The Victorian State election is on tomorrow. Polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm on Election Day at Hepburn Primary School, Daylesford Primary School, Yandoit Primary School and Glenlyon Shire Hall.

Electors in Daylesford will elect one member for the District of Macedon in the Legislative Assembly (the lower house) and five members for the Region of Northern Victoria in the Legislative Council (the upper house). About a third of those on the electoral role have voted early at pre poll centres or by postal votes. It is expected that results for the election will be known by late Saturday night.

Voting is compulsory and voting instructions for the upper and lower house are available from the Victorian Electoral Commission. About a third of Victorians have already voted at pre poll centres and through postal ballots.

The candidates for the District (seat) of Macedon are list in the table below.

BONANNO, Dominic Liberal
McRAE McLEOD, Marley Australian Greens
THOMAS, Mary-Anne Australian Labor Party – Victorian Branch
BARTON, Huntly
SEDGMAN, Kerryn P. Freedom Party of Victoria
McCORMACK, Chris Family First Victoria
EVEZARD, Amanda Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
BERGMANN, Iris Animal Justice Party

The Wombat Post has received candidate statements from the following candidates.

Mary-Anne Thomas, Australian Labor Party

I’m proud to have delivered what matters for the people of the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region as the Member for Macedon – from a major rebuild of Daylesford Secondary, to $3.5 million for a new Trentham Hub, to better facilities for clubs like the Hepburn Burras, Daylesford FNC and of course the Trentham Sportsground Reserve Pavilion.

I’m also proud to be part of a government that takes our commitment to climate action seriously and has slashed emissions by 30%. Our Solar Homes program has delivered 220,000 solar rebates across the state – saving Victorian families an average of $1073 a year.

A re-elected Labor Government will continue this world-leading action and set up a government owned energy company to replace private coal with renewable electricity. This will cut Victoria’s emissions by 75-80 per cent by 2035 and ensure all profits go to keeping power prices down.

We’re incredibly fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world and I know how important it is to protect our unique local environment.   That is why we’ve invested $4 million to establish the boundaries of a new national park in the Wombat Forest – with works underway to safeguard this important habitat.

I also want our kids to have the best start in life. That’s why I’ve made sure our government has delivered major upgrades to Hepburn Kinder and Trentham Kinder. I’ll continue to deliver on the Andrews Labor Government’s roll out of free three- and four-year old kinder from 2023. This once-in-a-generation reform will save families up to $2500 per child, every year.

So much more has been done, but there’s always more to do. I look forward to continuing to work hard every day to what matters for the people of the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region. Thank you, Mary-Anne Thomas MP.

Dominic Bonanno, Liberal Party

I’m Dominic Bonanno, the Liberal candidate for the electorate of Macedon at the upcoming Victorian election.

I was born and raised in the North-Western suburbs of Melbourne to Italian migrant parents.  They taught me the value of education, respect, compassion, hard work, and food!

I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science) at Swinburne University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment at Securities Institute of Australia.

I have worked in the Technology industry for over 25 years across different sectors and am currently the Head of Operations at a leading Technology provider solving problems for clients across different industries.

I love the Macedon Ranges and surrounds; that’s why my wife and I made the decision to move here 16 years ago.  Now, with my son at primary school and my two daughters as teenagers, I have a genuine understanding around the issues that young people face in our community. I’m committed to ensuring our children have a safe and better future.

I am passionate about our communities, environment, and our people.  So much so that I joined the SES 10 years ago to help our community and continue today to be an active volunteer. I am also honoured to represent the people of the South Ward of the Macedon Ranges Shire as their local councillor commencing 2020.

Thus far, I have found my time as a councillor on the Macedon Ranges Shire Council very rewarding and challenging at times. Contributions that I’m most proud of are:

  • advocating for better technology availability in the Macedon Ranges,
  • advocating for an upgrade to the Gisborne Skate Park,
  • advocating for $15 million to further upgrade the Macedon Ranges Sports Precinct as part of stage 2.

I hope to bring my strong values of transparency and honesty that I’ve also brought in my role as councillor whilst encouraging a sense of togetherness and community.

For a fresh face who will represent our community with rigour and not be afraid to challenge the status quo, I seek your vote.

Thank you


Marley McRae McLeod, Greens

The Greens have pre-selected their candidate for the seat of Macedon, Marley McRae McLeod, a current student of Psychology and Gender Studies at The University of Melbourne who is ready to have a positive impact on our political system. As a younger person when she was advocating for youth mental health, Marley was invited to a meeting with a former Prime Minister, and then at 16 she volunteered at Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s office. Marley is someone who has a lived experience of mental illness, so she knows firsthand that our mental health infrastructure needs drastic investment. On a cultural level, she will stand to de-stigmatise mental illness and mental ill-health as she believes this to be the first step towards recovery. Marley said, “When we do this on a societal level, the effects will be colossal.”

