Politics: Federal Election – Meet Grant Beale

Let’s move on to Grant Beale. Beale doesn’t have a senate ticket, but if he did, you can be sure the Greens would be at the bottom of it. He doesn’t have a website, either, but he has been interviewed a few times by local papers, where he has thoughtfully laid out his views for us.

THE prospect of the Greens having the balance of power after this month’s election has prompted Colac district dairy farmer Grant Beale to stand as an independent in the Senate.

Mr Beale, 47, said he was concerned the Greens would impose some of their “extreme views” if they gained the balance of power.

“I hope to take votes away from the Greens,” he said.

“They want to lock up the oceans, next it will be the lakes. With farming, they reckon some of the things we do are cruel to animals. They do not want us spraying for weeds.

“We want a practical approach.”

I especially like the part (later in the article) where he expresses his fear of the Greens running the country. I don’t think even the most optimistic Greens supporter or candidate thinks this is likely, but I admit to a wistful hope that they’ll get the balance of power in the Senate.

Beale is a dairy farmer and former trucker who lives in Colac (not far from Geelong). He has previously run for local council, where he received a fair amount of support but was ultimately not elected. He was part of a successful campaign this year to overturn a ban on recreational fishing for mako sharks, and is against an increase of marine parks in the Otways, which he feels would harm tourism and fishermen alike. He wants an increase in import taxes to help Australian farmers, and he also wants improvements to resting facilities for drivers “because the government says it is getting tough on driver fatigue but there aren’t enough parking bays along highways to do that”. He thinks that the Labor Party is financially irresponsible, and also thinks neither Labor or Liberal are likely to follow through on their promises regarding health and education (I confess to a certain sympathy for this viewpoint).

All in all, I find his straightforwardness about what he is trying to achieve fairly endearing, even though I don’t agree with him about anything except the rest stops. I wouldn’t vote for him, and I do wonder why he hasn’t joined the Nationals, because it sounds to me like he would fit in very well there… actually, I take it back:

He said he was concerned voters who were disenchanted with the two major parties would vote for the Greens in protest.
“A lot of people who don’t want to donkey vote might vote for the Greens, so I’m putting my name up as another choice,”

Fair enough too.

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