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February 13, 2018

Nationals' Peter Walsh, Neil Pankhurst and Steph Ryan want the Shepparton community to pick the next Nationals candidate.

Shepparton’s extra bite of the democracy sausage, in the form of the Nationals’ community preselection for this year’s Victorian election, is edging closer.

Nominations are open. It marks the first community preselection in Victoria, where residents will have a say on who stands for the Nationals in November’s election.

Nominations are open until March 9, before the preselection on April 14.

Nationals’ Victorian president Neil Pankhurst said the community preselection was an opportunity for residents to have their say on who would stand for them.

‘‘This is such an exciting opportunity for people from the Shepparton region to play a leading role in the democratic process,’’ Mr Pankhurst said.

‘‘The community preselection is a testament to the Nationals’ tradition as a grassroots party focused on delivering for local communities.’’

Traditionally, the selection of a candidate would be up to local branch members.

Candidates could be known among the Nationals’ hierarchy, but their popularity with the community could be untested before an election.

Voting is open to anyone who lives in the Shepparton electorate and is registered on the electoral roll.

Victorian deputy Nationals leader Steph Ryan last year said the party was the only one in the country to use this process.

‘‘There will be no votes at all from the administrative committee, it is entirely determined by voters in the Shepparton electorate.’’

Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh said Shepparton needed candidates who were prepared to be a strong voice for the region in state parliament and fight for the community’s best interests.

Visit www.sheppartonvotes.com for more information and to nominate.

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