Two south-west MPs have been overlooked for Victorian Liberal leadership as the party chose inner-city MPs for leader and deputy leader.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell and Polwarth MP Richard Riordan both put their hands up for deputy leader last week, insisting the Liberals needed a regional voice to stand a chance at the next election. But the Liberal party room elected Melbourne MPs John Pessuto (Hawthorn) and David Southwick (Caulfield) as leader and deputy respectively.
Mr Pessuto won the leadership by a single vote over Berwick MP Brad Battin, who had the backing of Ms Britnell and Mr Riordan.
Ms Britnell said she was "not particularly perturbed" to miss out, and was confident she would be part of the broader leadership team.
"I put myself forward (for deputy) as a woman from the country with skills and experience that I thought would be very valuable. I have every faith that I'll still have a voice," she said.
"Nobody achieves anything on their own, it's all about the team and I know I'll be a big part of that. I think putting myself up for deputy strengthened my voice."
Mr Riordan initially threw his hat in for leader, before pulling out and nominating for deputy, saying it was "important to have a strong regional voice in the leadership".
He said the result was "unfortunate", but "it is what it is, so we need to move forward".
"The challenge now is for John and the new leadership to take the many invites that will be coming their way to visit and take an interest in regional Victoria," he said.
"We don't want them just coming down in the lead up to the next election, we want the Liberal Party to take an interest in the regions for the next four years."
Mr Riordan said he had spoken to Mr Pesutto and given the new leader his full backing. "That doesn't mean we will be sitting quietly. We will make sure we are heard," he said.
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