Gippsland South by-election fires up

Gippsland South voters are set to return to the polls for a second time in three-and-a-half months, with a 14 March date set for the upcoming by-election of the state seat.

On Tuesday Victorian Legislative Assembly speaker Telmo Languiller issued the writ for the by-election in line with parliamentary protocol.

According to the writ, the Gippsland South electoral roll will close on 24 February, while candidate nominations will close on 27 February.

The writ comes after Upper House Member for Eastern Region Danny O’Brien announced he had been pre-selected as the seat’s Nationals candidate unopposed last weekend.

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber announced yesterday Andrea Millsom would serve as the party’s candidate in the Gippsland South by-election.

Mr Barber said even if community members did not vote green, they should write ‘no gas drilling’ on their ballot papers to send a clear message to the other parties.

Ms Millson said she was honoured and would offer a fresh perspective for the seat.

“The Greens are a party of the future. This is my community. I am proud, passionate and will stand up to have country voices heard in parliament,” she said.

“This community has been waiting to have its say on the coal seam gas licences covering its farms and towns. This is their opportunity.

“I expect a strong response to the call to write ‘no CSG’ on ballots in this by-election.”

Labor Upper House member for Eastern Region Harriet Shing said the party was still making a decision about whether to run a candidate.

Last night at a Liberal party administrative committee meeting, Wellington Shire Councillor Scott Rosetti was also nominated to stand in the by-election. 

According to a senior Liberal party source, the nomination is designed to capitalise on the conservative vote through preferences to The Nationals.

The by-election was brought on by the sudden resignation of longstanding incumbent Peter Ryan in early February, only two months after being returned to power at the November State Election.