Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bourke to contest election for Country Alliance

Michael Bourke named as Australian Country Alliance's Shepparton candidate for this year’s state election.

JARROD WHITTAKER June 4, 2014 3:04am

Former federal election candidate and Bundalong businessman Michael Bourke has been announced as the Australian Country Alliance’s Shepparton candidate for this year’s state election.

Mr Bourke said he had decided to run after the party approached him and because he wanted to improve the situation of country Victorians.

He is one of several lower house candidates the party is set to unveil today.

Mr Bourke said he welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to support SPC Ardmona, but work needed to be done in the areas of roads, health and infrastructure.

‘‘I still don’t believe the country’s getting its fair share,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of those government bodies, they should be in the area where they’re acting.

‘‘There’s been a lot of them that have gone out of the country back into the city.

‘‘If they’re making laws and rules for the county people they should be in the country.’’

The party was formed earlier this year, after an amalgamation between Country Alliance and members of the Victorian branch of Katter’s Australian Party.

Despite living in the neighbouring electorate of Ovens Valley, Mr Bourke said he had a strong connection with Shepparton.

He said he trained plumbers at Shepparton’s Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE and did most of his work in the Goulburn Valley.

Mr Bourke contested the seat of Murray at last year’s federal election on behalf of the Katter party.

He hopes to build on the success of Shepparton Country Alliance candidate Dennis Patterson at the 2010 state election.

Mr Patterson polled 20.5 per cent of the primary vote, finishing second ahead of Labor’s Anthony Fullarton.

He finished with 39.8 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

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