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  • Rikki Lambert

Benham in the box seat to claim Mildura from Cupper

The Victorian Nationals look to have repatriated Mildura and two other regional seats from independents at Saturday's state election.

Ms Benham told Flow on Monday she looked forward to taking up causes such as health care and roads on Spring Street if the result was confirmed in her favour:

"Holding the government to account with regard to regional and rural health care is obviously the biggest priority for community members right throughout this huge electorate.
"Road maintenance budgets have been cut year after year by the Andrews Labor government and they are crumbling before our eyes. It's not a new issue due to the floods, it's been happening for years now.
"Regional areas were so disgruntled with Daniel Andrews and the government over the course of COVID and the quality of candidates the Nationals put up ... we're people running businesses, raising families just like our next-door-neighbours or the people up the road or the people at the fish-and-chip shop. That's what's resonated so well for people in this election."

Hear the full interview with member-apparent Jade Benham on the Flow podcast player below:

Independent Ali Cupper in Mildura all but conceded defeat in a statement issued on Sunday, saying it looked like the votes were flowing to the Nationals. On election night, Ms Cupper shared this video painting a negative picture of her prospects and issued a statement on Sunday saying:

"The count is not complete, but the trend suggests the Mildura electorate has made the decision to return to the big parties.
"When an official outcome is announced by the VEC, I will make a formal statement."

Nationals federal leader David Littleproud called the win for Benham as well as Morwell for Martin Cameron, Shepparton for Kim O'Keefe and - despite only a quarter of votes being counted - a Northern Victoria upper house seat for Gaelle Broad.

"The Victorian election outcome is a hugely successful result for the Nationals.
"The result is ... due to the fact our candidates are heavily involved in their local communities and worked incredibly hard, with grassroot campaigns."

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