Excerpt taken from the article:
While Benedyka – a 63-year-old regional development consultant from outside Wangaratta – is the first of the group to formally declare her hand, she expects more to follow.
“There is a lot of energy emerging,” she says.
“We’ve lost integrity in politics, we’ve lost true representation. Now, these independent people that have been elected have entirely different agendas … and how good is that?”
More than two dozen grassroots groups have formed to either field candidates or to push for greater community engagement with their MPs. Among the most active are We Are Hughes, which says it will endorse a candidate to run against former Liberal Craig Kelly, and Voices for Hume, which has Energy Minister Angus Taylor in its sights.
Benedyka says that after the toxicity of recent weeks in federal parliament the time is ripe for principled independents to step up, arguing MPs from the major parties are unable to speak out against poor behaviour.
“At the moment because of the power and fear of being part of the pack … your positional power is dependent on the party, and people are afraid to call out poor behaviour. They’re afraid to say ‘this is not the way it should be’.”