Libs select Corangamite candidate

Darcy Dunstan

A former SAS soldier will contest the seat of Corangamite for the Liberal Party at the next federal election.

Bellbrae resident Darcy Dunstan will run against Labor’s Libby Coker for the seat. A general election must happen before September next year.

Mr Dunstan joined the Australian Defence Force at the age of 21, finished his carpentry apprenticeship, worked as a chippy, and built his own house in his spare time.

Mr Dunstan worked as a diver in the army before being selected to join the elite Special Air Services Regiment. He received a commendation for distinguished service for outstanding commitment and actions taken while deployed to Iraq in 2021 with the SAS.

“I joined the ADF to serve my nation,” he said.

“Now I’m stepping forward for parliament because I want to serve my community. My commitment is simple. If I am elected, I will listen, I will work hard and I will focus on what matters most to you. I will never stop until our community is heard.

“Having been a tradie, I stand with hardworking, aspirational Australians. They are the backbone of this nation. The people of Corangamite are hurting while the cost-of-living continues to increase. People are going out less and making sacrifices to pay bills. If elected, I will work every day to deliver real cost-of-living relief and make home ownership a reality for all.”

Mr Dunstan faces an 8.26 percent swing against the Liberals at the 2019 election in which Ms Coker won after Sarah Henderson held the seat for the Coalition from 2013 to 2019.

“Darcy is a highly-credentialed representative for the Liberal Party with an exceptional track record of service to his country and community,” Ms Henderson said.

“From acute cost-of-living pressures to the axing of $4 billion for faster rail to the failure to invest in new local infrastructure projects, Labor has consistently turned its back on the needs of Corangamite residents.”

Mr Dunstan is raising his 14-month-old daughter with his fiancée, a local GP, while running his own small business. He currently volunteers with the local CFA and plays football for Modewarre and is a member of his local RSL.

When asked for comment, Ms Coker pointed to a recent speech in the House of Representatives when she outlined Labor’s tax cuts.

“Did you know that under the Albanese government’s new tax plan 13.6 million Australians, including 70,000 taxpayers in my electorate of Corangamite, are about to get a tax cut?,” she said in parliament.

“It’s all part of our mission to help you and your family with cost-of-living pressures. Under our tax plan, to kick in on 1 July, a worker in my electorate earning less than $45,000 will get a tax cut of $804.”