CANDIDATES are lining up for pre-selection following Nationals Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty’s announcement he would retire at the state election in November.
At least three people have announced they will seek pre-selection for the Nationals, with Edenhope woman Emma Kealy joining the race.
The Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital chief executive said she was excited to throw her hat into the ring.
“I have a strong belief in the abilities and resourcefulness of people in the Lowan electorate,” she said.
“We know how to get things done out here, and I respect the sense of resilience and innovation that communities and businesses show.
“I would love the opportunity to support and encourage people in Lowan to realise their full potential, as individuals, businesses and communities.”
Ms Kealy said she joined the Nationals just under a year ago.
“I joined because I believe the National Party has a true regional voice and it’s the party that represents the needs of rural and regional Victoria, particularly the Lowan electorate,” she said.
Ms Kealy was born at Edenhope and has also lived in Hamilton.
“I am from the region, which has given me an opportunity to know the people, individuals and businesses that are here,” she said.
“There is a need to continue the strong voice of the National Party in Melbourne and motivate the community to get the best we can out of the electorate.
“I also have business experience, I am accessible and am one of the people.
“I feel I can adequately take the concerns of the people in Lowan and articulate those concerns to parliament and make sure we get our fair piece of the pie.”
Ms Kealy said issues she would pursue included improvements to road and rail infrastructure, reducing the burden of red tape on business, access to technology including mobile phone coverage and decentralisation of government services.
She said she was pleased other people were also seeking pre-selection.
“It adds a level of competition and gives a democratic voice to members of the party,” she said.
“It gives them the opportunity to elect the most appropriate representative.”
Victorian Farmers Federation vice-president and Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke has quashed rumours that he might stand.
“A lot of people have asked me and I just want to say that I am very happy with my current role,” he said.
Nationals members will vote for a candidate in April.
The Liberals will not contest the seat.