THE WHEELS of political persuasion have well and truly been in motion since Sunday, but the road to the federal election still has a fair ways to go.
With poll day confirmed for May 21, the sea of opinions from government will continue to swell - but we also want to hear from voices within the Calare Electorate leading up to the nation's big day.
After plucking some 'everyday people' from the area's voting waters, the Central Western Daily introduced seven residents in The Pub Test - a melting pot of locals who'll share their diversified views with readers on a weekly basis.
So, let's kick things off in the first week by getting to know one of the panelists a little more.
Based in the village of Molong, some 30-odd kilometres from Orange, small business owner Pete Manwaring is originally from Sydney and, as the pre-election days unfold, he wants to see more oxygen being breathed into the creative arts sector and the global warming crisis addressed.
"Actual election policies and budget cash splashes don't drive me too much, unless they're blatantly unfair," Mr Manwaring said.
"Having said that, solving our most important issue of climate change is critical, so I want a hard 2030 emissions reduction target for a start."
When scratching beneath the surface of political views, though, 55-year-old Mr Manwaring says he's the 'ex of many things', having worn several different hats in his life.
He's been an electronics engineer, a centre half-back in Aussie footy league around Cronulla, a sole contractor for the police department, a former-husband for a decade, a rally car driver, an events promoter, gallery philanthropist of Medium, Rare, a performer and co-owner of The Bearded Tit - a bar nestled in Sydney's inner-city suburbs.
"I had this big warehouse space in Redfern, which was the art space and where I lived, and we held events and parties which funded the gallery - so, that model then lead into what was really a natural progression to owning a bar which was art-focused," Mr Manwaring said.
"The bar celebrated diversity and people, a place where anybody and everybody was able to go there - old, young, skinny, fat, queer, straight, you name it - and I think the west needs more of this kind of stuff."
Hosting a showcase of live musicians performing on the tray of an old '46 DeSoto, Mr Manwaring launched the semi-official 'Pre-Reno Double Dipper' party for new creative hub to come, LongMo's - a recording studio for independent recording artists.
The bar celebrated diversity and people, a place where anybody and everybody was able to go there - old, young, skinny, fat, queer, straight, you name it - and I think the west needs more of this kind of stuff.- Pete Manwaring wants to see more culture, diversity and creative arts in the Central West
LongMo's is also the home of premium retail space, The Molong Stores, which is run by his close mate, Robbie Carroll.
"People get to see a gay guy run a cool shop and they'll see musicians here with original live music instead of just a covers band, so I think it's critical for people, young and old," Mr Manwaring said.
"And there's so many people out here who are quirky and bent and talented, but they're not exposed to [the creative and diverse] world, so they don't do anything with it and it's such a waste.
"We're a part of this world of gentrification, you know. I did it there [in Redfern] and I'm probably doing it here, too. I'm actually socially against gentrification, but I also understand that there's no way around it."
Ways around other issues that he does see, however, involve seeing more action from the country's two most topical figures in the current pollie climate.
"I'd like to see a journalist call ScoMo out on his childish smirk as he avoids their questions and therefore accountability," Mr Manwaring said.
"[And] I want see Albo stand up and talk about integrity and ideas to reduce the demise of democracy."
As the race to the federal election unfolds, Pete Manwaring will continue to share his views with readers each week.
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