These Riverina candidates are fighting for your vote in this year's federal election

IN THE RUNNING: Daniel Martelozzo, Mark Jeffreson, Michael McCormack, Richard Orchard and Darren Ciavarella at the AEC ballot order draw. Picture: Les Smith
IN THE RUNNING: Daniel Martelozzo, Mark Jeffreson, Michael McCormack, Richard Orchard and Darren Ciavarella at the AEC ballot order draw. Picture: Les Smith

Riverina voters know which names will be on the federal election ballot and in which order they will appear after yesterday's draw by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The event, held in East Wagga, was the first chance candidates, including incumbent Nationals MP Michael McCormack, had to gather together ahead of May 21.

After the ballet order was determined by AEC officials, candidates reacted to their randomly selected positions and laid out the main issues they plan to campaign on.

First to appear on the polling day ballot will be Richard Orchard from Pauline Hanson's One Nation party.

"They call it the donkey vote position where people just vote one to eight down the page. So, there's some small benefit but people aren't donkeys," Mr Orchard said.

"If you send Mr McCormack on a well-deserved retirement, you're really not going to regret it."

Mr Orchard's big ticket priorities include cost of living, security of fuel and fighting against vaccination and mask mandates.

Second drawn was Labor's Mark Jeffreson.

"It's the only part of the campaign you just can't do anything about," Mr Jeffreson said.

"I tend to think that people know who they're voting for and the donkey votes are a bit over emphasised."

OFFICIAL: AEC representatives selecting the ballot draw order using a randomised and blindfolded system. Picture: Les Smith

OFFICIAL: AEC representatives selecting the ballot draw order using a randomised and blindfolded system. Picture: Les Smith

After receiving 23.2 per cent of the first preference vote in 2019, Mr Jeffreson plans to campaign on local infrastructure and medical services.

"There's a lot of things that need to be done, and that's what we'll be fighting for," he said.

After him was Daniel Martelozzo, taking part in his first electoral ballot draw for the United Australia Party.

"I never thought I'd be a politician, I'm a businessman and I think I can make a difference," he said.

Mr Martelozzo will focus his campaign on the needs of local farmers, including addressing issues around solar farms, wind turbines and an inland rail, with additional UAP policies he said are yet to be announced.

Drawn fourth was Steve Karaitiana, a Forbes councillor representing the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party representative Steve Karaitiana. Picture: Supplied

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party representative Steve Karaitiana. Picture: Supplied

"Being on the ballot is going to give me a platform where I can raise some of our local issues federally," Mr Karaitiana said.

Nationals MP and former Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who has held the seat since 2010, will appear fifth on the ballot but is confident that won't impact the result.

"You've got to give people credit, they know who they're going to vote for," Mr McCormack said.

"I've worked hard, I've delivered and I've got the track record to prove that I care. I'll just continue to build upon that."

The incumbent candidate received 59.9 per cent of the first preference vote at the 2019 election.

Mr McCormack said he plans to address issues like cost of living, jobs, health, education, climate and national security.

The ballot's only independent candidate, Darren Ciavarella, was drawn next, sharing some concerns for the preferential voting system. "But look, we've got to go with the flow - that's how it is," he said.

Mr Ciavarella's most pressing campaign issues include oil parity, health, consumer protection against corporate corruption and rental assistance.

Dean McCrae from the Liberal Democrats

Dean McCrae from the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats' Dean McCrae was drawn seventh with plans to run on issues like lower taxes, less government and greater individual freedoms.

"I think there is a notable historical advantage to [being drawn] number one for parties but beyond that I think it makes no real difference," Mr McCrae said.

"That's the way the cookie crumbles and it's gonna be a fun election."

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Rounding out the ballot order is Greens candidate Michael Organ.

"I'll just stand out at the bottom of the ticket, I'm happy with that," Mr Organ said.

"I think people really should be looking at the policies, what's the substance to the opportunity we've got now to actually vote."

Greens candidate Michael Organ

Greens candidate Michael Organ

Mr Organ's campaign priorities include climate change, cost of living, a federal ICAC, health and education.

Independent Pennie Scott, who would have run as the ballot's only female candidate, was not present yesterday and will not run for the Riverina seat after failing to lodge her candidacy by Thursday's 12pm deadline.

"I thought it was four o'clock but it was midday, and it's as simple as that," she said.

"I'm still going to campaign from the sidelines."

Although she won't be a candidate, Ms Scott has pledged to be a vocal presence on the campaign trail and shine a light on the issues that matter to her and the Riverina.

Ms Scott said voters can expect to see her name once again in three years, but is most likely to support the Greens candidate this time around.

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