United pair on comeback trail
FORMER Liberal Member for Frankston Geoff Shaw has been announced as the United Australia Party’s lead candidate for the upper house seat of Northern Victoria, with Elijah Suares running second.
Mr Shaw said he was motivated to return to politics following lockdowns to “rise up” against Premier Daniel Andrews.
“I don’t want to see [lockdowns] again. I don’t want to see people shot in the street… [or] people in their pyjamas getting arrested,” he said.
“This guy has shown that he can do that and what would stop him doing it again? So, I’m here to defeat an enemy.”
Mr Shaw said water management and the cost of living are prevalent issues for the region and if elected, he aims to advocate for an acceleration in dam developments and bureaucratic processes.
Housing, Mr Suares said, is especially a concern for the Bendigo area.
“We’re a growing community but we don’t have enough housing. The Bendigo Airport was another issue that took 10 years too long,” he said.
“Now it’s got the funding, how are we going to house all these new people coming into Bendigo?”
Mr Shaw lost the seat of Frankston after he was found to have used his parliamentary car and fuel cards to support his hardware business.
Prior to politics, Mr Shaw ran an accounting firm for nearly 20 years, and during his hiatus, dabbled in a hair transplant clinic, and wrote a book called Dan Andrews Unmasked.
Having studied at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus, Mr Suares is a structural engineer and said the pandemic lockdowns interrupted a study opportunity in Detroit.
He unsuccessfully contested the seat of Bendigo during the Federal election earlier this year, and said he’s aiming for a different outcome this time.
“We’re really confident now. At the Federal election, there wasn’t much talk about Albanese. It was more how do we sack Dan Andrews,” he said.
“Now we’re at State level, we’ve got a real opportunity to get rid of him. They’ve overreached their powers with the pandemic laws they’ve brought in.
“They’ve overstepped and micromanaged. Victorians are sick of the government being in their lives and they want them out.”