Rod Higgins will try his luck at this year's Victorian election, running as the Labor candidate for the seat of Shepparton.JARROD WHITTAKER April 16, 2014 3:38am
Lawyer and former Federal Labor candidate Rod Higgins will contest the seat of Shepparton for the ALP at this year’s state election.
Mr Higgins was preselected unopposed and will face The Nationals’ Greg Barr at the November 29 poll.
He said he was contesting the poll to fight for a better share of Victorian Government funding.
‘‘It’s the same old story — they’re so entrenched and they’ve got such a large margin they just ignore us,’’ Mr Higgins said.
‘‘You only have to look at the rail situation — we’re crying out for a better service.’’
He said health and education funding were priorities.
Mr Higgins said regional centres situated in marginal seats received a higher share of government funding.
‘‘Federal marginal seats Bendigo, Ballarat, Corangamite — their funding was well above us,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s exactly the same as the state seats.’’
His comments follow an Essential Economics analysis revealing a marked gap in Victorian Government capital funding.
The report found Shepparton had received $42.5
Mr Higgins said the government’s defence that it provided significant funding was a ‘‘complete furphy’’ and other regions shared in the same funding.
Following last year’s boundary redistribution, The Nationals have Shepparton with a margin of 25.9 per cent.
Mr Higgins said the margin was huge, but said the retirement of sitting MP Jeanette Powell helped.
‘‘With a long-serving retiring member, it puts us closer to the Nationals,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll both be starting off in the same boat.’’
Last year’s federal election yielded a 1.3 per cent swing against Labor, but Shepparton booths — where Mr Higgins actively campaigned — recorded a small swing towards the ALP. Mr Higgins said the smaller size of Shepparton made it easier to campaign.
‘‘There were 101 polling places .
This year’s state election is shaping up to be tight, with just one seat separating Victorian Labor and the Victorian Coalition before independent MP Geoff Shaw’s resignation from the Liberal Party.
The most recent Victorian Newspoll had Labor in an election-winning position, with 53-47 of the two-party preferred vote.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
A sophisticated hydroponic cannabis system was discovered by police at the Victoria Hotel last week.
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