Independent Ray Kingston wants to tell a different Mallee story

Independent Mallee candidate Ray Kingston on his family’s farm outside Rupanyup. Picture: Michael DiFabrizio
Independent Mallee candidate Ray Kingston on his family’s farm outside Rupanyup. Picture: Michael DiFabrizio

RAY Kingston is not interested in being thrown into a “left” or “right” political box.

And no, “centrist” doesn’t sit well, either.

In fact, Mr Kingston, the sheep and wheat farmer from Mallee’s south running as an independent in Saturday’s election, thinks it’s the wrong question to be asking.

“Here’s the trouble,” he said.

“We’ve been locked into either the left or the right of politics for so long that we’ve fallen for the illusion that’s the only option.

“To me, it’s not complex at all.

“You walk into parliament and you vote on every issue, as it stands, as to what value it brings to Mallee as an electorate – that’s the job, it’s (called) the House of Representatives.”

More so than the other nonaligned candidates in Mallee, Mr Kingston has been willing to put his name and face to causes shared by other independents across the country.

He was the most prominent candidate in a crowd-funded national ad promoting voting for an independent.

Asked how he would retain independence were he to be elected, Mr Kingston said it was “simple” – his first job would be to represent the electorate that voted him in.

“Yes, of course you’re going to have to try and find commonalities with other members of the crossbench, with other independents, with the major parties – that’s the game, negotiation and trying to find common ground,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, what’s nice about running as an independent is you don’t have any conflicts of loyalties whatsoever.

“It’s really straightforward who I’m accountable to.”

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