Independent candidate Debrah Novak at the Palmers Island voting booth.
Independent candidate Debrah Novak at the Palmers Island voting booth. Adam Hourigan

Novak embraces online and youth in second campaign

INDEPENDENT candidate Debrah Novak kept her election day profile low-key, visiting and voting at the Woombah booth before stopping in at Palmers Island.

Ms Novak continued to run her campaign through digital platforms as she had since she announced her candidacy, and relied on people power, rather than how-to-votes to spread her message.

"I did a call to action on my digital platform, and that was getting people to be my walking talking how to vote... as the research showed that 80 per cent of people believe family and friends before they believe media,” she said.

Ms Novak said her recommendation was to just put her as number one on the ballot paper to keep it simple, but expressed surprise at some other parties preference choice.

"I was surprise to see the Greens preference me which they didn't do last time, but I was even more surprised to see Labor preference the Fishers and Shooters ahead of me, but I think that comes from the party politics from Sydney,” she said.

Ms Novak said she had planned to make her campaign more "edgy rather than fluffy” last week, but last week's terror incident in Christchurch made her tone back her approach.

"I was planning on really nailing Chris on a few issues he's let our community down on, in particular the youth unemployment at 24 per cent,” she said.

"I've asked the mayor last Thursday to put a mayoral minute putting aside $25,000 for an emergency youth unemployment summit, but then the incident happened last Friday.

"At the end of the day, if federal and state aren't addressing this issue, throwing $50m overall at youth unemployment it's just not cutting it. There's got to be a reason why it's so different...especially considering the billions of dollars of road work.

"There's something wrong here, and it's just not this year, it's been building.”

And while she said had prepared a plan in case she won - "I didn't want to wake up and go 'Oh My God!' - Ms Novak said the great thing that had come out of the campaign was the ability to have conversations with the young people of the area and trying to inspire the next generation of voters.

"Win lose or draw, I hope we start that conversation and start the process to get young people involved in local government. I was prepared a lot better for this campaign after having the experience in local government,” she said.

Ms Novak said she also welcomed an increased engagement with voters in Casino, and to meet and work with the farming community in the area.



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