Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese has named a mine worker as the party's candidate for the seat of Dawson in a highly strategic move months out from the federal election.

Former state election candidate and father-of-three Shane Hamilton will contest Dawson for Labor after he failed to unseat Mirani MP Stephen Andrew at last year's state election.

The party is eyeing to pick up the seat after Dawson MP George Christensen announced his shock retirement last month, with Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson quoted as saying the decision meant the seat was in play for both major parties.

Mr Hamilton's candidacy will be announced at Mackay's Resources Centre of Excellence in the heart of coal country, with the party seeking to claw back its traditional voter base after Labor's drubbing at the last federal election.

Anthony Albanese Leader of the Opposition on stage at the Labour Day March, Brisbane. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Anthony Albanese Leader of the Opposition on stage at the Labour Day March, Brisbane. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Mr Albanese said the coal mining maintenance project manager was the ideal candidate to represent the people of Dawson.

"The people of Dawson deserve someone who will stand up to Canberra when it comes to secure work in the region, and stand up for better health care and education," he said.

"Shane truly understands the needs of the region.

"Dawson deserves someone who spends less time creating more controversy and serving self interest, and more time in the electorate, talking to people and taking their issues to Canberra."

Labor federal election candidate for Dawson, Shane Hamilton. Picture: supplied
Labor federal election candidate for Dawson, Shane Hamilton. Picture: supplied

Mr Hamilton is a third-generation local, having grown up on cane farms and cattle stations.

With a schoolteacher wife and three children, Mr Hamilton said he was passionate about education, health services in the regions and local jobs.

The mine worker was considered the most likely to throw his hat in the ring as Labor's candidate for Dawson after he produced promising results as a first-time candidate for Mirani in the state election race.

Mr Hamilton achieved more first preference votes than Mirani MP Stephen Andrew, with 32 per cent of the vote compared to 31.7 per cent.

Mr Andrew came out well ahead after preferences were distributed, but suffered a 0.4 per cent swing, decreasing his margin to 4.2 per cent.

Subscriber benefits:

How to activate your free Courier-Mail subscription

How to get Daily Mercury news straight to your inbox

Your dose of Harry Bruce cartoons



Students immerse in culture at Yallarm camp

Premium Content Students immerse in culture at Yallarm camp

Students got to build a raft on the Boyne River, participate in activities on...

GPC grows empire with new Bundaberg marine base

Premium Content GPC grows empire with new Bundaberg marine base

The new marine base is expected to provide a number of services including...