25 November 2018

”Community First” listening tour to be held across Corangamite

congratulate Premier Daniel Andrews and his Labor team on their re-election.
The loss of Andrew Katos in South Barwon, who was a first class local MP, is a terrible blow. I am very pleased to see Richard Riordan, the Member for Polwarth, re-elected with a strong primary vote. I congratulate the Member for Western Victoria, Bev McArthur, on her election. Matthew Guy and his Liberal team including Bellarine candidate Brian McKiterick and Geelong candidate Freya Fidge worked incredibly hard. 
While the Victorian election was fought predominantly on state issues, voters continue to send us a clear message – focus on our issues and concerns, not yourselves.  I will be re-doubling my efforts to reach out to every local community, listen to concerns and take appropriate action wherever possible.
In the coming weeks and months, I will be conducting a “Community First” listening tour across all parts of the Corangamite electorate.  Across such a large regional electorate, I have always taken the approach that every community matters. The schedule of dates will be announced shortly.
Locally, I have led the charge in delivering, on behalf of the Morrison Government, many major investments in local jobs, roads, rail, Avalon Airport, community infrastructure and a $154 million City Deal.  I have fought hard on many issues which matter to local communities.  I have never taken anything for granted.  I face a very big fight to hold the seat and I will continue to work extremely hard to stand up and deliver for the people of Corangamite.
My Labor opponent Libby Coker has a very poor record of putting the community ahead of her own self-interest. As a Surf Coast Shire councillor, she has failed to support a Surf Coast aquatic centre and has allowed Torquay to be over-run by development without appropriate infrastructure. She has been such a poor representative for her community that she initially supported the destruction of the Anglesea bike park on its current site and won’t even back the community over Alcoa’s refusal to remove its chimney stack. And when Libby Coker had the chance to endorse our City Deal, she turned her back on directly investing one dollar into the Corangamite electorate. 
I will continue to hold State Labor to account over its record of delivery which, frankly, has not been good across our region.  In four years, Labor has not fixed our trains and many road upgrades it promised which our Government helped fund, such as the Apollo Bay Forrest Road safety upgrade, have not been delivered.  It has taken Labor four years to start construction on the Drysdale bypass. Labor has turned its back on some local primary schools such as Bellaire PS and Winchelsea PS.  I also raise concerns about future funding for the Great Ocean Road which Darren Cheeseman vehmently opposed when he was previously in Parliament.
Currently in Victoria, unemployment is just 4.8 per cent. The Federal Liberals have delivered the stronger economy which Victoria needs in order to drive record jobs growth, make record infrastructure spending, provide the essential services we need and keep Australians safe. We are working very hard to put Australians first. 
At polling booths on Saturday, many people raised their concerns with me about the prospect of a Bill Shorten Labor government which would send our nation backwards.  There was particularly anxiety about the unfairness of the retiree tax which would hit self-funded retirees and some pensioners very hard, costing on average $2,200 per annum.
In Parliament today, Labor’s arrogance was on full display. Corio MP Richard Marles could not wipe the smirk off his face.  But one thing is for sure – Australians hate arrogance.
Updated 26 November 2018