State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has told The Guardian she will again run for the seat in November’s Victorian election, while Cheryl Hammer has been confirmed as the Liberal party candidate.
Ms Sheed secured the electorate in 2014, in a seat that had been held by the Nationals for 47 years.
Focusing on transport, health and education, Ms Sheed said she had unfinished business and looked forward to continuing to represent the needs of the Shepparton district.
‘‘Momentum is building. We’re seeing progress on rail, the first stage of our hospital redevelopment is under way, we have the government’s support for a fundamental transformation of our secondary school system and the community’s concerns about farmers’ access to water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan are being heard by key decision makers,’’ Ms Sheed said.
‘‘It has been a fantastic first term in Parliament, so much has been achieved, but there is so much more to be done.’’
Ms Sheed said she believed she had received positive feedback for what she had achieved for the region during the past four years, but that a lot of work was ahead of her to remain in the ‘‘hotly-contested’’ seat.
‘‘It’s very hard to say (if I’ll remain), and I have to acknowledge that this was always going to be hotly contested with the Nationals and Liberals running against me and preferencing each other, I don’t doubt it’ll be tough,’’ she said.
‘‘But I feel I have quite a lot of unfinished business in terms of the agenda that our community set when I took the seat, and I want to go on to deliver a lot more of those projects that I’ve been working on so hard.’’
Confirmed to be up against Ms Sheed is Liberal party candidate Cheryl Hammer, who is a Shepparton businesswoman and community advocate.
In addition to running her own business, Ms Hammer works as the executive officer for the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, and was previously the chief executive of the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
She will be the first Liberal candidate to contest Shepparton since 2006.
‘‘I am very excited about the prospect of representing the people of Shepparton and believe my background in the media and strong communication skills will enable me to be a strong advocate in and out of Parliament,’’ Ms Hammer said.
‘‘I grew up here and I want to deliver for the community.
‘‘Our region needs a strong voice and I want to be that strong voice in a Matthew Guy-led Liberal government.’’
A candidate has not yet been determined by the Labor party, and the first candidate to nominate for pre-selection for the Nationals is Dookie man Peter Shields.
- Rhiannon Tuffield