FOLLOWING the recent announcement of the federal election on September 7, much of the political talk has followed the two-horse race of the Liberal and Labor parties.
However Cooma mayor and Monaro cattle farmer Dean Lynch has pitted himself against Labor MP Mike Kelly and Liberal candidate Peter Hendy for the seat of Eden-Monaro, running on Clive Palmer's Palmer United Party (PUP) ticket.
He stopped by Queanbeyan on Wednesday with rugby league stars Glenn Lazarus and Matty Adamson- both federal senate candidates for the PUP- to spruik his election campaign.
And Mr Lynch said his campaign was aimed at offering Eden-Monaro voters a political alternative with a focus on local issues."It's really grass roots politics that we're about, and we've got to put up a true alternative," he said.
"I think what I'm going to be able to do is raise issues that aren't spoken about a lot by the other candidates. Issues like the incorrect funding of local governments, or food security. A lot of people don't understand that issue, but that's my background and I can talk about it."
Mr Lynch met with the Jerrabomberra Residents Association and a number of local voters on Wednesday to get a feel for Queanbeyan issues.
He said his local government background gave him an advantage in understanding the problems facing Eden-Monaro voters."Through my job as mayor I get out to talk to people and I've realised that there's got to be a better way. So that's how I got tangled up in it," he said.
"It still comes down to local issues like blackspots and fast broadband. You drive across the Monaro and you still can't make a continuous phone call. I mean, it's not a third world country anymore.
"And local government is really the face of delivering all these federal and state policies. So I see all of it, and this is the reason I got into it (federal politics). I'm not egotistical by any means, but there has to be a better way."
However he will have his work cut out for him trying to take the seat away from the major parties. At the 2010 election the Liberal and Labor candidates shared roughly 85 per cent of the total vote between them, with Greens candidate Catherine Moore winning another 10pc.
Mr Lynch was realistic about his chances, but said the experience was proving a valuable one regardless.
"These are big issues that have to be talked about. These are not cool political topics, but they're things that are going to worry everybody in the long term. So at the end of this if I'm not elected, even if I can raise some of these topics to help local people, that I would have achieved something," he said.
And as for the colourful mining magnate at the head of the party, Mr Lynch said Clive Palmer was aiming to bring an increased business-focus to the federal government.
"Clive is a great bloke. He's portrayed in the press as being quite loud and boisterous, but when you meet him he's actually this quiet, humble family man. And he's a business man: he knows how to make money.
"When we all talked about this we said 'well why would you have someone without a business background running the country'.
"So when it comes down it we're running a business and it's not being run correctly," he said.