THE late Peter Andren was the last independent candidate to win the seat of Calare so it makes sense Kate Hook, who will contest the next Federal election as an independent, referenced Mr Andren when launching her campaign on Wednesday.
Ms Hook was joined by around 90 supporters at Roberston Park for the launch, with a number of speakers, including Orange City Councillor Gerald Power and Orange accountant Rob Campbell while Cr Mel McDonell also contributed.
Mr Andren died while in office in November 2007, aged 61. He won Calare for the first time in 1996 and despite the shuffling of boundaries, maintained the seat by an increased margin in the next three elections.
Ms Hook said she had reached out to some of Mr Andren's team prior to announcing her candidacy and while understanding wresting the seat away from the Nationals is a huge task, she believes the time is right for another independent to hold Calare.
"As I said in my speech, I feel like, if there was ever a time to have a go ...it seriously is now. I think it's because people have a sense there are so many important things that need to get done and we need change to get those things done."
In her speech, Ms Hook said many people in Calare remember what it's like to be represented by an independent.
"They remember with respect and fondness, Peter Andren," she said.
"I've been speaking regularly with Peter's former staff and I thank them for their support and advice and for being here today.
"Peter certainly set a strong example of being thorough explaining actions and decisions back to voters so they always knew where they stood."
Ms Hook said she was a strong supporter of reform for women in Parliament.
"It's really important. In the year of Brittney Higgins, Grace Tame ..."
"You only have to take a look at Parliament, especially one side of parliament and see the lack of representation of women, clearly the first thing to do is get more women into parliament then they'll be looking after each other and pushing for those sort of changes that aren't so important to the non-female members of parliament.
"Also the Jenkins review, the Kate Jenkins review is something that was 55 wonderful recommendations that haven't been pushed through and you've got to ask why."
Ms Hook said at last count, she believes she was one of 24 independents standing who started off in the Voices online platform.
"So there is a bit of a momentum, lots of people in different locations all around Australia are feeling the same way about the state of politics."
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