Battle lines have been drawn as the Labor and Liberal parties prepare to fight for one of the most marginal seats in the state next year.
Beaufort’s Sarah De Santis was announced as the Labor candidate who will challenge incumbent Liberal MP Louise Staley for the central Victoria seat.
Ms De Santis has owned property in Beaufort since last year and said there had been missed opportunities for the electorate since Ms Staley was elected.
“I was disappointed in 2014 that Labor lost the seat and even more disappointed by the missed opportunities that have taken place under the leadership of Louise Staley,” she said.
“There are opportunities for growth of infrastructure, particularly in the renewable sector. I haven’t seen the member out and about a lot and there has been a lot of negativity from the member.”
Ms De Santis defeated fellow Labor contenders Kate Astbury and Maurice Billi to win her nomination.
The electorate includes Ararat, Beaufort, Maryborough, Stawell and Donald.
Ms Staley won the seat by just 0.75 per cent from Labor after preferences, making it one of the most marginal seats in the state and key battleground at the 2018 election.