A campaign that could potentially see major Victorian regional towns break away from the state dubbed “Rexit” will kick off in Wodonga this week.

Ballarat, Bendigo, Mildura, Wodonga and Shepparton would be included in the “super state”, with Albury, Bathurst, Griffith, Orange and Wagga Wagga joining them.

The idea was first brought forward by Liberal Democrats MP Tim Quilty in 2018, and in December he published the proposal after requesting “independent advice” about “economic character” of a new state.

“The COVID pandemic has shone a very bright and very unfavourable light on our treatment,” Quilty told NCA NewsWire.

“All of these locations are border regions, a long way from Dan Andrews’ focus on Melbourne, and they have all been subject to the destruction of border closures, snap lockdowns and unnecessary COVID restrictions.

“We have not needed these restrictions, the Premier conceded it was easier to lock down the whole state rather than just Melbourne, and we are paying a heavy price for his lazy shortcuts.

“I hope my efforts to demonstrate the benefits of forming our own state will be complemented by Mr Andrews’ outstanding work in alienating and insulting 1.6 million regional Victorians.”