More candidates nominate

MORE candidates will contest for local state electorates on November 29 than in the 2010 election.

Six candidates will contest Gippsland South, currently held by Deputy Premier and MP since 1992 Peter Ryan. At the 2010 election, there were only four candidates.

Gippsland East will have eight candidates, compared to the six in 2010. The incumbent member is Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tim Bull, who was elected to parliament four years ago.

Gippsland South takes in the southern half of Wellington Shire, including Sale and Rosedale, while the north of the shire, including Maffra, Heyfield and Stratford, is in Gippsland East.

Both are safely held by the Nationals, with margins of more than 20 per cent.

Taking on Mr Ryan in Gippsland South are Labor candidate Lynn Psaila, former Wellington Shire councillor Ian Onley for the Greens, Deb Meester for the Country Alliance, Rise Up Australia’s Patrick Winterton and independent Phil Piper.

Despite publicly stating his intention to stand, author David Arnault did not nominate.

Mr Winterton drew the top spot on the ballot paper during the draw on Friday, Mr Onley is on the bottom with Mr Ryan one position above.

Looking to defeat Mr Bull in Gippsland East are Kate Maxfield for Labor, the Greens’ Scott Campbell-Smith, who ran for the party in last year’s federal election, David Hutchison for the Country Alliance, Jenny Jack for Rise Up and independents Peter Gardner, Leigh McDonald and Peter McKenzie.

Drawing the top position on the ballot paper was Mr Hutchison ahead of Mr Campbell-Smith. Mr Bull drew sixth position with Mr McKenzie on the bottom.

Cowwarr is in the Morwell electorate, which is likely to be a closer contest with Nationals incumbent Russell Northe against Labor’s Jadon Mintern. The Greens’ Dan Caffrey, Stewart Birkett for the Country Alliance, Rise Up’s Peter Dorian and independents Tracie Lund and Jacqueline Rose have also nominated.

Forty-six candidates will vie for the five seats in the Eastern Victoria upper house region, which stretches from the Mornington Peninsula across Gippsland to the New South Wales border.

Most of the candidates are running for one of 16 parties, with four independent candidates.

Only three of the incumbent Eastern Victoria MLCs are contesting the election, Liberals Edward O’Donodue and Andrew Ronalds, and Danny O’Brien for the Nationals. The latter two only entered office in the past 12 months after the retirements of Philip Davis and Peter Hall.

Labor members Matt Viney and Johan Scheffer have also retired from parliament, with Harriet Shing and Daniel Mulino favoured to fill their places for the party.

Early voting began yesterday. Early voting centres are located at 348 Raymond St, Sale; 231-233 Main St, Bairnsdale, and 23 Hazelwood Rd, Morwell.

Candidates (in order on the ballot paper):

1. Patrick Winterton (Rise Up Australia)

2. Lynn Psaila (Labor)

3. Phil Piper (independent)

4. Deb Meester (Country Alliance)

5. Peter Ryan (Nationals) incumbent

6. Ian Onley (Greens)

1. David Hutchison (Country Alliance)

2. Scott Campbell-Smith (Greens)

3. Jenny Jack (Rise Up Australia)

4. Kate Maxfield (Labor)

5. Peter Gardner (independent)

6. Tim Bull (Nationals) incumbent

7. Leigh McDonald (independent)

8. Peter McKenzie (independent)