MORNINGTON Peninsula doctor and mother-of-two Kate Lardner has stepped up as an independent candidate for the state seat of Mornington, in a political environment that’s favouring anyone with a climate change focus.
While Lardner has had discussions with Climate 200 – a community crowd-funded initiative that supports candidates committed to climate action – she says her independence has not been compromised.
Lardner is a founding member of the Voices for Mornington Peninsula group that backed Flinders candidate Dr Sarah Russell in the May federal election won by Liberal Zoe McKenzie.
The Liberals candidate for Mornington is Chris Crewther, the former one-term MP for Dunkley, while Labor has yet to nominate a candidate.
“With the Liberals in a turf war they are not in a good place to represent constituents, and I think the time is right,” Lardner said, referring to infighting and an alleged takeover by “the religious far right” of sections of the Liberal Party (“Turf war splits peninsula Liberals” The News 23/8/22).
Although a strong supporter of climate action, Lardner says she only decided to stand as an independent because she felt peninsula communities needed someone who would represent them, and not a political party.
“I am and will be independent, I think the political process is changing – true community representation is where candidates are ordinary people who are part of the community,” she said.
“I have grown up in Mount Eliza and am involved in the community; my interests are the interests of many in the community.”
Lardner started her door knocking campaign on Sunday, and says she is committed to finding out what people want.
She also wants to get people involved in the political process and said there was “a lot of energy” in her team.
“I want to bring the community into the process, get people involved with the process, helping the campaign with volunteering and donating – both actions could see us get across the line,” she said.
The public sentiment towards apparent federal apathy on climate action has altered the course of politics in Australia by swaying voters in several strong Liberal-held seats at the May federal election.
Now the question is whether that swing be played out in the state election.
Lardner says she is confident voters will make a stand.