Marley comes packed with conviction to uplift marginalised communities such as LGBTQIA+ folk who find themselves continually discriminated against, or those who seek a safe, secure, and affordable home to live, and to those who are disillusioned by the climate wars and inaction on climate change policy. She also recognises that one of the greatest threats to democracy is disenfranchisement amongst the voters and believes that the only way to engage the population is to restore faith in politics and politicians. She believes the neglect of the environment perpetrated by governments past and present must come to an end, and she doesn’t want to see any more unnecessary species’ extinctions due to climate inaction. As Marley says, “enough is enough!”.

“I have hiked in our beautiful Wombat State Forest, and it is scandalous the logging, the state government is allowing at the moment. I feel deeply that the planet must be protected and that in the end, the people are the ones who will achieve this. A people-powered movement is what is needed.”

Marley is a young person with her whole life ahead of her and she cannot continue to stand by and watch decisions being made by governments determine her future. These are the core reasons Marley has made the leap to be a candidate for the 2022 state election in Victoria, all these issues are acutely felt in our rural communities, and she will represent the people of the Macedon electorate to ensure better future and outcomes for all.

Iris Bergmann, Animal Justice Party

Iris came to Australia from Germany more than 30 years ago. As a seafarer’s daughter, she felt a deep connection with the vastness of this country and the oceans surrounding it. She felt the potential for peace with nature, with the space all around for animals.

With a background in education, publishing and graphic design, Iris also volunteered for many years as a wildlife rescuer and carer. She proudly became the inaugural chairperson of the newly formed Northern Rivers branch of WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service). As a qualified teacher, she went back to university to undertake PhD research in environmental education.

Iris then moved to Melbourne and later into the Macedon Ranges. She worked as a university researcher in capacity-building, community outreach, and policy for sustainability. Her work took her to many places in Maldives, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and throughout Australia. Iris witnessed the injustices inflicted upon people, nature and animals in countries and places that suffer disproportionately from climate, environmental, economic and social injustices. Iris came to learn that the ideas of sustainability and sustainable development unfortunately do not necessarily mean animal and nature protection.

As she gained a deeper understanding of the nature and depth of animal exploitation, Iris became vegan. She then seized an opportunity to undertake further PhD research to find out what it would take in theory, policy and practice, to implement sustainability as an interspecies notion – that is, a vision that inherently means the protection and flourishing of animals, nature, and ultimately, all of us.

Our knowledge of animals and of human-animal relations has increased exponentially. Yet, the interests of animals are underrepresented in our day-to-day lives, in the ways we interact with animals and nature, and in the ways we design our roads, cities, infrastructures and economies. Iris sees many opportunities to support local communities in their quest to improve how animals and nature fare – for true sustainability for all.

Huntly Barton, Independent, Candidate Statement

I have lived in this region for most of my life. I was born in 1955 in Kyneton and attended both the Primary and High School in the 60s and early 70s. I live north of the town where l run a Family Farm and l also have a stonemasonry business in Piper St Kyneton.

I am entering this State election as a community based independent candidate for the seat of Macedon. My concerns are that we the community, are not listened to by our elected member and government. Change is been forced on our region to the detriment of the environment and rural identity without the necessary infrastructure being put in place.

If elected I will ensure communities are listened to and put a stop to harm being done to our regional environment and identity.

We have seen enormous changes to our region over the past thirty years, especially to the south of the Divide. Urban sprawl is and continues to undermine the rural values of this area. Agricultural land has been broken up into unviable allotments. Some of this land contain the finest soils found in this country, no regard for soil types is taken into account. Towns have had inappropriate developments forced on them even when the Local Shire Council have been in support of community.

I’ve always stood up for community and haven’t shirked from tackling bureaucracy when it has tried to ride rough-shod over people. The examples below are drawn from my own community but I’m a good listener and I’m confident l can represent other communities of this region.

The seat of Macedon sits astride of the dividing range and is the source of north and south flowing rivers. Our water ways are the veins of the land, they require immediate attention. Past development has already put great pressure on the capacity of the land to support healthy biodiversity, landscape, productive agriculture and the character of our towns. Further damage from inappropriate development can only make it worse. Development must put water and retaining and building biodiversity first. At present we are doing the opposite, we have put the cart before the horse as it is the easiest way to get a vote.

We need to put appropriate values on the environment and community… they are way undervalued.

If I am elected, I will endeavour to stop development that encroaches onto farmland. Farmland needs to be protected for future generations. As global warming reduces the viability of low rain fall areas, area’s such as ours will be required to produce more food. It is essential that good fertile soils are protected from over capitalization. Farmland between Lancefield and Romsey is a classic example of this and needs to be retained for productive agriculture only-not development as proposed.

