Doctor stands for election

Dr Ian Birchall said he is "cynical" about the governments promise to rebuild Melton station.

Liam McNally

Dr Ian Birchall launched his election campaign at the Melton Valley Golf Clubhouse on Thursday, October 6.

Dr Birchall is running as an independent for the seat of Melton at the state election, because he feels the two major parties “neglect” the area.

“I wouldn’t run for the Liberal Party because they’ve only just discovered Melton in the last ten minutes, and the Labor Party’s been here for 30 years and given us nothing,” he said.

This is the second election Dr Birchall has campaigned in. He ran in 2018 on the platform of getting a hospital secured for Melton.

“This election is much more than just the hospital. If you look at the roads, higher education, the employment prospects out here and the way they’re cramming all the people into the new estates, there’s no future proofing and no future planning,” he said.

Dr Birchall is a Melton local of over 20 years, and has had a distinguished career in science. He worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for over 20 years, and obtained a PHD in immunocytochemistry.

Currently, he manages the Histology and Neuropathology scientific service at the Florey Institute.

“We’re at the cutting edge of trying to figure out how the brain works and how to cure it when it goes wrong,” he said.

Dr Birchall wants to address higher education in Melton, he said he doesn’t think he could have obtained his three degrees if he grew up in Melton because of the lack of Tafes and universities. .

“We deserve the opportunity to learn and study and work in Melton. We don’t need to travel everywhere, but we don’t have any infrastructure to support that idea,” he said.

“Good governance means you take on the concerns of your electorate and try as hard as you can to make things happen. As an independent I won’t have to follow a party line, I won’t be constrained in what I can say or do. I can shine a light on how Melton’s missed out and try to understand why the funding has been diverted elsewhere.”