Liberals to run own Indi race

Tony Schneider

Tony Schneider

THE Liberal Party has no plans to engage with grassroots political movement Voices 4 Indi, instead focusing on its own strategies to connect with the community.

It comes after the party’s federal electorate conference chairman for Indi, Tony Schneider, dismissed claims Liberals had planned to attend the V4I IndiShares forum on Saturday, saying it would be “counter-productive” to their plans to win back the seat.

Yesterday, Mr Schneider told The Border Mail local Liberals felt they would not have gained anything from the forum, nor were they interested in the strategy of their opponent — despite them effectively opening their playbook to outsiders.

“There wasn’t really any curiosity,” he said.

“Politics is about getting people to support your policies and candidates and there’s different ways of doing that.”

It is understood the ALP and Greens both had members at the forum while the Nationals had planned to send representatives but pulled out on Friday night.

The Nationals state director Jenny Hammett yesterday said the party wanted to attend because “all people interested in politics can learn from different campaigns” but “a change in circumstances” prevented them from going.

She did not elaborate further, and was unaware local Liberals had spoken out about not attending.

Asked if the Nationals would attend future V4I events or discussions, Ms Hammett said: “We engage with all groups and Voices 4 Indi is one of many groups in Indi that we would engage with.”

Mr Schneider said it was too early to be considering future campaign strategies and that the Liberals had “no plans to engage” with V4I, but did not rule out speaking with the group in the future.

“We’re not that interested in engaging with the other political parties, we don’t talk to Labor for example,” he said.

“We’re focused on doing our job properly and if people approach us, we’ll take each approach as we get them and make a judgment at the time.”

Meanwhile, V4I president Alana Johnson said the group would continue into the future regardless of who Indi’s elected representative was.

She thought it was disappointing, “like stepping back to 12 months ago ... those old ways of drawing lines between parties”.