MILDURA businessmen Steve Timmis, PICTURED, has vowed to fight to secure our region’s ‘fair share,’ after last week announcing his candidacy for the seat of Mildura at November’s State election.

Mr Timmis is one of five candidates to announce their candidacy, joining incumbent Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp, the Greens Cathryn Milne, Labour’s Tony Alessi and fellow independent Ali Cupper.

Mr Timmis officially declared his intentions on social media last Friday after weeks of speculation, stating that “enough is enough.”

“It’s time to step up and yell it from the rooftops that we are fed up with being treated like second-class citizens,” he said. “We demand equality, and we must stop regional discrimination.”

Mr Timmis also revealed himself as one of the figures behind the local ’25 percent’ campaign – which calls for 25 percent of the State’s resources to be spent in the regions.

“I’m certainly one of a number of people behind this cause, and I embrace the concept whole-heartedly and want others to embrace it,” he said. “My message is simple – allocate 25 percent of resources, financial and human, into the regions where 25 percent of the population reside. 

“This will, in time, fix almost every issue we have. Enough of this rural discrimination. Enough of total neglect. Enough of making us beg for crumbs.

“The only thing any governments have is what we give them. It is their prime responsibility to deliver services equitably. It’s not their money, it’s ours, we all pay more than our fair share in taxes.

“For those who say an independent is not going to change anything, I say that the chance of an independent, or group of independents, holding the balance of power is again a strong possibility (this year).

“People in general, particularly those in the bush, are fed up with mainstream politics and big party politicians. It can’t be any worse!”

Mr Timmis said that while he welcomed the election promises being made by other candidates, he, like many in the community, was tired of the status quo.

“Our current government and opposition throw around promises leading into every election, and I’m sick of it. Simply, it’s not good enough,” he said. “Governments need to allocate serious money on a serious basis, and 25 percent is a good starting point.

“Allocating millions of dollars on rail infrastructure and sporting facilities should not happen just to win an election, it should be done fundamentally.”

Mr Timmis also ruled out being a part of any preference deals with other candidates.

“I won’t do any preference deals as I feel it will tarnish my status as an independent candidate,” he said. “The people of Mildura know how the preference system works, and they should be voting for who they want to represent them.

“All I can ask is for everyone to put the major parties last in their preferences to send a message.”

Mr Timmis has also committed to donating a significant portion of his salary to local charities should he win the election.

“The minimum a Victorian Member of Parliament earns is about $171,000,” he said. “The average wage of most people in Mildura is $48,912 according to the latest figures. If I win, I’ll be happy to accept the average Mildura wage as payment, and donate the balance to local charities.”