Nationals candidate calls on politicians to donate salary

Nationals candidate for Buninyong Sonia Smith says politicians should be seen to be making sacrifices. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Nationals candidate for Buninyong Sonia Smith says politicians should be seen to be making sacrifices. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

A LOCAL state election candidate has pledged to return 10 per cent of her salary to the community if chosen for office, but others say they already make donations and doing so is a private matter.

Nationals candidate for Buninyong Sonia Smith said voters had been asked to make sacrifices for the good of the country by the federal government, and politicians should follow suit.

"I think there is a lot of anger in the community at the moment," Ms Smith said.

"People are angry at the (federal) budget, and they're angry at the budget because politicians are asking them to make sacrifices but they don't see politicians themselves making sacrifices."

Ms Smith said that if elected, she would put 10 per cent of her parliamentary salary into an account at the Buninyong Community Bank - though she could not say exactly how much that would be.

Ms Smith said the money would be used to support community services in need of funding at short notice, or that may have missed out on funding through traditional channels.

"It may be that there is an urgent need, or the organisation might not have time to go through those bureaucratic hoops," she said.

Neither of Ms Smith's opponents backed the idea.

"We already contribute when we can, and so do a lot of other families in the region"

Ben Taylor, the Liberal candidate for Buninyong, said he agreed people were doing it tough but said he and his wife already donated money to the community.

"We already contribute when we can, and so do a lot of other families in the region," he said.

"We don't wait until election time to give back to the community. We give what we can when we can."

Labor candidate for Buninyong and current member for Ballarat East Geoff Howard said he already donated to community groups and would continue to do so in the future, but it was a personal matter.

"What (politicians) do privately in terms of supporting groups and individuals across the electorate has not been a particularly public thing, and I think that's the best way to keep it," he said.

Mr Howard also suggested that Ms Smith spend less time talking about personal matters and more about her party's policies.

"What state candidates need to do, and what people would want the Nationals candidate to do, is to explain to them the National Party policies that will impact them, because that's why they vote for a candidate as part of a party," he said.

Learn more about the candidates:

Meet Geoff Howard, Labor candidate for Buninyong

Meet Ben Taylor, Liberal candidate for Buninyong

Meet Sonia Smith, Nationals candidate for Buninyong

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