AFTER months of uncertainty, the long-awaited preselection ballot for the seat of Throsby has been called, with incumbent MP Stephen Jones declaring, "I will win it".
The traditionally safe Labor seat was one of just two in NSW without an endorsed Labor candidate for the September 14 federal election.
Labor officials made the announcement last Friday.
Nominations to be preselected by a rank-and-file ballot opened on Monday and will close on May 20.
Mr Jones will face a challenge from Wollongong nurse John Rumble.
Mr Jones comes from the party's left faction and Mr Rumble, who could not be reached for comment but is confirmed to stand, is from its right.
Mr Jones, who was parachuted into the Throsby seat in 2007, has been calling for a rank-and-file ballot to occur since late last year.
Mr Rumble narrowly missed winning preselection in Shellharbour in 2011.
The preselection ballot will take place on June 15.
"It should have been done 12 months ago; it's ridiculous that it's been left this late in the piece," Mr Jones said.
"I will win it, and then I'll go on to campaign for the seat.
"I've been working hard for the last two-and-a-half years and want the opportunity to do it for another three."
Rose Tattoo singer Gary 'Angry' Anderson will make a bid to enter federal parliament after being selected by the Nationals to contest Throsby.
The Liberals have preselected Larissa Mallinson in the seat.
Shellharbour councillor Peter Moran is the Greens' candidate.
Wayne Hartman will also be running in Throsby as the candidate for the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting).
Mr Jones commented on Mr Anderson standing in the seat.
"When he moves from the northern beaches of Sydney down to the Illawarra, I look forward to having a serious policy debate with him," Mr Jones said.
"I've never met the guy, I don't know him personally.
"But you know, I think it's kind of interesting that Tony Abbott has picked somebody that is one of his neighbours up in the northern beaches of Sydney, to run for the National Party candidate in the seat."
Asked whether voters disenfranchised with the major parties may welcome a high-profile candidate as an alternative, Mr Jones said people were looking for somebody who was able to deal with their issues.
"If you want a 1980's rock star then clearly… He's better at being a 1980s rock star than I am," he said.
"But if you want somebody who's seriously able to represent the interests of the region and be able to credibly take those issues up in Canberra then I'm the guy."
A comment was sought from NSW Labor secretary Sam Dastyari.