Matthew Guy wants to be Victoria's next premier and less than two weeks from election day is standing strong on a controversial discrimination issue that has divided the nation.
If the Liberal leader wins the top job on November 26 he promises to amend the state's Equal Opportunity Act.
Victorian religious groups and schools were outlawed from hiring or firing workers based on certain characteristics, including gender identity, sexual orientation and marital status, from June under Labor-initiated legislative changes.
The coalition intends to wind the laws back, paving the way for faith-based groups to only employ people who share their values.
In a wide-ranging sit-down interview, the aspiring premier was quizzed by AAP on his plans.
Asked if the policy was worth possibly angering left-leaning voters in key seats, Mr Guy was adamant it had nothing to do with being progressive or conservative.
"It's got everything to do with discrimination. You don't end discrimination by creating new discrimination," he said at his electorate office in Melbourne's northeast.
"Newly discriminating against faith communities that just want to keep their schools as they have been for the last 50 or 60 years, I think it is terrible.
"They're not asking to discriminate against anyone."
The election pledge was communicated to the Islamic Council of Victoria and the public via flyers last month.
Mr Guy acknowledges Victoria still has issues to resolve on LGBTQI discrimination but argues the matters are separate.
"Faith-based schools should not be punished for the behaviours of others," he said.
In the lead-up to election day, a pall has been cast over the campaign after revelations Mr Andrews and Labor are the subject of another anti-corruption commission probe.
A cloud simultaneously hangs over Mr Guy after his former chief of staff Mitch Catlin asked a billionaire Liberal donor to make more than $100,000 in payments to his private marketing company.
A contract for the proposed arrangement was sent to Mr Guy's personal email address, but he has categorically denied it was signed or agreed.
He claims the Victorian Electoral Commission's probe is not looking into illegality and trusts voters can differentiate the seriousness of the Liberals and Labor investigations.
"They're just looking at a process issue. A process issue is very different to four or five anti-corruption investigations, which do look at illegality."
Mr Guy has pledged to allow the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission to hold more public hearings if he becomes premier and to consult the incoming commissioner on how to legislate the change.
Labor has tried to skewer Mr Guy, 48, over his support for the 1990s privatisation of Victoria's energy network after previously saying Victoria "did well" out of it.
He doesn't resile from his comments.
Mr Guy's family members worked at Latrobe Valley coal-fired power stations and he slammed Labor's signature election policy to resurrect the State Electricity Commission.
He described the plan as a "con", disputing Labor's figures the SEC's management of $1 billion in majority public-owned renewable energy projects would create 59,000 jobs.
"He's (Andrews) talking about wind turbines which have 40 people erect them and two people to run them," Mr Guy said.
"That's very different to Yallourn W when it was first created, which literally had a workforce of close to 2000 people."
Recent polls indicate the election race is tightening, although the Andrews government is poised to secure a third successive term in office.
Mr Guy needs 18 seats to form government outright and make good on his high school ambition to be premier.
"It's like climbing Mount Everest," he said.
"But we're certainly going up that mountain. We're going to get to the top."