Volunteers pitch in for pre-poll action

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Hitting the High St pavement with a smile and a large stack of voting preference papers, three long weeks of pre-poll action are almost at an end for the dedicated volunteers and candidates.

Joining the large group yesterday, a sense of camaraderie and fellowship for one another was evident, no matter a person’s political preferences.

Conservatives volunteer Neil Bradley said he had missed only one day since pre-polling opened, supporting his party from 8am each day until closing time.

‘‘Everyday is interesting, and I hope they (Conservatives) do pretty well,’’ he said.

Also missing only one day, Labor party volunteer Ray Pearson has enjoyed the experience, even when ‘‘hard on the pins.’’

‘‘I can now relate to people who have spent their life working on concrete floors,’’ he said.

Mr Pearson was joined by Afghani local Nasim Gulzari who was looking forward to bringing his family and friends along tomorrow to also help the cause.

‘‘Labor is really popular with our community and I have been helping people learn more about voting so they don’t waste it,’’ he said.

‘‘This is a powerful paper that can make a change,’’ he said, waving his voting preference paper.

Nationals volunteer Jeanette Powell was one of several supporting current local MP Damian Drum.

Ms Powell said the atmosphere had been great, especially between all the volunteers.

‘‘We’re all getting along well and the public have been fantastic whether they support your candidate or not,’’ she said.

Ms Powell said early voting had been extremely popular this year.

‘‘It’s been really steady, I think it’s just more convenient for people.’’

Across the doorway on the other side of the black duct tape, local One Nation candidate Rikkie-Lee Tyrell and Independent candidate Andrew Bock joined their volunteers.

Ms Tyrell said she had spent several days down on High St and was enjoying her first experience in the political race.

‘‘I’ve really enjoyed doing this and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,’’ she said.

‘‘I love all the volunteers, even though we have different political views.’’

Mr Bock shared Ms Tyrell’s sentiment, appreciating the support of the other volunteers during the long days.

‘‘My legs are definitely stronger than they used to be,’’ he said.

‘‘I love it though and everyone gets along really well and helps each other out.’’

Mr Bock said he had enjoyed seeing community members and getting the occasional wink or thumbs up from people helped keep the spirits high.