Greg Hansford for Gippsland

Country Victoria is practically part of Greg's DNA—he's lived and worked in Gippsland for most of his life. Whilst completing his Bachelor of Business Studies at Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education, now Federation University Churchill, he worked part-time in a busy highway service station by day and played in a succession of local bands on the weekends. After graduating he was appointed as a Commercial Graduate for what was then the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, gaining valuable experience in Victoria's power industry.

"I love this area. The Latrobe Valley where I grew up was a vibrant mix of post-WWII migrants who came here to build and work in its power stations. Often they arrived with nothing more than a couple of suitcases, a few quid, a smattering of the English language, and their dreams."

Following the births of his three children, Greg began to increasingly think about what sort of world they would grow up in. This resulted in him making a life-changing decision in 1990 to leave his secure Government job to retrain as a primary school teacher at Latrobe University in Melbourne. Apart from a brief break later to run his own tourism business, Greg taught for 23 years.

"It was a tremendous privilege to be able to have a hand in discovering and nurturing the individual talents of these children so that they could be effective contributors to society."

After retirement, Greg threw himself full-time into volunteering as a means of giving back to Australia. He packed food hampers at the local Food Bank, home-counselled clients seeking assistance from St Vinnies, visited the senior citizens at the local Aged Village, hosted a popular 3-hour morning breakfast programme for the local community radio station, and helped out doing track maintenance and stationmaster duties for the local Walhalla tourist railway. He also managed to publish a history book and now regularly looks after his two gorgeous grandchildren.

Greg has become increasingly concerned with the direction that Australia is heading in lately, noting that Australia's political leadership is weak and Opposition parties inaudible and ineffective. This has resulted in the loss of many of the civil liberties we previously took for granted. "We've also lost the ability to manufacture with regional resources being directed to the city to garner votes. We lack effective local representation in Parliament, resulting in the slow deterioration of our roads, services, and amenities."

It is the practical, common-sense policies offered by One Nation which inspired Greg to stand as a candidate, such as their commitment to build High-Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) coal-fired power stations to provide a reliable and cheap supply of electricity for Victoria.

"The Latrobe Valley has 500 years of brown coal reserves that will go to waste once the two remaining stations close down in 2028 and 2048. Rather than inevitably exporting it to other countries who will benefit from it, why don't we use it to reduce our own energy costs?"

Another policy that makes sense for Greg is One Nation's introduction and support for an apprenticeship scheme that creates jobs for a wide range of Australians, including our young people. The SECV and regional Victoria used to train up large numbers of apprentices in a variety of trades. In 2019, Pauline Hanson's One Nation introduced a highly successful regional apprenticeships scheme that placed 1600 Australians in ongoing rural training.

"One Nation policies on supporting homegrown jobs, manufacturing, apprenticeships, and bringing back Australian values are the future this great nation needs."

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Greg is increasingly concerned with the direction that Australia's heading in with weak political leadership and an Opposition that's inaudible and ineffective. It's the #OneNationAus common-sense policies which inspired his stand for Gippsland #AusPol2022