This State Government has introduced a Statement of Planning Policy (SPP)that Local Government has to comply to, but the State Government through VCAT seem to be able to avoid this policy. It seems that Developers have a rubber stamp through VCAT as shown with the development recently approved to the North of Kyneton. If l am elected l will attempt to have a royal commission into the workings of VCAT, to bring it in line with the SPP.

Towns and villages need to be better planned for future growth and all infrastructure needs to be in place before future development can take place. For example Romsey sewage farm is clearly in need of a large investment as too is Kyneton. The Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) has polluted the Campaspe River down to Eppalock, Coliban Water (CW) have used Eppalock as a dilution pond. Platypus were once abundant in the river, are no longer seen below the CW discharge point. The State Government has designated this area to Bendigo as a high growth area. Water authorities need to prove they can cope with the effluent being produced now. When dry periods come again, which they will, is there enough water in this catchment to sustain the population that exist now? These are the question that need to be answered.

Past and present Governments have undermined the independence of water authorities to the detriment of the environment. There are too many cases where water authorities have made poor investments due to inappropriate decisions by ill-informed board members. Collectively Victorian water authorities owe more than $15.7 billion. A huge investment is required by Governments to bring infrastructure up to speed.

If elected l will work to make water authority boards independent from Government. Our thinking needs to change and a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the environment and the biodiversity of each region.

Bureaucracy at all levels of Government is swallowing us, to the detriment of community. There are many cases of this. In my industry (stonemasonry) the community has been alienated by over complication of running community cemeteries. These cemeteries are best run by community, and  community honesty, is the best insurance. But bureaucracy treats the community with distain and appear to consider us incompetent or worse.

The example of the Old Kyneton Primary School is a classic example of this. The community fought hard to retain this site, the Kyneton and District Town Square Co Op was created due to this process. We were put through a process that was divisive to our community and at the end of the day our community got nothing. But out of this gruelling process Creative Victoria, Working Heritage and Development Victoria get $12m, to spend on our behalf. That is our money, which we have no or little say in how it will be spent. This abuse of community spirit has to stop and l will do this.

Across the Seat of Macedon I am sure there are more issues that resonate with my experience in my area. I will seek to represent everyone in this seat.

Upper House Voting

Residents will also vote for the Legislative Council Region of Northern Victoria.

The State District of Macedon is in Northern Victoria. It includes Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Voters will elect five members for the Region.

Candidates for the Northern Region are listed below. Five candidates will be elected. Voting instructions are available at the Victorian Election Commission website..

A.    Health Australia Party
Warner, Kim
Moran, Shaun
B.    Fiona Patten’s Reason Party
Sharp, Melanie
Chapman, Callum
C.     Shooters, Fishers and Farmer’s Vic
Knight, Josh
Watkins, Peter
D.    Companions and Pets Party
Barnes, Laura
Britton, Robert
E.     Victorian Socialists
Hocking, Karen
Dynes, Emma
F.     Legalise Cannabis Victoria
Miller, Adam
McInally, Christopher
G.    United Australia Party
Shaw, Geoff
Suares, Elijah
H.    Australian Labor Party
Symes, Jaclyn
McWhinney, James
Mills, Gareth
Krammaer, Rahn
Bridges, Mitch
I.      Liberal/The Nationals
Lovell, Wendy (Liberal)
Broad, Gaelle (The Nationals)
Millar, Amanda (Liberal)
Fisher, Liz (The Nationals)
Merkel, Jillian, (Liberal)
J.      Liberal Democrats
Quilty, Tim
Molesworth, Tim
K.     Angry Victorians Party
Jones, Mark
Tomlin, Melanie
L.     Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
Maxwell, Tania
Herron, John
M.   Sack Dan Andrews Restore Democracy
Ceylan, Yasemin
Orhan, Mukadder
N.    Australian Greens
Sinclair, Cate
Thomson, Lenka
Thesing, Ralf
Storey, Rosemary
Chapman, Robin David
O.    Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment/Corruption
Chivers, Ian
Doesen, Allan
P.     New Democrats
Sharma, Erin
Chopra, Brijesh
Der, Kuldeep Jitendrakumar
Rana, Ravinder Singh
Q.    Transport Matters
Cowie, Scott
Cullen, Neil
R.    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
Tyrrell, Rikkie-Lee
Edwards-Scott, Nadine
S.     Animal Justice Party
Purcell, Georgie
McGoldrick, Michelle
T.     Labour DLP
Royal, Mark
McPhee, Ross
U.    Freedom Party
Neil, Christopher James Alan
Wallenborn, Henk N
V.    Family First
White, Michael
Norton-Smith, Carol