Dianne Colbert says she had never imagined getting in to politics.
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It was only after the urging of friends the Australian Christians candidate seriously considered it, she said.
“I’d never really seen myself as a politician, it was the last thing on my mind,” she said.
“I was asked if I was willing to do it, and I spoke to a couple of friends, and they actually said to me ‘Dianne you are exactly the right person to do this.”
The Australian Christians platform is policy based on biblical principles, with opposition to marriage equality and the Safe Schools program current focal points for the party.
In a series of questions also put to Ms Colbert’s fellow candidates for the seat of Ballarat, the mental health first aid practitioner explained her positions on national and local issues.
Looking at job creation in Ballarat, Ms Colbert said changes should be made to adjust training programs to fit local needs and match demand for agricultural workers in the region with unemployed people in town.
“Small to medium companies need to be freed up to compete and provide training for readily available work especially among youth, rather than merely rolling out more graduates with university degrees,” she said.
“I think we need to take a look at the larger picture, rather than looking at things in isolation. As one example of this, recently I met a backpacker couple who said they had no choice but to do farm work….rather than forcing backpackers to undertake work, we should encourage local people to fill these positions.”
On marriage equality, Ms Colbert said it was a broader issue than just two people tying the knot.
“(It) is a divisive issue that has far reaching consequences for children, freedom of speech, school sex education and freedom of religion,” she said.
“What many don’t realise is that gay couples (already) have all the same legal rights as cohabiting heterosexual couples through state-based civil partnerships and unions.”
Ms Colbert said if she was elected she would roll-out mental health first aid training to workplaces, and noted Ballarat’s high suicide rate. Another priority for her is the disease Q fever, which she says should be vaccinated against more often and is made more dangerous by a lack of community awareness of its risks.
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