KATTER Australian Party candidate for Indi Phil Rourke wants residents to vote 1 for Sophie Mirabella.
The 47-year-old shearer from Beechworth has issued an open letter to the electorate in defence of the Indi incumbent, stating Mrs Mirabella is the best choice to get results, even above himself.
Mr Rourke said it would be “delusional” for him to claim that he would “have any power to achieve better outcomes for Indi than Mrs Mirabella”.
He was compelled to write the letter after seeing the build up of support for independent Cathy McGowan, particularly after both the ALP and Greens gave her their second preferences.
But Mr Rourke believes an independent would not be able to achieve results promised, with the likelihood of a hung Parliament being “fairly slight”.
“If constituents are truly focused mainly on local issues ... then the choice is very simple: vote 1 Sophie Mirabella,” he said.
“With the high probability of a new Coalition government taking office, Mrs Mirabella as the member for Indi and sitting on the front bench in Parliament, would have more power to achieve these goals than any other candidate.”
He said any other candidate — including himself — wouldn’t be able to wield the power she could to deliver for Indi.
“If (local issues) are all people are really concerned about, then you can’t go past her,” he said.
However, Mr Rourke said if people were more concerned with national issues — such as like job losses in manufacturing, foreign ownership, agriculture and small business — then neither major party had much to say or offer the nation and people should vote for him first.