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Future Geelong speech

It is an extraordinary honour to represent my home in the Australian Parliament.

As someone who was born and raised in Geelong, spending summers on the Bellarine, I am so proud to advocate for our region and support our community realise its aspirations.

Since being elected in 2013, so much has been achieved, but there is so much more to do. I am up for the fight.

Thank you to the Geelong Advertiser for leading this important discussion on the future of our great city and region.

Together, I’ve been very proud to deliver on behalf of the Coalition major investments to support our growth and ensure we are the best place to live, work and raise a family – the Waurn Ponds to South Geelong rail upgrade and Barwon Heads Road Stage 1, both 80% funded by the Commonwealth; the Avalon international terminal, the Geelong City Deal, upgrades to dozens of community facilities and record investments in essential services.

Projects such as the North Bellarine Aquatic Centre and the game-changing Howitzer defence project would never have happened without the Liberal Party’s determination to stand up for our region.

So often in politics, MPs only publicly fight for projects they know will be delivered. It takes courage to advocate for the investments we need – whether it be major roads or rail or defence contracts – when nothing is assured.

That means that, sometimes, not every fight is won – like the terrible decision to close Epworth’s maternity unit when local Labor MPs went missing in action. Putting our community first means being prepared to really fight.

My mother Ann, who drove the transformation of the Geelong waterfront in the 1990s, showed me what can be done with determination and vision.

Regrettably, we are seeing the state government delay a number of critical projects like the Geelong convention centre and the Barwon women and children’s hospital facility that the Coalition helped fund – other projects so important for our future such as the Geelong Art Gallery redevelopment and the Bellarine Link Road have been pushed into the never never.

Consider the state’s failure to re-route city buses which is stopping further construction of the Green Spine – another example of why a long- term local planning body is desperately needed.

As a Geelong-based senator and as Shadow Minister for Education, I want to see our city reach for the stars – such as urgently getting on with a state-of-the-art dual rail tunnel between South Geelong and Geelong, and CBD subway.
I look forward to working with you to take the Geelong region from strength to strength. Thank you.

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