CARGO man Brian Cain has thrown his hat in the ring to take on incumbent member for Calare John Cobb in next year’s federal election as a member of Bob Katter’s Australian Party.
Mr Cain first came to Australia in the 1960s from his birthplace in south London.
But after falling out with his elder brother he found himself on the street.
Since then he has led a varied life working his way up in the mining industry all over Australia from kitchen hand to management level at Cadia Valley Operations.
“I’ve always been interested in politics but I’m not a great supporter of politicians trained in political science,” he said.
“The party only has one professional politician ... all the rest are ordinary people that could make a difference.”
Mr Cain lives on a disability pension but remains an active writer, adding to his list of seven published novels, and is also a musician.
Mr Cain plans to address the imbalance in government funding for regional areas compared to metropolitan areas if elected.
“We need far more funding in this area. We deserve it,” he said.
“I don’t know a great deal about Mr Cobb and I’m sure he has the welfare of the electorate at heart but he’s saddled with Liberal Party policy.”
Despite his attachment to mining, Mr Cain said the industry needed tighter regulations.
But he is also concerned the industry’s image is being tainted by its association with coal seam gas.
He opposes fracking and believes there are other ways the gas could be extracted without contaminating water aquifers.
Despite coal seam gas exploration not reaching the Calare area, Mr Cain believes residents should still be concerned about its impact on underground water.
Mr Cain said Bob Katter’s party could run candidates in as many as 20 seats in next year’s election.
While he remains realistic about the chances of the party having an impact on the lower house, he believes they could take control of the Senate.
He does not believe Mr Katter’s image as a political maverick will hurt the party’s chances of securing seats.
Instead he hopes the public’s disillusionment with the major parties may work in their favour.
Unlike his party’s leader, who famously declared there were no gay people in his electorate, Mr Cain supports civil unions for gay and lesbian people but upholds the party’s policy that marriage should be “governed by the church”.
Mr Cobb said Mr Katter spent little time looking after the interests of his electorate.
“I don’t think that’s the sort of representation Calare is looking for,” he said.
“The Coalition has Australia’s best interests at heart ... my job is to look after Calare and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”