A MELBOURNE resident with strong family ties to the Yarrawonga area has belatedly given Labor a contender in Ovens Valley for the state election.
Kate Doyle, who was born and raised at Burramine, has been hand-picked as the party’s candidate to take on National Party incumbent Tim McCurdy.
The election will be held in less than a month with the education department employee’s entry into the contest coming on the same day Labor officially launched its re-election campaign in Melbourne.
In the absence of a candidate, campaigning in Ovens Valley had largely had been left to Upper House MP Jaclyn Symes with her most recent appearance being in her hometown of Benalla last Friday for a $500,000 funding pledge for new footy changerooms for male and female players.
Four years ago, Melbourne-based party staffer, Gail Cholosznecki, was announced as the Ovens Valley candidate about three months before the election.
She was hardly sighted in the electorate in the campaign, but still managed to attract 22 per cent of the primary vote.
Ms Doyle, who confirmed she had only recently become a paid up Labor member, said she would have a different approach.
“My mum lives in Yarrawonga, I’ve got three brothers living up here, so I will probably be up here three days a week until the end of the campaign,” she said.
Ms Doyle was educated at the former Burramine South Primary School, Yarrawonga Sacred Heart Secondary School and Galen College in Wangaratta where party leader Daniel Andrews also went to school.
One of her teachers was Indi MP Cathy McGowan.
Despite Mr McCurdy’s stranglehold on Ovens Valley the Labor candidate believes the seat is still winnable.
“Things don’t always have to stay the same,” she said.
“Demographics are changing, the area is growing and although farming remains crucial, it is not the only thing with tourism and hospitality.
“I don’t know whether the current MP is offering the present demographic what they need.”
Ms Doyle said she would “refer to the experts” on the preferred route for a replacement bridge over Lake Mulwala even though Labor is backing the grey route.
“There are so many things to take into account,” she said.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here