LOUISE Staley has one major commitment for the people of Ripon, she "will work for you".
The Liberal candidate for Ripon has had many community roles, including as Ararat Hospital board president and a Grampians Medicare Local director, and she sees the step into politics as the natural progression in representing the community.
"I have always valued the representational role and there are aspects of being a politician that are perhaps more challenging than others, but I think the public service side is really important," she said.
"We need people who want to do that and I do want to do that."
The Willaura farmer previously nominated for the seat of Ripon at the last election, but Vic Dunn became the successful candidate.
"I get up every day and I try and do something for the campaign every day," Ms Staley said.
"I think the way to be successful in November is to demonstrate you work hard, to meet a lot of people so they can tell you what their concerns are and then you can really understand what is important here in Ripon.
"I am very focused on Ripon. Ripon is a tight race and I figure if I just work at Ripon we will have an impact on the broader result and if I just do that I have done my job."
Ms Staley is a 30-year member of the Liberal Party and has lived in Willaura for eight years.
She said she had recently been attending many community meetings, including one in St Arnaud where a variety of community groups gathered to look at how they could work together to help more disadvantaged people.
"So I went to this meeting and there was 15 people in there and they are doing some great things to bring all of these groups together and I felt privileged to be part of that," she said.
"That is the sort of thing I would get to do as a politician, that is something I really find worthwhile."
How should we make our community safer?
I think the Napthine Government has made some really important announcements in this area that go towards that. I am thinking of the PSOs (at the) Ballarat railway station, I am thinking of giving police tasers for being able to cope with violent and difficult people. The government has clear responsibilities here and I think the increases we have seen in police in the region and the further ones to come will bode well for community safety.
What impact, positive or negative, will the Ballarat West Employment Zone have on Ripon?
I think that project is fantastic for Ripon and for Ballarat. Of course the Ballarat West Employment Zone is entirely in Ripon, however, it is a major project of council. The Napthine government has already announced $68 million to get it going. This is a project that will transform Ballarat.
What action should be taken on climate change?
I think we need to be very cognisant of practical action that sets us up to be flexible in the future as the climate changes and as we face uncertainty in this area. As a farmer we deal with the climate all day, every day and I think farmers in fact have led the way in redesigning their businesses with minimum till and other technologies to cope with change in climate.
Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal?
Well look of course it is a federal issue, I don't have a problem with it. But I do think if there are any changes in that area we need to make sure that the churches and marriage celebrants can act in accordance with their conscious too and marry who they feel is appropriate.
Do you think abortion should be legal and available to all women?
Look I support the law in Victoria which provides for safe and legal access to abortion for women.
What is the biggest infrastructure priority for Ballarat?
Look I think there is a few of them actually and we have touched on the Ballarat West Employment Zone and the infrastructure around that. The road of course goes all the way through Ripon, the Western Highway, and that will be transformational for Ripon and for Ballarat. Getting freight moving and passengers moving is really important. I would also pick the western link of the East-West Link. Those of us who go to Melbourne would know that the deer park bypass was a huge transformational project getting us in and out of Melbourne and this project will be even better for us.
Should tomato sauce be free with a meat pie?
Of course, of course it should.
The Beatles or Rolling Stones?
We are a Stones household. In fact we had Exile on Main Street going last night.
What's your favourite TV show?
Friday night I like a bit of the crime scene, Ms Fisher's Murder Mysteries or maybe the Blake Murder Mysteries set here in Ballarat.
What's your favourite meal?
Too many to answer straight (away), that one stumped me sorry.