Lowan election: Liberals will not contest seat

A VICTORIAN Coalition agreement will prevent the Liberal Party from contesting the seat of Lowan at the next election.

The Liberals announced they would not field a candidate, despite sitting member Hugh Delahunty announcing his retirement.

Mr Delahunty, a Nationals member, announced on Sunday he would step down at the state election in November.

A Liberal Party head office spokesman said neither the Liberals nor the Nationals would contest a seat held by the other party, unless the parties otherwise agreed in writing.

He said the agreement had been in place since 2010. "If the Nationals hold a seat and someone retires, we can't run against them and vice-versa," he said.

"We won't be running anyone against whoever the Nationals candidate will be."

The Nationals will open nominations for pre-selection on Friday.

Mr Delahunty said it was too early to tell how many people would seek pre-selection.

He encouraged anyone who enjoyed working with people to think about it.

"We are a large electorate and represent many different people," he said.

"The role is a people's job and involves dealing with those in different social economic positions.

"I did the job my way, and someone else might do it another way.

"As long as the candidate is a people's person, they will be right for the job."

Mr Delahunty said he would support the new Nationals candidate.

The Greens have announced they will stand a candidate.

Spokesman Craig Ingrey said the call for nominations would start mid-March and the party hoped to secure a candidate by the end of April. Mr Delahunty said he wanted to retire to spend more time with his family.

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