ACT News

Save
Print
License article

Marcus Fillinger puts hat in ring as an independent, running for the roos

Wildlife advocate Marcus Fillinger will stand as an Independent in the 2016 ACT election,  taking the fight directly to the only Green in the Assembly, Shane Rattenbury.

Mr Fillinger, an air force photographer, is standing in opposition to the ACT government's annual kangaroo cull and is frustrated at lack of progress on fertility control as a humane alternative.

He plans to stand in Molonglo, where he will be pitching in part to the Greens constituency uncomfortable with Mr Rattenbury's stewardship of the annual cull, in which well over 1000 kangaroos are shot on Canberra's nature reserves.

Mr Fillinger's charity, Alphadog Army, based at his property south of Tuggeranong, rescues huskies and other animals. He is also a tranquilliser firearms instructor, running courses for rangers, wildlife groups and others.

He is a runner, and will leave on April 4 to run the North Pole Marathon, one of the toughest in the world. After the marathon, he will take part in an ice dive expedition, diving at the geographic North Pole in April, then at the magnetic North Pole in March next year, with expedition partner under-ice free dive champion Christian Redl, of Austria. Mr Fillinger says this would be the first time the two poles had been free dived. He will be underwater with his camera in April as Redl attempts a free dive through a hole in the ice to 80 metres. On the surface, two huskies will warn of approaching polar bears.

He would announce his candidacy officially while at the North Pole, and was running the marathon to "promote non-lethal wildlife solutions ... and to basically embarrass governments, especially in Australia,  for the fact that [fertility control] has been implemented everywhere else around the world … yet we're still fumbling around in the dark".

Advertisement

Sick of waiting for the ACT Government to carry out its promised trial of kangaroo fertility control, Mr Fillinger is raising money through the run to set up his own trial.

At the 2016 election, he will also stand on a platform on individual freedoms and support for euthanasia, gay marriage and "freedom of choice".

"We need to come into the new millennium and raise the bar on these things," he said. "We're such a backwater nation when it comes to the most fundamental rights."

He criticised Mr Rattenbury's compromise politics as a Greens minister in a Labor government, and Labor's "stunt" to legalise same-sex marriage, knowing they would "get their asses handed to them on a platter in the High Court".

"Everything in politics come as a compromise – you do this for me if I do this for you. That's politics but it's particularly ugly and it's pretty nasty. It's time we brought balls back into politics and people standing their ground on things rather than compromising on issues they're supposed to be opposed to and what their party stands for," he said.

The next election will see five electorates of five members each. With Labor and Liberal very likely to get two seats each in each electorate, the winner of the final seat in each will determine the government. The five-member electorates are more difficult for independents and minor parties to win a seat, but the Greens will be counting on at least retaining Mr Rattenbury's seat in Molonglo.