Forbes' Steve Karaitiana to stand for Federal seat of Riverina

CANDIDATE: Steve Karatiana will contest the May 21 Federal election for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

CANDIDATE: Steve Karatiana will contest the May 21 Federal election for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

The flood-proofing of the Newell Highway and the raising of the Wyangala Dam wall are two of the issues a Forbes local wants to push as he stands for the seat of Riverina.

Steve Karaitiana is the Shooters, Fishers, Farmers candidate for the May 21 Federal election.

He says his motivation is much the same as it was six years ago, when he first put his hand up as a candidate for Forbes Shire Council.

He was elected for that term, and re-elected last December.

"I wanted to make a difference in our town," he said.

"I wanted to create a family-friendly, safe environment for families to come and live, with opportunities, and now I want to move into federal politics with the same vision."

Steve is married to Sarah and lives in Forbes.

He grew up the third generation of a travelling show family working at regional shows the length and breadth of Australia, and boarded in Forbes to complete his secondary schooling at Red Bend Catholic College.

It's here he's returned and settled to send his children to school, continuing in business supplying equipment to events and shows.

Since news of his candidacy broke on the day of the ballot draw, he's been travelling the electorate speaking to people.

"The major parties have let us down. They've had their chance," he says.

Shooters Fishers Farmers seeks to prioritise water infrastructure in preparation for future drought - with Steve's priority for this region the raising of the Wyangala dam wall for flood mitigation as well as

The flood proofing of the Newell - promised by The Nationals in the lead-up to the last State election in 2019 - is also in his sights.

In Forbes itself, but impacting any Newell Highway traveller who has had to wait for a train at the level crossing in town, Steve believes grade separation - or an overpass - is essential before longer trains start coming through town more frequently on the Inland Rail.

Housing affordability and availability of social housing are key issues, with waiting lists one of the key issues Steve is approached about.

"In the end what matters to the voters, matters to me," he said.

"Beginning today I will be touring the whole electorate, from Parkes, Forbes, Young to Wagga Wagga - my goal is to listen to every voter and find out what matters to them."

While Shooters, Fishers, Farmers remains a minor party, Steve believes they can have an impact.

"You've seen what the party can do for their constituents on a state level through the likes of Phil Donato and Roy Butler and now it's time we represent on the Federal stage," he said.

"I've had a great relationship with Phil Donato and Roy Butler, I've found them alwaya to be trustworthy, honest and hardworking.

"When I was offered the opportunity to run I was going over their policies, and it was a good fit for me.

"We need a trustworthy fighter that can hold both the major parties to account, and I want to be that fighter."