Federal election, 2019: Calare candidates' last pitch to voters

VOTING TIME: Calare MP Andrew Jess, Labor candidate Jess Jennings and Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate are looking for your vote on election day.
VOTING TIME: Calare MP Andrew Jess, Labor candidate Jess Jennings and Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate are looking for your vote on election day.

THE outcome of the federal election is "up for grabs" in Calare, incumbent member Andrew Gee has admitted as his two fiercest rivals on the ballot made last-ditch attempts to woo undecided voters.

Calare has been held by the Nationals since 2007 and Mr Gee has long been favoured to retain the seat he first won in 2016.

On Friday, Mr Gee, along with Labor candidate Jess Jennings and Shooters Fishers and Farmers (SFF) candidate Sam Romano, all said the campaign had been tough.

Mr Jennings said it was time for a change of leadership in Calare and that the Nationals were "severely on the nose" for many people in the state.

"They've not put country people first when it comes to school funding, educational funding or hospital funding," he said.

Mr Jennings said Labor's focus of "proper funding" for schools and hospitals, along with action on climate change had received a positive reaction from voters during pre-polling.

They've [Nationals] not put country people first when it comes to school funding, educational funding or hospital funding.

Labor candidate Jess Jennings

Mr Gee, however, said voters only needed to look at his "great runs on the board right around the region" to see how he and the Nationals had delivered for the electorate.

He said there were a lot of very informed voters in Calare and he had got his messages out to the public, but despite that the election outcome was difficult to gauge.

"A very large number of people are walking into the polling booths and not taking anyone's 'how to votes' and I think that that means it's hard to say what people are doing. But, then some people take all the 'how to votes'," he said.

"I think the outcome's up for grabs."

Meanwhile, Mr Romano has spent the last three weeks door-knocking across the Calare electorate.

"It's been personally satisfying to know that what I've been doing, people are receptive. I'm trying to make changes in Calare," he said.

A very large number of people are walking into the polling booths and not taking anyone's 'how to votes' and I think that that means it's hard to say what people are doing.

Calare MP Andrew Gee

Mr Romano said Calare's biggest issues were infrastructure, water, roads and jobs and he likened himself to Orange MP and SFF member Phil Donato.

"If I get the opportunity to be elected, you will see a difference and I'll be exactly like Phil Donato - he gets in there and he fights and I'll be doing exactly the same," he said.

In his last message to voters, Mr Jennings said: "If you want to stop the cuts and chaos put the Nats last, vote for Labor".

Mr Gee said by working together with the local community that they had "achieved some great runs on the board".

"There is still a lot more to be done so we want to keep this good work going," he said.

Mr Romano encouraged those yet to vote not to be frightened of change when looking at SFF.

"Good luck to all the candidates because they've all worked hard in this campaign and thank you to all the helpers because the three weeks of pre-poll has been very strenuous on everybody," he said.

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