Steve Martin was flanked by Liberal colleagues from Albury on Wednesday when he stepped out in Wodonga to confirm the party had endorsed him as the next candidate for Indi.
“We’ve got a really positive, local, issues-based agenda and hopefully present a really compelling option to the people of Indi,” he said.
“It’s not going to be easy and I’d be crazy if I thought it’s not going to be a challenge.
“I’m up for the challenge, I want to be that advocate in the government for the issues that are important.”
Mr Martin will kick off his campaign in mid-January by visiting 50 towns in 50 days across Indi, which he said would help with develop his agenda.
He would not be drawn on the possibility of Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie running against him, nor how he would differ from Liberal predecessor Sophie Mirabella.
“I don’t think I’m going to provide commentary on the past, I’m certainly looking to the future. I’m my own person and the Liberal values really resonate with me - things about freedom, enterprise and reward for effort,” he said.
“I’ll take advice from everybody, I met with Cathy two days ago and asked for advice as well. I think wisdom has many advisors.”
Policy points from Mr Martin will include protecting self-funded retirees and tackling rising energy prices, but he would not say if that should involve renewable energy, coal or another power source.
“I’m not driven by ideology, I want to make the decisions based on the facts,” he said.
Farrer MP Sussan Ley and NSW candidate for Albury Justin Clancy backed the decision to select Mr Martin.
“With his wife who works in health and will his young family, he’s someone who’s chosen to come back to the region and be part of its future,” Ms Ley said.
“I see the Liberal brand as strong, I know that we have copped it and rightly so for the some of the things that have happened in Canberra.
“Steve wasn’t part of any of that, he’s representing the future.”
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