The football team of candidates who stood in the federal election of 2019 for Mallee, held by National Party MP Anne Webster, is absent this time around.
Mallee is Victoria's largest electorate covering 83,412 square kilometres or 36.7 per cent of the state and stretching from Edenhope, Horsham, Stawell and Maryborough in the south, to Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang along the Murray River.
This year, the Liberal Party is not standing a candidate.
In 2019 the coalition agreement saw the Liberals run, due to the retirement of the sitting member the National's Andrew Broad, allowing them to field a candidate, along with a wide range of independents and minor party candidates.
But this time around only two independents are standing, and the Labor Party has again chosen Maryborough resident Carole Hart to stand for the seat.
In 2019 Ms Hart gained the third-highest number of votes, behind Dr Webster and Liberal candidate, Melbourne-based lawyer Serge Petrovich.
Once preferences were distributed, she picked up 33.8pc of the vote, as electors trimmed 3.6pc off the National's margin.
The Voices for Mallee (V$M) lobby group has collected voters' expectations of candidates through a series of kitchen table conversations held across the electorate over the past year.
Each moderated conversation recorded the voices of up to ten constituents, in response to six questions.
V4M spokesperson Peta Thorton said voters were concerned about maximising the quality of people's lives in the Mallee, wanting to meet the needs of aged care, addressing widening inequality and retaining skilled workers to fill employment opportunities.
"Health featured prominently with the perception that regional health outcomes are falling well behind those of larger centres," Ms Thorton said.
Another strong theme was dismay at the current lack of integrity and honesty in political representation.
"Politicians are seen to represent the party at the expense of the voters and the impact of political donations, bribes, bullying and bad behaviour are destroying voters' faith in our democracy," she said.
Among other major concerns were education, climate and energy, industry and infrastructure, policy, agriculture and water.
While the seat looks to be a safe win for the Nationals, there are concerns over their representation of farmers interest throughout the area the electorate covers.
One of the independents who stood in 2019, Mildura City councillor Jason Modica, said he felt Labor always had a certain amount of local support, because of the different political climate from the north to the south.
"This is a very different election, on the back of sports rorts and JobKeeper, people are looking at both major parties, to show that they are considering the people again," Mr Modica said.
He said the Mallee had about six different individual communities, with varying interests.
"That's the difficulty for anyone, the National Party have had a monopoly on this seat, but I think they have corporatised behind resources, such as coal and gas," he said.
"The Mallee has missed out on transition to renewable energy."
He said energy, generated in the region, was 'going nowhere', because the electricity grid had not been upgraded.
"There is some interesting dialogue floating around, like what does agriculture look like if we have a 1.5 degree increase in temperature?" he said.
Purchases of large parcels of water had also raised questions about what Australia was doing with its resources.
Add to it the politics being played between the state and federal governments over such projects as the Murray Basin Rail Project and passenger rail, which locals say is overlooked, since it was taken away in 1993..
Lubeck livestock producer Ray Kingston, who also stood as an independent last time round believes workforce issues will be front and centre, in voters' minds.
"My impression is housing, labour shortages and childcare have been significantly elevated in people's focus since 2019," Mr Kingston said.
"I'm not sure if it's coming up, but aged care should - it's heading for a cliff, in the country."
Along with the 'perennial' issues, such as roads, telecommunications and health, integrity was also being raised as an issue.
Former dairy farmer and journalist Sophie Baldwin is one of two independents, from Echuca, is standing this time around; the other independent is Horsham businesswoman Claudia Haenel, with both running on a platform that is free from political-party doctrine and influence.
It's a vast change from 2019, where three independents, alongside candidates from Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party, the Citizens Electoral Council, Rise Up Australia, the Science Party, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, United Australia Party and the Greens all ran against the major parties.
Only the Greens and UAP have opted to stand candidates this time around, although they have been joined by a representative of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party.
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