Hi, I’m Eve Cash, and I’m standing as a candidate for Eastern Victoria with the Reason Party because the Victorian Parliament needs new politicians and new ideas. Born and bred on Gunaikurnai country in east Gippsland, I love the bush, and I want to see small communities, such as mine, thrive like they did when I was a kid.

I am an Auslan Sign Language interpreter for the deaf community here in Gippsland, and I love my job. I live on a hobby farm with my husband Danny and two daughters, Marlo and Vivienne. We have the usual farm animals plus a bunch of free-ranging guinea pigs who make excellent lawnmowers. For over 15 years, I worked in the community sector as a grants writer and recreation program coordinator, serving Deafblind Victorians. Throughout my life and career, I have seen how government decisions can make or break a community and an individual. The reality is that our state has the resources to invest in local economies and provide more quality housing and better access to healthcare for people in regional Victoria. But the major parties move slowly and are unwilling to disappoint their corporate donors to make the necessary changes.

When I was growing up in Bruthen 20 years ago, small businesses and local manufacturing were booming, housing was affordable, and work was not hard to find. These days, businesses are competing with wealthy, global companies when we clearly need the profits here. Now is the time to embrace the clean energy revolution and make it more affordable for businesses to access clean energy and be less dependent on fossil fuels because that is our future, so why not start now? With more and more unprecedented weather events and rising energy costs, we need to safeguard the future of local people by preparing for the changing climate. Incentives are needed for farmers and business owners to better prepare for the future and lower the carbon footprint of their industries.

I am sick of hearing rural politicians go on and on about potholes on the roads. Sure, they need to be fixed, but potholes are not the real issues facing us rural eastern Victorians. We need investment in our kids’ futures! We should not have to move away from our heartlands to find jobs, healthcare, and affordable housing. We need more affordable, sustainable housing that lasts the test of time and doesn’t cost a fortune to heat and cool. Country people are being priced out of their own towns. Cheap housing developments are not the answer to our housing shortage. Quality, government-subsidised housing is the answer.

Accessing healthcare and mental health services in rural areas is a challenge, but it should not be. When my two-year-old needed antibiotics for an ear infection, I was told the next appointment was six weeks away. Vivienne’s eardrums burst on the way to the Bairnsdale emergency department. When the pandemic shut down schools, my ten-year-old needed to talk to a child psychologist. Instead, we went on a twelve-month waiting list, only to be told after twelve months that the list was too long and we couldn’t be seen. These are issues that desperately need to be fixed to ensure healthy future generations.

When I was young, I had friends die from drug addiction. Not because they were bad people but because they didn’t get the help they needed at the time they needed it. The Reason Party takes a harm-reduction approach to drug use and considers drug addiction to be a health issue. My friends might still be alive today if they had received the help they needed. 

Future generations will face many challenges. To overcome them, the Reason Party will use science and evidence to make decisions, not ideologies. With a bachelor's degree in politics and international relations, a diploma in Aboriginal studies and an advanced diploma in translating and interpreting, I believe my education and life experience gives me the skills to lead Eastern Victoria into a new era of ideas. It's time to vote the major parties out and start a new parliament with hope for the future!