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Callum Godde

Victorian Liberals pick newcomer for upper house spot

Liberal Richard Welch has been preselected to fill a casual vacancy in Victoria's upper house. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)

The Victorian Liberals have opted for fresh blood to replace a former senior shadow cabinet member in the state's upper house.

Former federal and state election candidate Richard Welch came out on top in Sunday's preselection vote for a casual vacancy in North-Eastern Metropolitan Region after the resignation of Matthew Bach.

Mr Welch beat nine other nominees to win the vacant seat, including former Ripon MP Louise Staley, former Forest Hill MP Neil Angus and former Richmond candidate Lucas Moon.

He comes from a business background and ran as the Liberal's federal candidate for McEwen and state candidate for Yan Yean last year.

Despite losing to Labor incumbent Rob Mitchell, Mr Welch helped propel the Liberals to a two per cent swing in McEwen after preferences.

Victorian Liberal Leader John Pesutto said Mr Welch would be a fantastic addition to the party's parliamentary team.

"I also wish to again thank Matt Bach for his service to the people of Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs over the past four years," the opposition leader said in a statement.

Mr Bach stepped down from shadow cabinet in August after accepting a role in the United Kingdom as an assistant headmaster and teacher.

He was replaced as the party's upper house deputy leader by first-term upper house MP Evan Mulholland, the only nominee for the role.

Mr Bach gave his valedictory speech on Thursday in state parliament, revealing he had once been seen naked by a sitting state Labor MP.

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