By Parker McKenzie
Voices of Casey have selected Claire Ferres Miles, CEO of Sustainability Victoria and a Yarra Ranges resident, as their candidate for the 2022 federal election.
The 52-year-old was chosen by Voices of Casey after a selection process which saw potential candidates apply to the group, pass a panel interview featuring members of other Voices groups and then have a mock-press interview.
Ms Miles, who resigned as CEO of Sustainability Victoria after two and half years to stand as an independent at the federal election, said she has been a resident of Casey for 25 years, where she has been “a community organiser, an advocate, an activist and a doer with years spent around many a committee meeting table.”
“I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other independent voices like Cathy McGowan and Helen Haines, with Indi our neighbours to the north of Casey,” she said.
“I join fellow independent candidates such as Zoe Daniel contesting Goldstein and Nicolette Boele vying for the federal seat of Bradfield as we create some much-needed noise as we lead up to the Federal Election,
“We are all authentic community voices who are driven to take action, achieve outcomes, build bridges and represent our communities front and centre.”
Key issues flagged by Voices of Casey include integrity in politics, women’s rights and climate change. In the announcement of Ms Miles as the candidate, Voices of Casey also indicated federal investment in emergency management would also feature in their campaign for an independent member of parliament.
Ms Miles said “Casey has been taken for granted for decades,” because of current Casey MP Tony position as Speaker of the House.
“Casey residents and businesses have suffering repeated trauma from bushfires, floods and storms over the past decade. We need to accelerate a just economic transition creating new clean economy jobs,” she said.
“Our community wants to plan and invest now so our community is prepared for our changing climate, to be ready and then more quickly recover from extreme weather events.”
Ms Miles has over 30 years’ experience in the transport industry after working for the City of Melbourne, Department of Transport and Transport for London.
Another key election issue flagged by Ms Miles was political donations and political advertising.
Ms Miles said Australia has a broken system of political parties buying votes and she stands for a federal anti-corruption commission.
“I am a pragmatic optimist. With 30 years of experience in the transport and sustainability sectors, I understand the challenges and complexities of navigating government policy and processes by listening to diverse groups of varied opinions to achieve outcomes,” Ms Miles said.
“Negotiation is a skill that I have nurtured and refined as an advocate, a leader, a CEO.”
Voices of Casey and Ms Miles planned to have a candidate launch event in person on Sunday 27 February; however, with a positive Covid-19 close contact for Ms Miles the event is likely to be postponed.
The latest date the federal election can be held is 21 May, with a requirement of five weeks of campaigning in the lead-up to election day. Other candidates in the election include Liberal Party candidate Aaron Violi, Labor Party candidate Bill Brindle and Greens Party candidate Jenny Game.