Four people used to run the machinery that lined the side wall of the Tumut Broom Factory, working all day making brooms from locally grown millet, paid piecemeal.
Now the millet is imported from Mexico because local farmers couldn't find workers to harvest it, and the factory only has two people left making brooms, working as equal partners.
Robert Richards has worked all over Australia, with time in Western Australia and Queensland, but after a stint in Canberra he moved back with his wife to the town where he was born, working again in the broom factory where he spent time as a young bloke.
"Young people come back. I think it's just that draw of when they're young, they want to get up and move and might want to see what it's like to go and live in the big city," he said.
Whatever Robert and his co-owner, Geoffrey Wertes, make, they can sell to customers who Richards said always wanted to spend more for a better, Australian-made product.
"We're the last broom factory still going where there was once 14 broom factories," Mr Richards said.
The Canberra Times stopped in at the factory last week as part of a trip around the Eden-Monaro electorate to find out what issues mattered in the varied area that spans from the Snowy Mountains to the coast.
Mr Richards said he was down on politicians.
"One will say the sky's blue and the other says the sky's black, like they'll never agree or anything, which is ridiculous. If it's a good policy, both parties should stick to it," he said.
"They waste so much money on stupid things and that may be nothing to them, but taxpayers, they've got to pay their taxes and hate to see that sort of waste of money."
He wasn't sure if Snowy 2.0 would make a big difference to Tumut.
"There may be a little bit of employment created by it but any flow of people coming in and out of town is good for the community, whether 2.0 is a good thing or the best value for money I don't know, but it's good to see jobs created," he said.
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Richards did want to see more infrastructure built, including upgrades on Brindabella Road that would seal all of the 63-kilometre route between Tumut and Canberra.
"I've driven through the Brindabella Road hundreds of times because I used to work in Canberra. ... [Upgrades] would make it such an easier trip for weekends away. People would say, 'Let's go to Canberra for the weekend', and vice versa.
"Independents are not going to help, the way our structure is. An independent is never going to run a government," Mr Richards said.
"To have a strong government, you've got to have a party that has a majority to make decisions. That's the thing, which one do you go for? Because you can't trust anybody."
- A battle for votes is being fought in town and cities all around the nation. To understand the issues resonating in regional Australia this federal election sign up to receive a daily email with curated stories of people and places from all around Australia.