THE Nationals have less than a fortnight to field a candidate in the Division of Bendigo.
Midday on Tuesday, April 23 is the latest a candidate can nominate.
The party, which considers itself a 'strong voice for regional Australia', advised it was seeking nominations to contest the Division of Bendigo in late January.
But only two Nationals candidates have so far been announced in Victoria - Anne Webster in the Mallee, and Mark Byatt in Indi.
The Greens, the Liberals, Labor and Pauline Hanson's One Nation have all fielded candidates for Bendigo.
Labor's Lisa Chesters will be striving for a third term as Member for Bendigo.
Bendigo chartered engineer Sam Gayed is running for the Liberal Party.
Doctor Robert Holian is contesting the seat for the Greens.
Small business owner Vaughan Williams is running for Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
Australians will go to the polls on May 18.
"I am ready for an election," Ms Chesters said.
"This election is a choice between a Fair Go for Bendigo with Labor, or more cuts and chaos with the Liberals.
"It's a choice between better local schools and hospitals, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town."
She said Labor had a plan to fix schools and hospitals, ease pressure on family budgets, stand up for workers, invest in cheaper and cleaner energy, and build a strong economy.
"I want central Victoria to be a strong, connected community with great schools, secure jobs people can count on, and thriving local businesses," Ms Chesters said.
Mr Gayed said the existing government had a lot in store for the regions, with $200 million for community projects, $2 billion for regional roads and training hubs to combat youth unemployment.
"I think I have a good chance to win," he said.
"The promises of a few thousand dollars here and there by other parties are not enough."
He said the Bendigo region had great potential which had yet to be realised.
"I will advocate for large-scale projects which we can find in other regions but not in Bendigo, and I will think big for our region."
While Mr Gayed believed the economy would be front-of-mind for voters, Dr Holian expected climate to be a pressing issue.
"Who we vote into parliament now will have ramifications for decades to come, and this is a pivotal point in Australian history," Dr Holian said.
"What I'm hearing from members of the community is that the time for lip service on climate change is over, and that now is the time to act decisively to limit our emissions and create a sustainable society."
He said many of the people he'd spoken to were also worried about service provision in areas such as healthcare, education, and NDIS funding.
"There is an undertone of contempt and disgust for our current government in the air, mainly because they seem more interested in giving tax cuts to their rich mates, rather than improving the lives of everyday people," Dr Holian said.
"I think my chances of turning Bendigo Green this election are better than they've ever been."
He said the seat encompassed some of the most progressive towns in regional Victoria.
"There's no reason why I couldn't be the first rural federal Greens MP elected to parliament," Dr Holian said.
Both the Nationals and Mr Williams were contacted for comment.
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