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Nationals reeling as Liberals contest seat of Euroa

The Nationals are at a loss as to why the Liberals are running a candidate against them in the seat of Euroa.

LIBBY PRICE June 25, 2014 3:19am

The National Party leadership is at a loss to explain why the Liberal Party has broken a Coalition agreement not to stand candidates against each other by announcing it will run a Liberal candidate in the new electorate of Euroa in November’s state election.

Benalla physiotherapist Tony Schneider has emerged as the likely candidate for the Liberals. Mr Schneider is the current president of the Benalla branch of the Liberal Party.

Nationals leader and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said he had not been consulted about the three-cornered contest and was deeply disappointed with the Liberal Party.

‘‘We (the Nationals) didn’t even discuss standing a candidate at Eildon against the Liberals’ Cindy McLeish. You have an agreement. Good friends have disagreements, but this is nonsensical,’’ Mr Ryan said.

In 2008 Mr Ryan made a Coalition agreement with then Liberal leader Ted Baillieu which included not standing candidates against each other in three-cornered contests unless otherwise agreed.

This will pit the Liberal candidate against the Nationals’ 28-year-old Steph Ryan, a former journalist and adviser to Agriculture and Water Minister Peter Walsh. She also worked as an adviser to Nationals leader Peter Ryan and former premier Ted Baillieu.

 

For full story see this week’s Ensign.

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