There will be seven candidates contesting the Ballarat electorate in the Federal Election on May 18, it was confirmed today (April 24).
All were present at the voting centre in Wendouree, as nominations were confirmed and the position of their names on the ballot paper decided in a legal process replicated right across the country.
It was a small slice of democracy in action as candidates rolled numbered dice in a barrel, then a blindfolded Australian Electoral Commission employee drew them out to decide the final line-up.
At the top of the list will be Bryn Hills of the Animal Justice Party. The incumbent MP Catherine King will appear in seventh position, with the Liberal Party candidate Timothy Vo in sixth.
Shortly after the draw took place at midday, Mr Vo was approached by several media outlets including The Courier seeking more information on his views, policies and ambitions for Ballarat.
Mr Vo, 22, was initially reluctant to comment and referred those present to his media manager in Melbourne.
At the same time, he denied that the Liberal Party was not taking the electorate seriously and said it was "completely false" he was avoiding the press.
Shortly afterwards, he paused to say a few words. "My plans are still the same as they have been for the months I have been out campaigning," he said.
"That is still talking to the people, listening to what their concerns are and trying to get the best for what Ballarat needs. That is my concern and that has always been my concern. I want to make things happen for Ballarat."
Asked why he had decided to run, he said: "Because I am a concerned Australian. I am concerned that if Labor gets in government, we will be taxed forever and a day and that will be the basis of our economy for years to come."
I am concerned that if Labor gets in government, we will be taxed forever and a day and that will be the basis of our economy for years to come.Timothy Vo, Liberal Party candidate
He said that economy was one of his main concerns and that he wanted to support small businesses.
He was unable to say whether the Liberal Party would match the funding promise made by Catherine King for $10m to fund the Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaboration for Health initiative but said he would always push to bring big funding projects.
The Courier has since arranged an interview with Mr Vo later this week.
In descending order, the ballot paper will read: 1. Bryn Hills (Animal Justice Party), 2. Peter Cozyn (United Australia Party), 3. Alex Graham (independent), 4. Nick Shady (independent), 5. Karen McAloon (Greens), 6. Tim Vo (Liberal Party), 7. Catherine King (Labor Party).
FRESH CANDIDATES COME FORWARD
There were two new candidates announced, making a total of seven confirmed nominations to fight for the seat of Ballarat.
Bryn Hills, a teacher at Ballarat High School, will be standing for the Animal Justice Party. It will be Mr Hills' second foray into fighting elections in Ballarat: he contested for the seat of Wendouree in the state elections last November.
The other nomination who had not previously been announced was Alex Graham. Mr Graham describes himself as a "wildcard... interdependent" candidate, who "recognises that all humanity is interdependent on each other and our shared local/ global environment."
The other candidates previously confirmed include the present MP for Ballarat Catherine King, who is the shadow health minister for the Labor Party and has held the seat of Ballarat since 2001.
The Liberal Party candidate is 22 year-old Timothy Vo, a student at Federation University who previously helped Amy Johnson campaign for the state seat of Wendouree last year.
Nick Shady is a former Liberal Party member and mental health campaigner, who is now running as an independent, while Peter Cozyn is representing the Clive Palmer-funded United Australia Party.
The Greens candidate is Karen McAloon, who runs the Overwrought Sculpture Garden and Gallery on the Midland Highway at Blampied with her husband.
Profiles of previously confirmed candidates with the exception of Timothy Vo are available on the links above, while other profiles should be published shortly.
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