3 April 2022

Haines launches 2022 re-election campaign with positive vision for Indi

Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines launched her campaign for re-election at the 2022 federal election in Wodonga on Sunday in front of hundreds of supporters.

The federal election must be held by May 21, and Dr Haines is seeking to represent the people of Indi in Federal Parliament once again.

Dr Haines laid out a vision for Indi, of a prosperous regional community where people are set up not just to survive, but to thrive.

“We want a community where, when you get old, you know you can get care at home, and if you need it, you can find a place in residential aged care, close to home, and you know you’ll be cared for well there.

“A community where you are not afraid of having no phone reception in a case of emergency.

“A community where we invest in education, local training and local manufacturing, so our kids can get the skills they need to find good jobs, close to home.

“A community where people who have lived here all their lives, and people moving here for the first time, can afford to buy a house.

“A community where you can find a GP or a psychologist when you need one, where our doctors and nurses have everything they need to care for you quickly and compassionately.

“And a thriving regional economy that builds on the best agriculture, the best forestry, the best local manufacturing, the most vibrant arts, and the best tourism industry that this nation has to offer.”

Dr Haines pledged to work with the people of Indi to achieve that vision.

“If we don’t work for a new hospital for Albury-Wodonga after the pandemic has pushed it into a permanent state of crisis, when will we?

“If we don’t work for better mental health support, especially for our young people, after the traumas of the last two years, when will we?

“This is the moment to say to the nation that we have a vision for our communities, we have solutions and opportunities, and we need fair, equitable and transformational investment free from partisan politics and we will vote for representation from one of us, with us, for us.”


Speaking of her record in Parliament, Dr Haines said her experience as a nurse and midwife had been called upon repeatedly when standing up for the people of Indi.

“Every day as the Member for Indi, I draw on the experiences and lessons I learned as I cared for others at their first breath and their last. Little did I know that my many decades in healthcare was exactly the knowledge I would need as an MP,” she said.

Dr Haines spoke of the ways in which as an Independent MP, she was able to work with the Government to fix gaps in bushfire recovery, and fight for the community when the border was closed between Victoria and NSW during the pandemic.

“Time and time again, being able to listen to what people were experiencing, to understand what they needed from me and to speak up loudly and campaign for change.

“But standing up for Indi isn’t just about being loud, it’s about understanding, deep in my bones, what matters to our community and what we need.”

Dr Haines recounted the ways in which the people of Indi had worked together to push for progress on important national issues, like a federal integrity commission and locally-owned renewable energy.

“It is together that we pushed the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill, the Indi Bill, further than any other proposal for an integrity body at a federal level,” Dr Haines said.

“It is together that we won the vote on the floor that day in November and it was Indi that created the space for one brave government MP to cross the floor in the name of integrity.”

Dr Haines promised to continue to push for an integrity commission and a better standard of politics, action on climate change and investment in regional healthcare.

Dr Haines called on the crowd to speak with others in their community about the vision for Indi and how it can be made a reality.

She said she didn’t take any votes for granted, and that by voting Independent, the people of Indi would show they would not be taken for granted by the major political parties either.

“It’s almost ten years now since we, the people of Indi, decided we didn’t want to be taken for granted anymore. We didn’t want to be talked over or spoken for, we wanted to be heard, to have a seat at the table,” Dr Haines said.

“We realised Indi was our seat to give, not a seat to be taken.

“Now, our community and our nation has to decide again what kind of future we want, and what kind of representation we deserve.

“And I believe the importance of having an Independent voice in Parliament has never been stronger.”

Dr Haines said in Indi, people don’t vote against something, but for something.

“I have never believed more strongly in the importance and power of our community thinking and speaking for ourselves, the importance, of an Independent Indi.

“And that’s why this year, we, the people of Indi, are being called to reaffirm that no party owns us, no party can speak for us.

“Because we will speak for ourselves.”

More than 1700 people have signed on to volunteer to keep Indi Independent at the election. Dr Haines said they would be getting out and about in the community to speak with others, and listen to the issues that are important across all 29,000 square kilometres of the electorate.

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