WHILE the Australian Labor Party has yet to endorse a candidate to contest the seat of Gippsland at the next federal election, the Palmer United Party has committed to announcing candidates for Gippsland and McMillan within three weeks.
The new party had already endorsed large numbers of candidates across Queensland and New South Wales, including 40 in NSW on one day, and Mr Palmer said 25 candidates for Victoria would be announced this Sunday.
Victoria already has around nine PUP candidates and Mr Palmer said he expected another 10 would be announced within three weeks from Sunday.
The ALP has now delayed an expected announcement of its Gippsland candidate several times but it has named 22 year-old Shady Creek resident and university student Anthony Naus as its candidate for McMillan – a seat held by Liberal MP Russell Broadbent since 2004.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who has held Gippsland since 2008 by a margin of 5.5 per cent, said he was “not surprised the Labor party has not found a candidate yet because Julia Gillard has led a government that is deeply unpopular in our region”.
Yarragon resident and general practitioner Dr Malcom McKelvie will stand in McMillan for the Australian Greens while another Greens candidate, Scott Campbell-Smith, and independent climate change activist Peter Gardner, from Ensay, will contest Gippsland.