The Federal Election is on this Saturday, September 7, with polling booths around the country opening from 8am until 6pm. Residents from areas around Two Wells, Lewiston, Angle Vale and Virginia will be voting for candidates in the Wakefield electorate. This includes the seven people seeking election to become a Member of the House of Representatives and numerous candidates for the Senate. As a service to voters, the Echo presents this snapshot of MHR candidates.
Sitting Labor MP, Nick Champion, gained this seat for Labor in the 2007 election, and will be challenged in 2013 by six other candidates, including Liberals’ Tom Zorich.
Nick Champion, 41, grew up in Kapunda before moving to Adelaide where he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the Salisbury campus of the University of South Australia.
In 1994 he joined the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association and was later employed as an official.
He was the President of the SA branch of the ALP in 2005-6 and has completed a Graduate Diploma in Communication from the University of SA.
Before his election win in 2007, Mr Champion worked as a Sport and Recreation policy adviser for the Rann Government.
Nick Champion’s main rival for the 2013 election is Liberal candidate, Tom Zorich.
A former Central Districts footballer and club President, 60 year-old Mr Zorich and his family have operated Sportspower and other retail outlets in the Elizabeth, Gawler and Munno Para areas for more than 25 years. He also worked in the oil industry and operated an Ampol garage in the Riverland before returning to Adelaide.
Mr Zorich also recently served on Gawler Council.
Sherree Clay is standing for the Australian Greens.
She is a single mother of two and a passionate community activist who stands up for single parents, quality education and the environment.
Ms Clay believes in supporting local business, agriculture and tourism to build a stronger Wakefield.
Independent Mark Aldridge, 47, is a local family business owner and describes himself as an avid civil and Animal rights campaigner, owning a Native Wild life Sanctuary with his wife.
Previous elections contested include the Senate in 2001 and 2010 as an Independent, and in 2007 as a One Nation candidate.
He also contested the 2002 and 2010 South Australian elections and the 2010 Ramsay by-election as an Independent.
Standing for Family First is Paul Coombe, a moulder and core maker who has worked in foundries as well as in administrative roles in the public service.
He was the Family First candidate in this seat at the 2010 Federal election, and contested the local state seat of Taylor at the South Australian Election earlier the same year.
Tony Musolino of Katter’s Australian Party, is a married father of five, who has spent his working life supporting his family and building businesses in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
He has spent many years living and working in the electorate of Wakefield, and continues to regularly visit family and friends from Virginia to Williamstown.
As a dairy farmer in the 1980s, and a small business owner and employee in the manufacturing sector over the last 20 years, Mr Musolino has seen firsthand the devastating impact the decline of once strong industries has had as more and more production and jobs have gone overseas.
He says it is clear Australians from all walks of life have been let down by both sides of politics.
Dino Musolino is standing for the Palmer United Party.
He is currently a market vegetable grower with an Advanced Diploma of Horticulture, and has been the managing director of four companies.
Mr Musolino has won a variety of awards, including the City of Munno Para Citizen of the Year award, The Premiers Food Award for Excellence, and the inaugural AUS Veg National Australia Bank Grower of the Year award.
In 1997, he was elected as a councillor for the City of Playford.
He firmly believes in creating a “fairer” Australia and believes his experience will allow him to effectively represent the people of Wakefield.
n NO matter who wins the Federal election or the seat of Wakefield, the October Echo will interview the Member for Wakefield on the changed political scene.