THERE'S a new name on the Greens ticket for the upcoming federal election with Blampied business owner Karen McAloon named as the party's candidate.
The mother of two teenage sons aged 16 and 13, Ms McAloon has been pre-selected for the seat of Ballarat, currently held by Labor's Catherine King.
Ms McAloon and her husband run the Overwrought Garden and Sculpture Gallery at Blampied.
A long-time Hepburn resident, Ms McAloon said the time was right for her to put her hand up for elected office.
"I've had an interest in politics for quite a while, I grew up in a large family on a dairy farm at Mortlake which instilled in me a strong social justice emphasis.
A vote for the Greens means you can make a choice.Karen McAloon
"Dad worked with St Vincent de Paul but we were pretty lucky with the life we had," she said.
"I've been involved in a number of human rights and environmental organisations. I spent 20 years in Melbourne and then moved to the Hepburn Shire 15 years ago. It is a very creative and sustainable living experience and there are always interesting initiatives going on. It's a very inspiring place."
Ms McAloon said she shared the values of The Greens with the Overwrought Gallery business operating on 100 per cent renewable energy and her family living also living in a solar powered home.
"For me, The Greens represent individuals," she said. "I do have concerns about lots of different issues such as unemployment and underemployment like the casualisation of the workforce.
"Particularly in a place like Hepburn, we have a lot of issues with penalty rates, particularly within the tourism and hospitality industries.
"I'm also very concerned about the rate of Newstart not going up in that time. Unfortunately it's not just 16-years-olds who can still live at home and can get some assistance, there are a lot of people out there doing it tough who have been ignored by the major parties," Ms McAloon said.
"And of course there's climate change, you just have to look around at the local farmers, so many are doing such wonderful work in this sphere. This is an issue we've known about for 30 years, why are we sitting back and handing this to our children?"
"In terms of a voice, a vote for The Greens means you can make a choice. Tell the major parties about the issues that are there. You can make a difference."