SHAKY: The steelworks.
FORMERunion official Scott Martin hasbeen namedas Labor’s candidate for the seat of Greyand believes he can bring a wealth of experience to the role.
MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Former union official Scott Martin believes he can tap into his experience dealing with disgruntled workers to succeed in his campaign.
Mr Martin was the Whyalla representative for the Australian Workers Union for 10 years.
He has been in close contact with mostof the Arrium workforce throughout the company’s crisis.
“Because I have been a regional organiser, I amfamiliar with the region’s agriculture and horticulture industries and I can use my experience with dealing in a lot of different areas to my advantage,” he said.
Mr Martin said he was approached by “certain people”about running for office.
“We believe there is a lot of issues up here as far as jobs and job creation over the whole region. There isnot enough focus on theelectorate due to the fact that it has become a safe Liberal seat,” he said.
“Anyone whohas anything to do with politics would understand that once you are in a safe seat, you don’t get the attention a marginal seat does.”
Mr Martin said the experience of being made redundant many years ago through off-shoring would help him empathise with voters who had lost theirjobs.
“I know exactly how people feel when it comes to lack of industry assistance, for manufacturing in particular, but also having jobs off-shored which is happening in Australia on a weekly basis at the moment,” he said.
“There’s a big vacuum for blue-collar, low-paid workers in the region.
“Hand-in-hand with that is mental health support –all the medical associations are complaining about a lack of funding and support.
“Ina region like this where wehavea lack of work, we need more support financially.”
Despite coming in two weeks into the election campaign, Mr Martin said he did not feel he was at a disadvantage in the race.
“It will be a tough race. The seat is held by a 13.5 percent margin and most times that number would turn someone away from doing this,” he said.
“In fact that has been a major motivationfor me to take the job on because I believe we can make a big dent in it.
“Don’t get me wrong – I am in it to win it, but at the end of the day if we lose, and the result is that Greygets turned back into a marginal seat, then the people of this electorate will get far more servicing from the federal government.”
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