Tim McCurdy says he is “100 per cent confident” he will beat fraud charges in court and continue to be the Ovens Valley MP if elected.
The incumbent Nationals member addressed the fact he has been committed to stand trial next year, when he faced questions at the Victorian Farmers Federation election forum in Wangaratta last night.
He said it was no coincidence he was up before court at election time.
“When you’re in the limelight, you’ve got to suck it up,” Mr McCurdy said.
“My family have to put up with all this rubbish as well.
“I am absolutely 100 per cent confident that this will disappear after the election.”
Independent Tammy Atkins and Australian Country Party candidate Julian Fidge also had to defend their actions as Wangaratta councillors sacked by the Victorian government in 2013.
Ms Atkins made complaints about Dr Fidge, which resulted in misconduct charges.
“Every decision I took over those 11 months was with my own personal legal advice so I’m quite confident that I behaved properly and in the best interests of the Rural City of Wang,” Ms Atkins said.
Dr Fidge said he acted as a honest person and would continue to if elected in Ovens Valley.
“I understand that some of the less thoughtful and perspicacious think that I did something wrong,” he said.
“I’m not going to do anything dishonest and corrupt, that’s not who I am.”
About 50 people gathered at the Wangaratta CWA hall to ask questions of the candidates, who also included independent Ray Dyer, but not Labor candidate Kate Doyle or Vicki Berry from the Greens.
They talked about a variety of issues including deer hunting, managing waterways, high rates for farmers and manners in politics.
The meeting became most heated when candidates addressed the issue of climate change.
Mr McCurdy said money firstly needed to be spent on educating other countries, which was met with arguments from some attendees.
“It’s a global responsibility. If you think it’s just ours, you’re dreaming,” he said.
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