Nats mull tilt at Indi

The West Australian - - NEWS -

Deputy Fed­eral Na­tion­als leader Brid­get McKen­zie is be­ing urged to have a crack at seiz­ing the ru­ral Vic­to­rian seat of Indi af­ter high-pro­file in­de­pen­dent MP Cathy McGowan con­firmed she would re­tire at this year’s Fed­eral elec­tion.

Ms McGowan, 65, won the seat from the Lib­er­als’ So­phie Mirabella in 2013 and holds it by a mar­gin of 4.1 per cent.

Ms McGowan yes­ter­day nom­i­nated nurse and pub­lic health re­searcher He­len Haines as her suc­ces­sor, declar­ing it time to “pass on the ba­ton”.

But Ms Haines could be fac­ing an up­hill bat­tle to hold on to the elec­torate, with a three-way con­test brew­ing.

The Lib­eral Party has pre­s­e­lected Wodonga en­gi­neer Steve Mar­tin as its can­di­date, while there is spec­u­la­tion that Sen­a­tor McKen­zie may at­tempt to make a switch to the Lower House.

Sen­a­tor McKen­zie wished Ms McGowan well in life af­ter pol­i­tics. “From one re­gional par­lia­men­tar­ian to an­other, I would like to recog­nise Cathy’s ser­vice to the north-east of Vic­to­ria,” she said. Phoebe Wearne

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