Vic Liberal party boss moves to Canberra

Angus Livingston
Victorian Liberal Director Simon Frost is heading to Canberra to work for the federal government.

The man who oversaw the Victorian Liberals' successful 2016 federal election campaign is quitting his job as state director to work for the Turnbull government.

Simon Frost took over as Victorian state director from disgraced former boss Damien Mantach, who was in 2016 jailed for two years for stealing $1.5 million from party coffers.

Mr Frost managed the Liberals' trial of targeted campaigning in the federal seat of Deakin in 2016, which led the Liberals to make gains and retain a marginal seat against the national swing.

Victoria was also the only place where Bill Shorten's Labor Party lost a lower house seat, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull latched onto a local controversy about a pay deal for firefighters.

It's understood Mr Frost will work in campaigning in Canberra, trying to improve the coalition's "ground game" against well-organised unions and interest groups.

He will remain in place until a new director is appointed, but the battle over his replacement could be fierce due to Victorian party infighting.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy publicly backed former federal minister Peter Reith in his bid to replace state president Michael Kroger, only for Mr Reith to suffer a stroke just before the last federal election.

The party's fundraising arm - the Cormack Foundation - is also refusing to hand over $1.5 million it usually pledges each year to run party administration in protest of Mr Kroger.

The new state director will be chosen by Mr Kroger and the administration committee, with input from Mr Guy.