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The Australian Sex Party will stand a candidate in this month’s Broadmeadows by-election.
Merinda Davis, 24, will stand for the pro-same-sex marriage party in the Labor stronghold.
Davis, who launched her campaign from an adult shop on Monday, is a receptionist at a law firm in Melbourne and studies politics and gender studies.
“Broadmeadows is a much more broadminded and culturally diverse electorate than government and media have given it credit for in the past,” she told the Star Observer.
“In an electorate that has one of the highest identifiable levels of religiosity in Victoria, these shops trade better here than in many other areas of the state.
“That’s why we adopted the slogan Broadmeadows – Broadminded.”
The Sex Party candidate will face Frank McGuire — brother of media personality Eddie McGuire — who is expected to stand for the seat after a controversial ascendancy to candidacy.
Local Labor members lost a Supreme Court challenge last week to be enable them to choose their own candidate in the seat vacated by former Premier John Brumby.
Davis said if elected she would push for a change to the school chaplaincy program and push for women’s rights issues.
“Our platform is that people in Broadmeadows should have freedom of and freedom from religion,” she said.
“We want to see the school chaplains program replaced with a non-denominational course in life skills.”
Davis will also take on the issue of transport in the area, criticising both sides of politics for ignoring train and bus access on weekends.
“People who travel into the city for a good night out on Fridays or Saturdays should be able to get home in the early hours of the morning and not be left stranded in the CBD,” she said.
“With unemployment over twice that of the national average in Broadmeadows and individual income only 60 percent of the national average, inadequate public transport is a form of discrimination.
“In 2011 it is extraordinary that the people of Broadmeadows are expected to pay $80 for a cab fare to get home safely after 2am on a weekend.”
It’s understood the Liberal Party will not contest the seat. The by-election will be held on February 19.