Family First candidate Yvonne Zeppel to contest seat of Barker on July 2.

CONSERVATIVE: Riverland local Yvonne Zeppel is the Family First Party candidate contesting for the seat of Barker in the federal election on July 2.

CONSERVATIVE: Riverland local Yvonne Zeppel is the Family First Party candidate contesting for the seat of Barker in the federal election on July 2.

Loxton school teacher Yvonne Zeppel will take on long-standing Member for Barker Tony Pasin in the federal election on July 2.

The former teacher and principal has worked in private, public, special and Aboriginal education over the years.

She will contest against Liberal candidate Tony Pasin who has comfortably held the seat since 2013, and Nick Xenophon Team candidate James Stacey.

The conservative candidate stands firmly in favor of Family First policies and plans to be the voice to spread their values across Barker.

“There are left-wing pushes from other parties that I am not comfortable with and hope to instead focus on supporting local jobs and small businesses in the regions,” she said.

She said her strengths lie in her experience with local business and country schools, and she plans to utilise the team of people around her for advice on other areas.

She identified four major areas of interest.

Local Business

She expressed plans to support family owned trucking businesses and to avoid a major tax increase for backpackers, in the interest of local fruit growing and tourism.

“We employed backpackers for our fruit growing business and their work is very valuable,” she said.

Ms Zeppel also plans to apply her experience in running an engineering company to assist local business.

Families

In line with Family First, Ms Zeppel would take a strong focus on the needs of Australian families.

“It’s so important for families to have their finances in order, so government spending needs to be more conservative and put into vital areas that support family needs, like hospitals and schools,” she said.

Schools

Based on her experience at country schools, Ms Zeppel would continue in opposition of the safe schools program, aimed at creating an inclusive environment for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students.

“Safe schools program does not live up to that name at all; it is focused on students choosing whether they want to be male or female instead of focusing on numeracy and literacy,” she said.

Migration

In the interest of keeping jobs in local hands, Ms Zeppel supports an increase in border security.

“We need to protect our borders from others wanting to come in and access our benefits and jobs,” she said.

Election campaign

Ms Zeppel unsuccessfully contested Riverland seat of Chaffey in the 2014 state election, losing to Liberal candidate Tim Whetstone. 

This election season, she plans to get out in the community to find out what the people want and expand on the “great things that are already happening”.