Labor Party's Bob Scates to contest Lowan seat

THE Labor Party has nominated Murtoa resident Bob Scates to contest the seat of Lowan at November's state election.

Mr Scates has previously contested the safe conservative federal seats of Mallee in 2010 and Murray in 2007.

He said he would try to put transport at the forefront of his campaign.

"The Overland in the past two years has been reduced from three times a week to twice during the current premier's reign and that's awful," he said.

Mr Scates said he was also concerned about the knock-on effects the demise of manufacturing could have for rural and regional areas.

"Clearly jobs is a huge issue and I'm really scared that's what's happening in the western suburbs of Melbourne and Geelong will start to affect regional Victoria," he said.

"The car industry has a lot of spin-offs, some of the smaller parts manufacturers are based in rural areas."

Mr Scates was critical of the slogan used in the Labor Party's 2013 federal campaign for the seat of Mallee.

"I didn't like 'Make Mallee Marginal','' he said.

"If you're playing with a challenged football team, you wouldn't want the coach saying to the troops 'let's just get within six or eight goals of this mob'."

"We've got a vacancy in the Firebrace Street office and I'd really like to be the person who fills that position."

Mr Scates acknowledged he was a clear underdog in Lowan, needing a 22 per cent swing to win the seat from the Nationals.

He paid tribute to outgoing Nationals member Hugh Delahunty and wished him well for life after politics.

Mr Scates said he was surprised Premier Denis Napthine decided to remove Mr Delahunty from his two ministerial portfolios.

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