The LDP Contests Gippsland By-Election

This is an appeal for support by LDP Treasurer, David Leyonhjelm.

Australia’s only libertarian political party, the LDP, has nominated a candidate in the Gippsland by-election on 28 June 2008. 

The candidate is well known local identity Ben Buckley. Ben is a libertarian based on first principles. To him it is obvious that Australians pay far too much tax and Governments are too authoritarian and intrusive. However, he has never previously been involved in libertarian politics. For many years Ben was co-owner and Chief Pilot of Alpine Aviation, involved in crop dusting plus emergency Medivacs and mercy flights. At 71, he is still involved in the provision of fire spotting services and general aviation. 

Ben’s early years were spent in contract deer culling in New Zealand, where he also learnt to fly. His fame and skill as a pilot spread and one of Ben’s major achievements was flying an ultra-light aircraft from Australia to New Zealand.  Ben’s adventures and anecdotes around his flying, disputes with Aviation Department bureaucracy and community activities are contained in the book ‘Buckley’s Chance”, published in 1998. 

Ben has always been a staunch supporter of the timber industry as well as pushing for better access to the bush by four-wheel drivers and hunters. His passion for community issues led him to enter local government and he is now in his second term as a Councillor with East Gippsland Shire Council. Prior to its amalgamation he spent 12 years as a Councillor with Omeo Shire, including one term as President.

Ben has a strong local following as a result of his involvement in local government and previous candidacy as an independent candidate. While winning the seat is not that likely, with the LDP’s help he could really make a mark and catapult the party into the mainstream.

LDP members and supporters can assist Ben’s campaign in the form of money or time (or both). Donations up to $1500 are tax deductible and can by made by direct bank transfer, credit card, cheque or Paypal. See the LDP’s website or contact LDP Treasurer David Leyonhjelm on treasurer (AT) ldp.org.au for details.

Physical assistance with the campaign can take various forms. Options include letterboxing prior to the election and handing out leaflets on election day. Contact LDP President Peter Whelan at president (AT) ldp.org.au or (02) 9652 0415 if you can help.

Discussion of the Gippsland campaign can be found on the LDP’s blog. 

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