"I want to be a representative that puts honesty and integrity ahead of party-driven marketing opportunities."
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Independent Calare candidate Kate Hook is well aware of the gargantuan task ahead of her to unseat incumbent MP Andrew Gee, with the electorate in safe Nationals hands at a swing of 13.3 per cent.
But the Orange small business owner and mother of four wants to carve a new era of representation, driven by taking the voices of the Calare electorate to Canberra.
"People at the moment feel quite distant from the process of policy making, they feel it's held at arm's length from them, so I want people to feel like they have the power to influence federal decisions made for this region," Ms Hook said.
Ms Hook visited Bathurst on Tuesday to launch her campaign at Tremain's Mill, and said a pattern is already forming regarding common grievances among voters.
"I'm hearing plenty about the need to preserve Bathurst's heritage and natural resources, but I also understand this is a community that thrives off tourism and educational offerings," she said.
"Many Bathurst representatives in these sectors feel they're not getting the representation they deserve from the Nationals and our current member, and I'm inviting these representatives to have a direct line to Canberra."
While acknowledging the uphill battle to win the seat of Calare, Ms Hook there's a palpable mood for change.
"We started off thinking this would be an insurmountable mountain, but we've received expert demographic advice that the landscape has changed a lot since the last election, and we definitely feel this seat is winnable," she said.
Ms Hook has stated she doesn't want to be a representative that only comes out of the woodwork around election time, and wants her policy platforms to be formulated around truth and community feedback.
"I find it very difficult not to tell the truth, and I believe an independent MP is a far better option for this reason, as they aren't forced to tow party lines," she said.
"I honesty feel for major party politicians, as they have this pressure on them to present their party's marketing spin, regardless of whether that's their true voice.
"I'm not in this to promise things I cannot deliver; as people are honestly sick of politicians making feeble election promises for the sake of winning elections; I'm in this to work closely with Calare communities on issues that have been neglected for too long."
The last independent to hold the seat of Calare was the late Peter Andren from 1996 to 2007.
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