SEASONED political campaigner Ian Oxenford will be standing as a candidate for The Greens in the September 14 federal election.
Mr Oxenford (pictured), a semi-retired agricultural scientist and economist with extensive rural development experience throughout the Asia Pacific Region, also stood as a candidate for Lyne in the 2010 federal election and was lead candidate on The Greens’ ticket in last year’s Port Macquarie-Hastings Council election.
Three Rivers Greens announced their candidate for Lyne on Wednesday.
At this stage The Nationals’ David Gillespie is the only other person to announce his intentions to stand for Lyne.
There continues to be widespread speculation over whether or not sitting Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott will re-enter the fray.
Mr Oxenford, who has only recently returned from India, said he was looking forward to presenting The Greens’ policies to the voters of Lyne and supporting The Greens’ Senate candidate, Cate Faehrmann, in her bid for a seat in the Upper House.
Mr Oxenford, who lives at Kendall, said it was his”‘sincere hope” that the intellect of Lyne voters would be respected by all candidates with constructive policies presented “both for current constituents and future generations”.
“It would be unfortunate for all if the campaign were to slide into a saga of three word slogans,” Mr Oxenford said this week. The current view of politicians by the public seems to be at an unnacceptably low level and the candidates of Lyne need to work hard to overcome this negative perception.”
Mr Oxenford hopes the big local issues will include coal seam gas and climate change and is urging local residents to think about their children and their grandchildren when it comes to environmental issues.
He said the recent approval of coal seam gas mining at Gloucester by the federal environment minister was a “big disappointment and shows we still have a long way to go in the land-use conflicts between agriculture and mining”.
Mr Oxenford was full of praise for the federal government and for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“The current federal government has done inspiring work with effective action on climate change, a disability insurance scheme and numerous other policies,” he said.
“We have weathered the GFC and our economy is the envy of the world. This is a credit to all concerned, the minor Labor Party, The Greens (both in the House of Representatives and Senate) along with our very own Rob Oakeshott and other independents.”
He said it had been the most “inspiring” government since he developed an interest in politics, thanks in part to it being “pushed along by Greens and the independents” including Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.
While he said the government had made some mistakes, they had been blown out of proportion by the media focusing on the negatives.
Mr Oxenford said Prime Minister Julia Gillard had made “quite an impression” since coming into office and had “grown into the job quite well”.
He also said he had been “staggered” by the attitude towards Rob Oakeshott and that the Member for Lyne had been treated “awfully” despite achieving so much for the electorate.