Helen Haines launches campaign for Indi

For immediate release: Sunday 7 April 2019

“I will not be there to serve a party. I’ll be there for my community.” Independent Candidate for Indi Helen Haines Launches Campaign

Independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines has launched her campaign for Indi with a promise to always put the interests of Indi first.

In front of a packed out auditorium of over 250 supporters, the Wangaratta nurse, midwife and health researcher identified regional development and investment, health, education and renewable energy as the key issues she will campaign for.

“If elected, I am committed to fighting for the same quality of education, health and communications services as those enjoyed in the city. Services that truly serve our needs and that are close to where we live, not a four hour drive away.”

“As people are realising from Wentworth to Warringah: independents are the future. People I speak to are sick of reading about leadership spills and political parties focussed on themselves. They’re crying out for vision from leaders. For me, that vision means recognising the huge potential we have in regional Australia. it means renewable energy policy that drives regional investment and innovation and that helps households and businesses to reduce their power bills.”

Retiring MP Cathy McGowan spoke at the event, endorsing Dr Haines as the person she trusted to keep delivering for Indi. Former Brown Brothers CEO John Brown AO, Wodonga businessman Brendon Collins OAM, Rutherglen agricultural researcher Catherine Clarke, Wangaratta obstetrician Leo Fogarty and Benalla doctor Georgia Ramsden also spoke about why they were backing Dr Haines.

Mental health and aged care:

Dr Haines, a director of St Catherine’s Aged Care in Wangaratta said she was disappointed by the announcement of only 10,000 more home care packages in this year’s federal budget.

“We need to support people to age where they choose and for most people that’s in their home. This year’s budget will leave another 100,000 people on the waiting list for a home care package. If elected I will push whoever wins Government to commit more than just words to fixing aged care, but to commit the funding it needs.”

“There are significant areas of Indi where the need for access to high quality and timely mental health services is not met. Funding for mental health severely lags behind funding for physical health. We need more psychologists, mental health nurses, drug and alcohol workers and allied health professionals.”

“I will push for long term investment in telehealth and particularly psychological telehealth services to reduce the burden of travel and wait times.”


She said affordable tertiary education was still out of reach of many rural families, particularly with the cost of living in major cities.

“We know people succeed when they have a chance of a decent education, and so do the businesses that hire them and the companies they start themselves. I’m a big believer in our TAFEs and regional universities and I will be their champion for long term support from the federal government.” she said.

Renewable energy:

“For years, the Liberal and National parties have stood in the way of investment in renewable energy in regional Australia. There is a boom coming in renewable energy and we can be part of it.”

“Australia can be a world leader in renewables and Indi can be a leader in Australia. We have the community will, we just need more champions in Canberra and I will be one of them.”

Dr Haines said while the major parties were focussed on winning votes in the major cities, she was committed to being a voice for regional Australia.

“Whenever a new government policy is proposed, we need to ask, How will this impact on us in Indi? How will this policy work for farmers, our school teachers, hospitals and businesses that are so important to rural communities?” she said.

“My job, if I am elected, will be to work with the Parliament to deliver the best results for Indi. I will not be there to serve a party. I’ll be there for my community.”

Dr Haines said that Indi had changed over the past six years.

“What began at the grassroots in 2013 to put an Independent in Canberra has grown beyond Indi with similar independent movements in other electorates. This independence movement is catching, because it works.

“Indi is now more confident; we are more in charge now. And Canberra knows it.”