8 May 2024

Fiona Carrick confirms second independent tilt at Assembly in Murrumbidgee

| Ian Bushnell
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Fiona Carrick

Fiona Carrick will run as a party with up to two running mates. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Former Woden Valley Community Council president Fiona Carrick has confirmed she will make a second run for the Legislative Assembly, and she doesn’t expect to be on her own.

The public servant ran as an independent in Murrumbidgee in 2020, garnering a healthy 3783 votes or 7 per cent of the vote, the largest independent vote in the election.

This time she expects to contest the seat as a party with up to two running mates to maximise her chances.

“I am looking at a party for a column on the ballot and running mates for preference flows, but I expect that there will be interest from a range of different independents,” Ms Carrick said.

“In analysing the 2020 results, people did vote across small parties and independents before they went for Labor and Liberal, so I think it doesn’t necessarily have to be the one-to-five. When it comes to independents and small parties, they will look across the ballot.”

Ms Carrick hoped that several credible independents would emerge in each electorate to challenge the major parties and garner preferences.

READ ALSO ACT’s first female Director of Public Prosecutions, Victoria Engel, starts work after historic appointment

She has a small management team around her and the campaign will now move to selecting running mates, building a volunteer base, fundraising and getting better known in the electorate.

A key issue for her is the lack of community facilities in the south of Canberra.

She said, “People want to see more ambition for the social and economic development of their local areas.”

“For too long, Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo, and Canberra’s south in general, have been short-changed, with the lion’s share of ACT Government investment directed to activity in Canberra’s north. This needs to change.”

With light rail to Woden also a key election issue, Ms Carrick said the government had left the community in the dark about much of the project.

“The government needs to inform us about what services people in the electorate will get before we can make an informed decision,” she said.

“Not everybody lives on the alignment, but everybody pretty much from Canberra south uses the Yarra Glen or Adelaide Avenue corridor into town.”

It was still unclear how long the light rail journey to the city would take compared to the current 15-minute bus service, and how many times passengers would have to change to get to the city and the north where most of the jobs were.

Ms Carrick said Town Centre residents would benefit from light rail, but that was not everybody in Murrumbidgee.

She said the government needed to give people a clearer picture of how the corridor would work, what development was envisaged and what density actually looked like for the Curtin horse paddocks.

“What is the access in and out of that new precinct? How does it interact with Yarra Glen? Where do they access public transport?” Ms Carrick said.

She wouldn’t say whether she wanted a change of government or who she would support if elected.

“I want greater focus and ambition on Canberra’s south to bring activity here,” she said.

Ms Carrick said she would decide which major party to support once she was elected.

“I’ll have to wait and see what the circumstances are at the time,” she said.

“If I were to announce that I was going to support one side or the other, I’d hardly be an independent.”

READ ALSO Commonwealth commits $50 million to designing light rail stage 2B, with more to come

Ms Carrick is currently working on a major transport infrastructure project. She has a Commerce degree from the ANU, and a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) qualification, which led to many years managing budgets.

She also has certificates in Horticulture and Arboriculture from the former Weston CIT and worked at the Yarralumla Nursery. She is an active member of her local Landcare group and community fire unit.

A website has been set up for the campaign.

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Addicted to taxpayer funded employment

thoughtsonthesubject7:03 pm 09 May 24

How could Woden Town Centre residents profit from the light rail, when it will take roughly double the time from Woden to Civic? The future lies in driverless shuttle buses in their reserved lane as operating already elsewhere in the world. Not yet driverless, but the Brisbane Metro bus is already a big step forward.

I need to know what policies she supports and what she doesn’t. For example, if she supports light rail to Woden over trackless trams, then she won’t get my vote.

Trish O'Connor4:20 pm 09 May 24

good on you Fiona and good luck. One thing to remember is that if you want to give Fiona a chance, you need to make sure you don’t list Labor or Liberal as 2nd and 3rd on the ballot paper – this will not help Fiona or any other independent to win a seat.

Great stuff. Go Fiona! It’s about time the residents of Woden get some real representation.

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