Michael Belardinelli

MICHAEL Belardinelli wants to share what he has learnt with his electorate, and will stand as an independent candidate in the seat of Bendigo East in the Victorian election.

His platform is as extensive as that of a major party, but he claims to have to created policies based on what he has heard from people he has talked to over the years.

A former teacher who has in recent years worked as a teacher aide, a carer and support worker, Mr Belardinelli said he had strong views on what to do about extreme crime for which he wanted to see harsher penalties.

He suspects a vote winner will be to reward drivers who share their dash camera vision of road incidents with police.

He is also calling for a ban in country Victoria on pokie machines which generate almost seven times less ongoing spending than money spent on eating out.

Regional roads need fixing, Mr Belardinelli said, as road deaths were proportionately higher outside Melbourne.

And he wants to see injection rooms introduced in Bendigo, a decision that he believes would lead to a reduction in drug-related crime.

On the environment, Mr Belardinelli has called for a complete ban on planned burns and on destruction of old growth forests. And he would like preferential voting to be replaced by proportional voting.

“Preferential voting forces you to put down preferences and in many cases it ends up electing another candidate,” Mr Belardinelli said.

But adapting to the existing voting system, he would distribute his perferences to the Greens or the Democratic Labour Party in Bendigo East, the two parties which are grass roots campaigners.