News

Dr Haines’ election elation

By Robert Muir

Independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines is elated about her close win in the 2019 Federation Election for two main reasons.

“I’m thrilled and excited to make history being the first Independent to follow an Independent,” Dr Haines told The Free Press.

“I’m thrilled for the 1700 people right behind my movement.”

When counting finished on Saturday, Dr Haines trailed Liberal Steve Martin on first preferences. But she received 51.93 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

Never before in the 118 years of Australia federation has an independent followed an Independent to be elected. However, it has now happened with Dr Haines taking over from Cathy McGowan, who took over from Liberal Sophie Mirabella in 2013 and won the seat again.

Dr Haines wants to see the Federal Government take more action on climate change. She is happy to see her extensive health background have more of an influence on health in rural Australia.

“We need a Parliament in Australia with members having diverse interests,” she said.

“There have been far too few persons with a health background in Parliament.

“Rural Australia is far worse off than people in cities in Australia.”

The 57-year-old’s interests include being an avid reader, cycling – she rides to work each day – bush walking and gardening.”

In Rutherglen, just 15 votes separated first and second and primary votes with Mr Martin (376) and Dr Haines (361) out of 1,049 formal votes.

It was an almost identical first preference situation in Wahgunyah, with 14 votes between Mr Martin (224) and Dr Haines (210).