MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has stepped up its lobbying efforts to squeeze more money out of the next state government.
With nearly seven weeks to go before the 26 November election, the shire is calling on residents and “Victorians” to pressure candidates into committing money for its “most important projects”.
Since early September, the shire has been running a Shout Out campaign as part of its “advocacy” to secure promises of money from candidates in the peninsula’s three electorates: Mornington, Hastings and Nepean.
The call for residents to join forces with the shire’s “advocacy” efforts comes just weeks after being given a “worst ever” rating in the annual satisfaction survey.
The September issue of the shire’s online newsletter Peninsula Buzz includes the following unattributed statement: “As the Victorian state election nears, we are calling on our local political candidates to pledge funding for our most important projects. Join us.
“At council, we have a unique insight into the needs and priorities of our people – and a responsibility to do what we can to achieve those community priorities.” The shire says its projects list is based on “what you have told us during our many community consultation sessions”.
Councillors agreed to the list of priority projects at the 22 March meeting and campaign “ideas” have since been discussed by the in-house advocacy council consultative group, which includes officers, CEO John Baker, the mayor Cr Anthony Marsh, deputy mayor Cr Lisa Dixon and Crs David Gill, Antonella Celi and Steve Holland.
Projects for which the shire wants promises of money:
affordable housing; safer roads; a Hastings to Mornington bus service; a rail line beyond Frankston; protection from coastal erosion – including our piers and jetties; a recycled water supply; a new hospital and medical research centre for Rosebud; a new performing arts centre; improved mobile coverage; completing the Peninsula Trail; and, changing its status to peri-regional.
The “pledge tracker” on the website lists promises made by candidates.
“We know these projects will deliver real benefits and improve the quality of life for everyone on the peninsula,” the shire stated in a 2 September news release.
“We encourage all residents, community groups and businesses to add their voices to ours to ensure our message gets through,” the mayor Cr Anthony Marsh said.
“We demand commitments and funding from all political candidates for our most important issues and projects.
“So, to ensure our message is heard loud and clear – we invite you to join us in shouting out for the peninsula. Shout out from your rooftops, neighbourhoods and from all over this great region. Let the Mornington, Nepean and Hastings state election candidates know what we want for the peninsula.”
The shire urges residents to call candidates; write a letter or ask to meet with a local MP or political candidate; join a community action group; or start a petition.
It’s website provides candidates’ names and email addresses.