Cathy McGowan says the Nationals have shown a lack of respect during the Indi campaign and need to "keep trying" if they want to win the seat at the election.
Senator Bridget McKenzie and candidate Mark Byatt have instead addressed the media themselves, and talked up the work of the National Party, then alerted the Indi MP afterwards.
Mr Byatt chose to praise Ms McGowan yesterday, saying she had "done a great job in advocating for this region, in particular around blackspot funding".
But she said he missed the point that the blackspot push was a joint effort with members of the Indi Telecommunications Action Group.
"I think Mark's a bit keen to get elected and thinks if he can hop on my coattails he might get a bit of the reflected glory of the work that the community has done," she said.
"I do love a competition and I'm so glad they're out and about because it's been forever since we've had some good National Party competition. But I really think they've got to lift their game a little bit higher because the people of North East Victoria know where these phone towers came from - good work Nats, keep trying."
Ms McGowan said by "playing party politics" and keeping her out of funding announcements, the Nationals had shown a lack of respect to constituents.
"They're trying their best and their best is not nearly good enough," she said.
"I think this way of behaving used to be the way and the people have rejected it.
"Clearly I'm the member of Parliament because the people of North East Victoria wanted better."
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