The division of Corangamite is located in the Western district of Victoria covering 5,441 square kilometres. It encompasses the growing Surf Coast area as well as the Greater Geelong region.
Currently, Labour’s Libby Coker holds the seat, but as of May 21, Ms Coker will be up against Stephanie Asher, Daniel Abou-Zeid and Alex Marshall.
Libby Coker (Labour Party)
Libby Coker is the current MP for Corangamite and has been since she was elected in the 2019 Federal Election.
Ms Coker has served on the Surf Coast Shire for more than a decade and as Mayor twice. She says what most prepares her for being the Corangamite MP is her “empathy and ability to work with [her] community”.
Community health is a topic Ms Coker “cares strongly about”. She has lobbied for an indoor pool for North Bellarine and plans to expand the GP Distribution Priority Areas to include areas like Bannockburn, Clifton Springs, Torquay, Ocean Grove, and Barwon Heads to increase the number of GPs.
Ms Coker aims to improve community connectivity to reduce the number of people in isolation. By tackling this, Ms Coker said she believes she would be helping to improve mental health across Corangamite.
“I’ve engaged heavily with the community [about mobile coverage and road quality], I… continually lobbied the government and mobile phone service providers…[and] held community meetings,” Ms Coker said.
She said she was honoured to have been chosen to represent Corangamite in the 2019 election. She said she will continue to “[fight as] tirelessly for the electorate” as she has in the past.
Stephanie Asher (Liberal Party)
Stephanie Asher is an experienced politician, small business owner and resident of Corangamite.
Ms Asher was elected as the Greater Geelong councillor in 2017 and has been the Mayor of Greater Geelong since 2019.
Ms Asher said she values individual freedom and people taking responsibility for their own actions and successes. But she recognises there is not always a balance of opportunity for people. Ms Asher said she believes it’s crucial to “keep on listening” when addressing the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities.
“Down here there’s a growing inclusion of Aboriginal culture and Indigenous viewpoints and a respect for the history and knowledge that our traditional owners bring…it’s well underway.”
As a runner and surf life-saving member, Ms Asher said she is passionate about sustainability and preserving the environment for future generations.
“We have a very committed household of veggie-growing, and we have chickens, and we recycle our washing-machine water,” she said. “If everyone does [things like] that on an individual level as well as making sure we put some really conscious individuals into parliament who can take that same approach to policy making at a federal level, then I think we’re on the right track.”
Alex Marshall (The Greens)
Alex Marshall is a disability support worker and Bachelor of Commerce student who recognises the importance of action amidst the current climate crisis.
As someone who has been an active community member all her life, Ms Marshall said she is “passionate about the people, small businesses, and community organisations in [the] area”.
She advocates for action in terms of climate change. She has said Australia is facing a critical decade.
“With the Greens in balance of power we can push the next government to go further and faster, phasing out coal and gas by 2030 and creating thousands of jobs in renewable energy.”
Ms Marshall’s priority is a Treaty with First Nations people. She said she believes only by acknowledging the truth of what Indigenous Australians have faced can we all move forwards as a nation.
“Embracing the wisdom and knowledge of traditional cultures can only help us to protect our land and water, tackle the climate crisis and deal with ballooning economic inequality,” she said.
Daniel Abou-Zeid (United Australia Party)
Daniel Abou-Zeid has been chosen as the candidate for Corangamite representing the United Australia Party in the upcoming election.
A man who values faith, Mr Abou-Zeid has been senior pastor at Torquay’s evangelical Elevate Church since 2015. Along with his wife Michelle, he is a passionate advocate of allowing people to “walk in the freedom which the Gospel alone brings”.
His primary policy focus is an opposition to COVID-19 mandates including lockdowns, mandatory vaccinations, and masks.
“We’re campaigning on anti-lockdown mandates,” Mr Abou-Zeid said.