Potential candidates wanted

THE Australian Labor Party is yet to decide on who will contest the next Federal election on its behalf in the seats of McMillan and Gippsland.

Potential candidates for both local Federal seats are still being canvassed, according to ALP assistant secretary and Victorian federal campaign director Stephen Donnelly.

In February Mr Donnelly told The Express all Liberal-held seats across Victoria would be contested by the Labor Party and party members with ambitions of taking on sitting Federal MPs in Gippsland and McMillan had until 22 February to nominate themselves.

Last week ALP Gippsland federal electoral assembly president Darren McCubbin said, in Gippsland, the ALP was still trying to find potential candidates.

Yesterday Mr Donnelly said he was still awaiting nomination forms to arrive on his desk, despite having earlier predicted candidates would be announced by the end of April.

The seat of Gippsland was won by The Nationals MP Darren Chester by a margin of more than 5.5 per cent in a 2008 by-election while McMillan has been held by Liberals MP Russell Broadbent since 2004.

Both men have confirmed they will re-contest their seats.

Meanwhile Climate Change Activist Peter Gardner has announced his intention to contest Gippsland and released a plan for “converting the Valley to renewable energy in an orderly process in ten years”, titled Latrobe Valley Plan 2013.

Mr Gardner, from Ensay, said he wanted to “promote climate change as a major election issue, to offer solar and renewable energy alternatives as a partial solution to the problem”.

The candidate said he had lived in Gippsland for 40 years and been “politically active for most of that time”.

According to information Mr Gardner has distributed about himself, he stood as a candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1983 and has since “written extensively on Gippsland regional history” and stood as a ‘climate emergency’ independent in the 2008 and 2012 local government elections, and in the 2010 state seat of Morwell.