An aspiring Liberal politician has slammed Opposition Leader Matthew Guy for backing a ban on fracking and the exploration of conventional onshore gas, saying the party was abandoning its values and playing into the hands of One Nation.
Social conservative Stephanie Ross is challenging veteran MP Gary Blackwood for preselection in the safe seat of Narracan.
Last year she courted controversy after it was revealed that she was opposed to abortion even in the cases of rape.
Ahead of the preselection vote on Saturday, Ms Ross has sent an email to Liberal party members saying that parliamentary party renewal was more critical than ever after the Coalition supported Premier Daniel Andrews' legislative ban on fracking and the continued moratorium of conventional onshore gas drilling until 2020.
She warned it would cost hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to the Victorian economy.
"Our failure to stand up for our values has cost us 30 per cent of our primary vote, the resurgence of One Nation and defections from our party," she said.
Her comments follow a commitment from Mr Guy and Mr Blackwood on Friday that an elected Coalition government would rebuild the Warragul hospital.
The pledge was seen by some in the party as evidence of how close the preselection fight might be. There is also concern that Ms Ross and her partner, party recruiter Marcus Bastiaan, are causing instability in the party.
Warragul sits at the heart of Narracan, a seat held by the Liberals by 11.3 per cent.
Some in the party suggested that the announcement of a new hospital should have been saved for an election year to boost the Liberals chances in the upper house.
One senior Liberal source however said Ms Ross was acting like "she is in One Nation".