IT may have taken 10 years of lobbying, but Mornington MP David Morris is pleased the state budget included a commitment to rebuild Mornington Special Development School.
“In a welcome departure from its usual habit of ignoring the Mornington electorate in the state budget, the Victorian government has finally funded two desperately needed local projects,” Morris said.
He said the government had committed to spending “at least $6.769 million” but warned the project was no expected to be completed until December 2025.
“Students, parents and teachers shouldn’t be expecting immediate action as only a fraction of the money allocated to the program will be spent in the next financial year,” he said.
“Despite the likely delay I am delighted the government has finally seen sense. For too long this school has had to make do with sub-standard temporary accommodation, and no guarantee that the school would even remain on the current site.”
The May budget will be the last one for Morris to comment on as Mornington MP as he has been forced to retire from parliament after the Liberal party chose Chris Crewther as its candidate in the November election.
First elected in 2006, Morris was re-elected at the following three elections. Crewther served one term for the Liberals in the federal seat of Dunkley but was defeated in 2019 by Labor’s Peta Murphy.
Morris said this year’s budget also included an undisclosed amount for “critical works” to the Fisherman’s Jetty near Mornington pier which had been “temporarily closed” since 2020.
“… Whether there will be enough money to actually re-open the jetty, or even when the works will be undertaken, remains uncertain. In spite of these misgivings, I am pleased the government has finally responded to my repeated calls for action,” he said.
Morris said the “small wins” were overdue, but outstanding issues included:
Action to fix congestion on Bungower and Mornington-Tyabb roads at Mornington.
Safety works at the intersections of Forest Drive and Uralla Road with Nepean Highway, Mount Martha.
“Investment” in Mornington Park Primary School and Mount Eliza Secondary College.
Money to back Mornington Peninsula Shire’s commitment to the Peninsula Trail between Moorooduc and Mornington.
“This year’s state budget was pretty much what we’ve come to expect in the Mornington electorate – not a whole lot,” Morris said.
At the other end of the peninsula Labor Nepean MP Chris Brayne was “pleased that this budget makes a substantial investment into so many corners of my electorate”.
“This budget follows previous work done over my time in this role that has seen our schools getting rebuilt and the most significant upgrade to our public transport network in decades.”
As well as a $1.5m for Flinders pier, he said money was also allocated to upgrading Dromana Specialist College; repairing and restoring two gun emplacements at Fort Nepean; finishing the upgrade of Rye pier; repairing outbuildings at Cape Schanck lighthouse; and Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club.