I understand two so-called Hume election candidates who regularly communicate with each other to try and discredit the Liberal candidate for Hume, Angus Taylor, are unhappy with him representing me at events within the Hume electorate.
For the record I am regularly invited to events all over Hume and I have, over many years, asked people to stand in for me when I am unable to attend. Very often it has been my wife Gloria, and she has always filled my shoes with dignity and grace. Occasionally it has been a member of my staff and more recently the very capable Angus Taylor.
When Taylor has filled in for me at events on recent occasions it has always been with the consent and request of the relevant organising committee.
The reason the organising committees consent to Taylor standing in for me is that many of the community leaders who run these organisations know, like and respect him.
They also know and appreciate the work that he has been doing in Hume for well over a year. Taylor has been accompanying me to events for more than a year, and has been campaigning almost full-time since his preselection in May last year.
He is out in communities, participating in sporting events, going to shows, markets and rotary dinners, and constantly talking to people.
He’s already starting to help communities solve local problems. In short, Taylor has earned the respect of local leaders who have asked him to step in for me. That’s not a leg up or an unfair advantage. It’s reward for hard yakka.
My message to these fringe-dwelling show ponies is you don’t get elected to Parliament by spending your time tweeting on a computer or complaining to editors of newspapers that life is unfair.
Voters in Hume recognise a hard-working individual with genuine country genes, as do I.
You may be assured that when I or Gloria are unable to commit to an invitation I will continue to offer someone like Angus Taylor to represent me and certainly not some ‘fly-by-night’ whingeing individual who is not prepared or indeed capable of putting in the hard yards required to represent and achieve for the residents who live in an electorate which is bigger than Belgium.
Alby Schultz, Federal Member for Hume