The insurgent from Indi

7 May 2014

A conversation with federal parliament’s newest independent MP

WHEN the politicians are in town, the public areas of Parliament House are thronged with even more visitors than usual. The marble foyer echoes with the sounds of dignitaries and delegations clamouring for security passes. Boisterous crocodile-lines of schoolchildren wind their way through the Members’ Hall to question time. Grey nomads can be found tut-tutting at the splendour of the Great Hall.

But I’m leaving the racket of vox populi far behind. I pass through the soundproofed doors that separate the public from the private space of our elected officials and enter a zone of deep-carpeted quietude. Like a walled market town, this is where the members of the House of Representatives withdraw to after selling their wares.

I’m on my way to meet one of the most unlikely new recruits to this political marketplace. Following in the footsteps of respected rural independents like the late Peter Andren in Calare and the recently retired Tony Windsor in New England, Cathy McGowan is the independent member for Indi, a bush seat in northern Victoria…

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