Strong team to fight for regional Victoria at next Federal Election
Thursday 1 February 2024
The Nationals will take an experienced team to the next Federal election after three sitting Members of Parliament were pre-selected unopposed to contest the seats of Mallee, Nicholls and Gippsland.
Dr Anne Webster (Mallee), Sam Birrell (Nicholls) and Darren Chester (Gippsland) were all endorsed as candidates for the next election by the party’s members.
The Nationals’ Victorian President, Neil Pankhurst, said it was great news for regional Victoria.
“As a party, we are determined to fight for a safer, stronger and fairer regional Australia, where everyone can get ahead,” Mr Pankhurst said.
“Anne, Sam and Darren all have proven track records of delivering results for their communities and it’s good to have a stable and experienced team taking the fight up to the Albanese Government.
“Regional Australia needs strong voices and we need local champions who understand the issues facing families outside our capital cities. Our three lower house MPs and Senator Bridget McKenzie will continue to fight for better outcomes for the people we represent.”
Dr Webster said she was looking forward to the challenge of helping the Coalition win the next election.
“I will be focused on putting forward positive plans, particularly around health and education, to deliver the services we need in the Mallee,” she said.
Mr Birrell said he had enjoyed his first term as a local MP, but was concerned with the direction taken by a city-focused Labor Government.
“City-based parties simply don’t understand the impact of policies like water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin and we need to return to government before more damage is done,” Mr Birrell said.
Mr Chester said Gippsland had felt the impact of Labor Government policy changes which have hurt smaller communities.
“The continual attacks on our traditional industries like timber, fishing, farming and energy generation are threatening the viability of local communities and we need sensible policy-making to protect regional jobs,” he said.
The Nationals will select candidates for other federal divisions in due course.
Contact: Matthew Harris, State Director