Benalla Ensign

Independent Indi Candidate named

By Simon Ruppert

Helen Haines, a nurse, midwife and public health researcher from Wangaratta was selected to be the next independent candidate for Indi at a forum held in Benalla yesterday.

The forum, which was organised by Voices for Indi, involved more than 200 volunteers from Cathy McGowan’s past election campaign. They selected Ms Haines from a panel of three nominees.

The forum was the first of its kind and involved putting potential candidates through six hours of questioning and deliberation.

The fact that a candidate has already been put forward does imply that current Independent member for Indi Cathy McGowan will not contest the next Federal election.

Ms McGowan is holding a media conference on Monday morning in Wodonga with Ms Haines in attendance where it is believed an announcement will be made.

Speaking in Benalla on Saturday Ms Haines described it as a a privilege to be selected.

"I’ve lived in the north east for 32 years. I have raised my family here and have spent my professional life fighting to improve the quality of healthcare in our region. If I earn the support of the voters of Indi, I will be ready to take that fight to Canberra," Ms Haines said.

Pick up a copy of Wednesday's Ensign for more.