Foes promise a 'good clean fight'

VOTERS in the Kiama electorate can look forward to a 13-month election campaign with both Liberal and Labor candidates now endorsed.

On the weekend the ALP endorsed Gerroa barrister and father of two Glenn Kolomeitz, 46, as the Labor candidate at the State election in March next year.

The sitting MP, Gareth Ward, was endorsed unopposed as the Liberal Party's candidate last November.

Mr Kolomeitz, a former Army and police officer, was officially endorsed after he was the only person to nominate when nominations closed on Friday.

"It will be a hard fight for us, but it won't be easy for the other side either," Mr Kolomeitz said.

"The Liberal Party have had a couple years of permanent campaigning, but I am coming in with the strong support of members down here. It will be a clean fight, I play the ball not the man."

In 2007, former Labor MP Matt Brown retained Kiama with more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.

Mr Brown entered the 2011 election with a margin of 12 per cent, but a 19.4 per cent swing against Labor meant Kiama became a Liberal seat for the first time.

The seat's boundaries will shift south of the Shoalhaven River for the 2015 election.

Mr Kolomeitz, an ALP member for the past 11 years, said health will be an issue in Kiama, as will housing and education.

"Trade education is a big issue down here. We need to generate trade skills and TAFEs are a fundamental part of that and they have been damaged by the Liberal government," he said.

Mr Kolomeitz said he expected the Liberal Party would focus on roads, in particular the Princes Highway upgrade. However, Mr Kolomeitz referenced Paul Keating when he said "Labor builds a wall, the Liberals come along and put a brick on top and claim it as their wall".

"Matt Brown did the hard yards through the planning process on the highway," he said.

Mr Ward said he welcomed all-comers.

"This forthcoming election gives residents the opportunity to judge me on my record, such as the $900 million secured for the future of the Princes Highway including the Berry bypass," Mr Ward said.

"We have also made important investments in local hospitals, schools and transport facilities.

"So far I have secured record investment of around $1.5 billion since becoming the Member for Kiama.

"Having grown up, lived and worked in the electorate my entire life, I am passionate about having a strong representative in State Parliament.

"I believe we have done a lot, but there is a lot more to do."

Mr Ward said he was delighted his Labor opponent had said he wants to have a clean campaign.

"He will get no arguments from me on that front," he said.

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