Liberal Eden-Monaro candidate Dr Fiona Kotvojs believe she faces an uphill battle winning the seat away from Labor but also that her winning it is important for the region as it recovers from such a difficult time.
“It will be difficult to win, as the Government hasn’t won a seat back from the opposition in 100 years, but I think it is important that I do win so that this region has a voice in government,” she said.
“This is more important than ever as the region rebuilds from drought, fires, floods in some areas and Covid-19. The focus has to be on rebuilding and for this a voice in government.”
Dr Kotvojs was able to help secure the South-West Slopes place as a pilot hub for its forestry program last year, and believes this issue is now more vital than ever considering the damage done by the Dunns Road Fire.
“Forestry is critically important and a major employer in the Tumut region and I was pleased I was able to secure the forestry hub for Tumut, and now with the damage done to forestry in the area by the fires and now long term support for the industry is so badly needed,” she said.
“We need to look at where our stocks are going to come from down the track. For 10 to 15 years down the track, we need to look now. This is why it is so important to get integrated support from federal, state and local government for the industry as we rebuild.”
Dr Kotvojs says people in the Eden-Monaro electorate have conveyed to her the value of having someone directly involved in the government being able to raise issues.
“This will be important going forward,” she said.
Both Dr Kotvojs and Nationals candidate Sophie Wade contested Eden-Monaro in last year’s election, but no Nationals candidate has been named at this stage to contest the by-election.
“In a by-election, people often nominate closer to the election,” she said.
“What the Nationals do is for the Nationals to decide, although they would need to soon. Voters need to remember who is going to give them the best voice in Government as we rebuild.”
Dr Kotvojs likes Labor Eden-Monaro candidate Kristy McBain but said the process by which the Liberals chose her as candidate for the seat is an important factor in why she should be elected.
“Kristy is a nice person, but I believe I’m the best candidate for Eden-Monaro,” she said. “I was chosen by a democratic process where the party members choose the candidate. The Labor Party doesn’t do that and haven’t done that since 2004.”