MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has stepped up its lobbying for a range of projects and issues as candidates compete for votes in the 26 November state election.
A “pledge tracker” added to the shire’s website lists candidates’ pre-election promises as well as outlining priority projects for the electorates of Mornington, Nepean and Hastings.
The pledge tracker is a more refined version of one introduced during the May federal election and urges residents to get involved by filling out forms and “shout out” that they agree with the shire’s views.
The forms include names and addresses and will be sent to candidates.
The shire says its list of priorities was made following “many community consultation sessions”.
The criteria for pledges to be included on the tracker include them being new commitments and being detailed enough “so that we can ascertain what is being funded”.
The shire – which prefers “advocacy” to “lobbying” – is also urging residents to contact candidates (by writing, phoning or meeting), join community action groups or start a petition.
Candidates listed on the pledge tracker are:
Hastings – Liberal Briony Hutton; Labor Paul Mercurio.
Mornington: Liberal Chris Crewther.
Nepean: Labor (sitting MP) Chris Brayne; Liberal Sam Groth.
Over the weekend the shire’s online list of candidates did not include Kate Lardner, who is standing as an independent for Mornington (“Independent bid for Mornington” The News 30/8/22).
Although not standing in the November poll the candidates’ list includes sitting Mornington MP David Morris and Hastings MP Neale Burgess.
The pledge tracker details “priority projects” in each electorate – 14 in Nepean; 16 in Mornington; eight in Hastings – as well as shire-wide issues.
The shire wants peninsula residents to “shout out” on issues such as the shire being classed as peri-regional (instead of metropolitan or regional) to “unlock” government grants and “safeguard our precious Green Wedge protections”.
Other issues for the “shout out” are coastal management, digital connectivity, the Peninsula Trail, performing arts centre and recycled water.
The shire wants $30m for a scheme to use recycled water for agriculture, sports grounds and to fight bushfires. The Clean Ocean Foundation says treatment of the water being pumped into the sea near Gunnamatta should be taken to the next level to make it fit for human consumption (“Taxpayers’ cash ‘pours into the ocean’” The News 30/8/22).
The “shout out” for coastal management includes $500,000 for “coastal adaptation planning” and $100,000 for “immediate damage control”. The Liberal Party has announced it will spend $10m on developing a plan to tackle erosion on Port Phillip beaches, although critics say the investigative work has already been done (“Lib $10m erosion plan ‘waste of time, money’” The News 6/9/2022).
On the need for better mobile coverage the “shout out” states that black spots are “endangering lives and businesses”.
The shire wants $62.5m to fill in missing links on the Peninsula Trail and $500,000 to develop a business case and concept for a performing arts centre. The shire estimates the centre will cost $110m-$150m (“Casting for performing arts centre” The News 25/7/22).
Other issues on which the shire is lobbying include public transport, safer roads, homelessness, family violence and medical research.