New Labor candidate announced for Morwell

Newly endorsed Labor candidate for Morwell Kate Maxfield. photograph michelle slater

Michelle Slater

A Latrobe Valley medical doctor with a Labor pedigree will be taking on the November state election as the newly-minted Labor candidate for Morwell.

Kate Maxfield was endorsed about a week ago, and is the second candidate to officially nominate for the marginal seat after the Nationals Martin Cameron put his hand up earlier this month.

Dr Maxfield had previously stood as a Labor candidate for the seat of Gippsland East in 2014, gaining 32.09 per cent of the two party preferred vote against incumbent Nationals MP Tim Bull.

Labor last held the seat of Morwell in 2006 under Brendan Jenkins when it was won by the then Nationals and now sitting Independent member Russell Northe.

The daughter of former Labor Member for Narracan Ian Maxfield said she grew up on the hustings alongside her father which allowed her to gain an understanding of the region.

“Labor has invested in jobs, education and health. I come from a union background and we will always prioritise workers, we are at a critical time in the Valley’s history,” Dr Maxfield said.

“I will make sure I prioritise the people of the Valley, create jobs and make people better off.”

Dr Maxfield is an emergency department doctor at Latrobe Regional Hospital, stating she was in the front line when the pandemic hit.

The seventh-generation Gippslander and Morwell local had worked in the hotel quarantine system where she treated the state’s first Omricon patient.

She also lent a hand in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires by leading a team of four providing emergency support to general practitioners in Mallacoota.

“I decided to run for Labor because the Moe hospital I was born in was shut down by the Kennett government. I’m standing up to protect health services in the Latrobe Valley,” she said.

“This is a significant and powerful thing I can do. The Labor government has always prioritised health.

“We need on going investment in the Latrobe Valley, it’s a challenging time and we are still in a pandemic.”

Dr Maxfield praised the Andrews Government’s handling of the pandemic by putting “politics aside and listening to the advice from the medical fraternity.”

She cited the state government’s $217 million investment in the Latrobe Regional Hospital, as well as the Latrobe Valley Authority transition programs, free TAFE and kindergarten.

Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan was in Morwell today supporting the new candidate.

“Kate Maxfield has a really strong connection to the local community, she is born and bred in Gippsland and has supported the community in the most challenging of times,” Ms Allan said.

“We will put on a strong show in Morwell like we do in all the regional seats and will put forward a strong set of policies, programs and projects to the community of Morwell.”