REGION - There is now just over a week until voters in the seat of Wannon go to the polls with seven candidates to choose from on September 7.
The Coalition's Dan Tehan is looking to the retain the seat he inherited at the 2010 election, while Labor, The Greens, Australian Christians', Family First, Australian Sex Party and Palmer's United Party have all put forward a challenger.
In wanting to build on what he started three years ago Mr Tehan said he has a plan to ensure local communities are strong, prosperous and safe.
"It is a plan that focuses on what is important to us locally and puts the talk, scandals and chaos of the Rudd-Gillard Government behind us," he said.
Mr Tehan said his plan for Wannon includes providing more federal government funding for local roads.
"We also need to abolish the carbon tax to help ease cost of living pressures for families and the cost of doing business for our farmers, small businesses and manufacturers."
Mr Tehan said he would also be working to achieve better health services including more doctors, nurses and aged care places.
He said the coalition was committed to improving broadband and mobile telecommunications, including providing $100 million to help improve mobile phone coverage in black spots.
"We will also focus on job creation locally by supporting our agriculture, manufacturing and small businesses," he said.
"With your support I want to continue to be a strong and effective voice for our rural and regional communities here in Wannon.
"I think we deserve our fair share of federal funding, and I want to fight to make sure it is delivered."
Labor candidate Michael Barling said the path he had taken to becoming a political candidate had not been a traditional one but that the tradition of politics in the electorate of Wannon had not served the community well.
"As a safe seat we have been taken for granted by the LNP for many years," he said.
''I have spent the last 17 years of my working life encouraging young people to find their purpose and to make a contribution to their community.
"It is now time for me to "walk the walk" and try and make a contribution to my community."
Mr Barling said it was imperative to develop the social and economic infrastructure Wannon has a competitive advantage in.
"That means community services we rely on like hospitals, education and aged care, but also our advantages in agriculture and increasingly in the renewable energy sector," he said.
Mr Barling said he was committed to the protection and growth of employment, adaptable education resources to meet the needs of children, providing continuing support for families to protect and maintain living standards and the development of the next level of economic infrastructure to meet the needs of communities, including renewable energy and the NBN.
"A key focus needs to be the development of transport, road and communication services," he said.
Mr Barling said Disability Care was also one of the highest priorities to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to make the contribution they are capable of.
The Australian Christians, Therese Corbett is the only female candidate but has the advantage of being the candidate that will rest at the top of the ballot paper.
She said as a representative she would advocate more for the protection of her party's three core values: freedom, faith and family.
"We believe that freedom, faith and family are being undermined and we want them restored," she said.
Ms Corbett said looking at the big picture she supported any way to assist single income households and the national disability support scheme.
"Repealing the carbon tax is one way of achieving this, but we also believe there should be an enquiry in to the level of excise and tax on fuel."
Ms Corbett said when it came to the issue of immigration she was fully supportive of new arrivals but people needed to accept the Australian culture and rule of law.
Ms Corbett said protecting children from organisational and institutional abuse and upholding the institution of marriage was integral.
She disputed that marriage equality can actually exist as marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.
"When words lose their meaning we lose our freedom," she said.
The Greens Tim Emanuelle said people were increasingly turning away from the old parties because the Greens provided them with a real alternative.
"People are increasingly turning away from the relentless negativity of the old parties and finding in the Greens a voice that will stand up for people and the environment," he said.
Mr Emanuelle said the Greens had a strong record of standing up for what matters.
"Our bill to give firefighters better access to healthcare was passed unanimously in 2011," he said.
"The Greens also believe that going to the dentist should be just like going to the doctor, and have a fully costed plan to bring dental care into Medicare within five years.
"We've already delivered the first phase, which means that from January 1 next year 10,300 families in Wannon will be able to take their kids to the dentist and claim it on Medicare."
Mr Emanuelle said the Greens had also achieved $10 billion for renewable energy with the drop in emissions and growth in jobs as a result providing huge benefits for Wannon in to the future.
He said the Greens would also continue to lobby for a $50 per week increase to Newstart.
"If you're tired of the negativity, tired of the cruelty and cuts to services proposed by both of the old parties, there's one party that will stand up for what matters."
For the first time in the seat of Wannon The Sex Party will be represented at this year's election, candidate Chris Johnson said it was about time socially progressive people had the option to vote for a party that reflects their values.
"Wannon has been described by some as the most conservative seat in Australia, we actually think there is a socially progressive voice out there that isn't being represented," he said.
Mr Johnson said the glaring example of that was the belief in the disparity of marriage equality.
"Really in the 21st century marriage equality is a no brainer, we should be mature enough to recognise that and there are a lot of people that do," he said.
Mr Johnson also said legalising voluntary euthanasia so that people who are struck with a terminal illness have that choice was important.
He said because in his view the liberals were moving further to the right and the greens are economically unviable that The Sex Party offered a clear choice.
"We are also proposing to regulate the use of marijuana like alcohol and that would have health benefits and raise revenue for government."
He said the Sex Party was also looking out for small business by intending to remove red tape and tax churches on the profits they make.
Volunteer youth worker and Family First candidate Craig Haberfield said his passion is to see greater support for carers and opportunities for people with a disability.
"As a parent of a child with a disability I will advocate for greater recognition and support for carers in our communities," he said.
"Carers of loved ones due to age, sickness or disability are at a disadvantage in the south west often because of distance to access specialist services that are not available in our rural communities."
Mr Haberfield said addressing cost of living pressures would reduce stress on the family unit, small business and also the agricultural sector.
"The abolishing of the carbon tax, removal of red tape, reduced regulations, and greater support for families will help everyone," he said.
Mr Haberfield believes Family First offers a fresh alternative to the two major parties.
"We are a party that takes the view that impacts on the family unit should be the prism through which government policy is framed."
Mr Haberfield said he would be working hard to see that communities across Wannon received improved services and that small businesses are able to do business with the least amount of government interference and government related expense.
"Respect, compassion and courage are qualities I value and feel I am well equipped with to bring about positive change."
Clive Palmer's Palmer's United Party is also looking to make an electoral impact in Wannon despite its candidate living in North Queensland.
Bradley Ferguson said if elected on September 7 he would relocate to Victoria and begin immediately fighting for the outcomes his party's initiatives are looking to achieve.
"We have some great initiatives to help small business including changing compulsory quarterly tax returns, from every quarter to the end of the year," he said.
"That would mean every time a dollar is spent, it would create more GST."
Mr Ferguson said his party would also be working to help people who are struggling to meet every day costs of living.
"For pensioners, we are proposing a 20 per cent rise, or $150 extra in the aged pension," he said.
"So for people who are currently only left with $50 expendable cash a week that will do wonders."
Mr Ferguson said providing money for the healthcare system would be made easier by the mechanisms they would have in place to bypass the states and go directly to hospitals.
"Our policies stand on their own, they will create a better Australia for everyone, raise living standards and create jobs and wealth," he concluded.