Albanese defends Labor's candidate picks

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Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has declared he is picking candidates for a long-term Labor government as he defended pre-selection decisions.

Doctor and Wiradjuri man Gordon Reid was on Monday announced as Labor's candidate for the NSW Central Coast seat of Robertson.

Dr Reid will take on Liberal MP Lucy Wicks, who increased her margin to about 4.2 per cent at the 2019 federal election.

Robertson is considered a bellwether electorate, having been held by the party in government since 1983.

Mr Albanese said he was overwhelmed with the quality of candidates coming forward.

"I'm very confident that not only will we have a Labor government with a vision for the future, we'll have a team coming through making us a long-term Labor government," he told reporters on the Central Coast.

Mr Albanese has been criticised for "captain's pick" pre-selections after former NSW premier Kristina Keneally was parachuted into a safe southwest Sydney seat.

Daniel Repacholi - who has represented Australia in shooting at five Olympics - will run in Hunter after Mr Albanese backed his pre-selection without a rank-and-file member ballot.

Veteran MP Joel Fitzgibbon, whose margin was cut to three per cent at the 2019 poll, is vacating the coal-mining seat at the next federal election.

Mr Repacholi came under fire for old social media posts that described India as a "s***hole" and suggested people against coal mining should sit in the dark and freeze.

The coal miner and former union delegate apologised unreservedly for the India post, made after he returned from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"I'm very confident that Mr Repacholi will be successful at the next election," Mr Albanese said.

"He's someone that has been a union delegate, he's someone who knows what it's like to do it tough, he's someone who has been a strong advocate for the rights of working people."

The Labor leader signalled more candidates would be locked in this week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has consistently said voters would go to the polls next year, with May 21 the last possible date for a regular election.

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