darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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August 14, 2010

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says all MPs should live in the seat they seek to represent and has described the Greens decision to nominate a candidate from Melbourne as “an insult to Gippslanders”.

Greens candidate Michael Bond has been rarely sighted during the Gippsland campaign and was the only candidate who failed to attend the public debate in Bairnsdale this week.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Chester said the preference deal between Labor and the Greens was a threat to jobs in traditional industries across Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley including timber production, power generation, paper manufacturing and fishing.

“Gippslanders are sick and tired of being told how to live their lives by city-based Greens and Labor MPs,” Mr Chester said.

“The Greens candidate for Gippsland is promoting policies that will cost jobs in all of these industries and the Labor Party has done a preference deal at a national level.

“It is staggering that Labor is so desperate to win votes in city seats that it’s done a deal to deliver the balance of power to the Greens in the Senate.

“A vote for Labor or the Greens on August 21 will cost jobs in regional areas, particularly Gippsland.”

Mr Chester said the Greens have polices to shut down all coal-fired power generation; ban fishing along 30% of Australia’s coastline; ban all harvesting of native timber; and water policies that would threaten the viability of agriculture in many parts of Australia.

“The Labor Party has done a preference deal with a party that can’t even find a regionally-based candidate to contest the seat of Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“The price of this preference deal will be jobs lost in Gippsland if Labor and the Greens hold positions of power after this week’s election.

“Labor and the Greens like to talk a lot about the jobs we might have in the future, I’m going to keep fighting for the jobs we’ve got today.”

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