Victoria MP Northe to retire from politics

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Long-time Victorian Nationals MP-turned-independent Russell Northe will retire at the upcoming state election after serving 16 years in parliament.

The 56-year-old has held the seat of Morwell in the state's Gippsland region since 2006, when he ended Labor's 36-year stranglehold on the electorate.

He was elected as a Nationals member and elevated to cabinet in the dying days of the state's Napthine government before quitting and moving to the crossbench in 2017 amid personal issues and a dispute over party cash.

A spokeswoman for Mr Northe confirmed to AAP he would not recontest his seat in November, saying the veteran MP was ready to step away to spend more time with his family.

He joins a raft of retiring Victorian parliamentarians, including former Nationals deputy Steph Ryan, ex-deputy premier James Merlino and former Liberal minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.

His departure sets the scene for a major election stoush over his marginal seat, which he held from Labor by 1.84 per cent in 2018.

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