TACKLING unemployment is one of the major focuses of Steve Davies.
Mr Davies, a born and bred SE resident from Millicent with a background in the shearing and paper industries and a "Christian and philosophical world view", is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming State election.
"Unemployment of 40 per cent is intolerable," he said. "We need to keep young fellows in a job to secure our pension and secure our future.
"Men and women are designed to work for a living...idle hands make mischief."
He sees the closure of McCains and the downsizing of other businesses, along with low prices for primary produce, increasing input costs and regulation as the precursor to a subdued economic climate.
The insistence of an indebted State Government to plunder the income of shop assistants, shift workers and cleaners to support selected start up or existing industry via funding models was another negative.
"Socialism does not work - it never has," Mr Davies asserted.
"There has been little self-supporting industry start up or expansion over the past few years apart from the meat processors in the north of the electorate and with State debt increasing by $2.5 million a day we need to think twice before putting red and green tape around an industry that may just give a financial lifeline to MacKillop."
Mr Davies has come out quite strongly in favour of this industry - the potential gas industry in MacKillop - as a remedy for the economic situation.
"We're sitting on a resource and yet we've got 40 per cent unemployment - it's intolerable," he said.
"We shouldn't give ground to faux-environmental concern.
"If we pass this opportunity up I expect the opponents will come to regret their actions."
While he sees those against the gas exploration industry - which he noted has been in the State for the past 50 years - as pushing this faux-environmental concern, Mr Davies said he would be prepared to stand by his words.
"I'm going to be here in three or four years to answer for my views," he said.
He issued a plea to voters to consider him as a way to bring MacKillop to the fore of political discussions.
"Services are declining and infrastructure is in need of upgrading and we have no itemised promises from Labor or Liberal for MacKillop," he said
"This electorate is seen as a safe seat, it is thus the forgotten seat.
"It could be that MacKillop will be better served with an independent."