s Philip Mollison 12th and The Nationals’ Anne Webster 11th.
The three independent candidates will preference each other but differ on where they will place The Nationals.
Mr Modica has put The Nationals last on his how-to-vote cards while Ms Moar and Mr Kingston will both preference Mr Grosvenor last and Mr Mollison second last.
Mr Kingston and Mr Modica will both preference Ms Moar second on their how-to-vote cards and Ms Moar will have Mr Kingston second and Mr Modica third.
“Fraser Anning is last and Rise Up is second last. I couldn’t see it any other way,” Mr Kingston said.
“It was a very clear decision. I don’t think that Fraser Anning reflects modern Australia and I don’t think he reflects a part of modern Australia that we want to encourage.”
Ms Moar said the policies of the two “right-wing candidates” was not compatible with the way she wanted to do politics.
“I am about collaboration and I don’t believe they subscribe to that way of doing politics,” she said.
Mr Modica was strong in his stance to preference Nationals candidate Anne Webster last, saying the party had let down voters in the Mallee particularly on water issues.
He said Mr Mollison and Mr Grosvenor would be “a long way down the bottom too” of his preferences.
“In the end, my most important thing is independents – vote one Jason Modica, then two-three Cecilia Moar and Ray Kingston and Nats last,” Mr Modica said.
“People can then find their way through the middle.”
Dr Webster, Liberal candidate Serge Petrovich and UAP’s Rick Millar all said their preferences would be determined by their parties and could not disclose what their how-to-vote cards would look like.
Pre-poll voting for the election starts on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who was in Mildura on Friday, slammed the notion The Nationals could be preferenced behind members of the Anning Conservative National Party or Rise Up.
“If they (candidates) want to put The Nationals last they’re not thinking of the future for Mallee,” he said.
“You look at Fraser Anning and the sorts of disgraceful things he has come out with in recent times – abhorrent. Quite frankly, abhorrent.”
This story appears in Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 27/04/2019. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here