The federal Liberal Party candidate for Bendigo is confident he can overcome a 9.5 per cent swing to Labor to take the seat at the next election.
Small business owner Greg Bickley was officially endorsed to contest the seat by the Liberal Party last week.
“There’s no seat that’s safe these days,” he said.
“Bendigo is eminently winnable for the Liberal Party.”
Mr Bickley stood for preselection this year for the first time after being a Liberal Party member for 18 years.
He said the decision to stand was not made lightly.
“The time was right for me,” he said. “I have always wanted to contribute to political debate (and) I’m at a stage in my life where I can give it 100 per cent.
“I really want to serve my community.”
Mr Bickley was born in Elmore and has lived in the region his whole life.
He said his life experience and knowledge of the area would help him to better serve the Bendigo electorate.
“I was very fortunate to have had... a strong worth ethic instilled in me from a very young age.
“I have been a labourer, a forklift driver, a truck driver, a salesman, a company director, an employer and an employee.
“I understand the people in the electorate because I have lived and worked with them all my life.
“I think the public want their politicians to have real life experiences and to have been out and worked in the real world.”
Mr Bickley said while specific issues and policies would be identified as his campaign evolved, he was committed to tackling higher cost of living pressures.
Mr Bickley said he planned to run a community-based campaign.
“I think it involves engagement with the community at all levels and conveying... that I understand the issues that (the community) are facing, whether that be the rising cost of living for families or the higher cost of doing business for small businesses.”