FORMER Liberal Party member Elizabeth Woolcock is standing as an independent for the Nepean in the 26 November state election.
In March, Woolcock was the contact for a $250 a head “single table” lunch at Pier 10 in Shoreham with then Flinders MP Greg Hunt.
Seven months later she will be standing against sitting Nepean MP, Labor’s Chris Brayne, and the Liberal candidate, sports presenter and former professional tennis player Sam Groth.
Woolcock, who let her Liberal Party membership lapse in May, said she had planned to stand for preselection as the Liberal candidate but changed her mind as she knew “Sam had the numbers”.
Groth won preselection in a contest against local party members David Burgess and Elizabeth Miller.
As an independent Woolcock said she will direct preferences to Groth “but we haven’t come to an agreement yet”.
Woolcock says her main election issues are protecting the peninsula’s environment, its national parks and green wedge.
As a former small business owner (Lily belle Shoes, Mornington) she wants to abolish payroll tax and work with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to help small business (“the backbone of the economy”) and tourism.
Acknowledging that the shire had a plan to “revitalise the Dromana waterfront shopping precinct”, Woolcock said council needed to visually improve other shopping areas on the peninsula.
Education and health were also on her agenda, she said, noting that the Labor and Liberal parties had made promises to “renew” Rosebud Hospital.
“The land the hospital sits on is valuable, adding to the economic value and benefits to reallocate the hospital,” Woolcock said.
With the peninsula’s population predicted to be 200,000 by 2035, she would “work towards” it being upgraded or relocated.
On education, Woolcock wants a “national ruling” on teachers’ wages, so they are “paid according to their qualifications and experience”.
“The budgets for state schools are inconsistent. There needs to be a fair ratio on the size and number of students in the school, rather than considering postcodes or the status of the school,” she said.
Woolcock says the teaching of Aboriginal culture should be mandatory nationally.
“This should include but not limited to, the First Nations people’s culture, connection to country, dreamtime, storytelling and song lines, along with the teaching of Indigenous knowledges in relation to fire management, water management and land management.
“The true history of Australia, including the history of the First Nations peoples must also be added to the national curriculum.”
Woolcock also wants peninsula roads maintained and upgraded with noise levels again being checked on Peninsula Link where it runs through Safety Beach and Dromana.
“My other areas of concern are housing and homelessness on the peninsula, and domestic violence — which I am writing a policy on.”