I have to report that Matthew Guy MP doesn’t want my help to rebuild Victoria.
Neither he nor his parliamentary colleagues have replied to my latest email and it would seem they are not interested in the comments generated by my article A chat with Matt.
I don’t necessarily agree there is a need to “recover and rebuild Victoria” as Matthew Guy suggests, but even if I did agree, the point I was making in my previous article was that any attempt by the Opposition to develop its policy platform must include Western Port and its region.
I was pondering on this while waiting for the V/Line bus. It was the Queen’s Birthday Monday holiday and as I watched the hundreds of motorists zipping along the Bass Highway, it reminded me this region is a long way from Spring Street.
Herein lies a problem. It seemed to me that many of the homeward bound may never consider that this region is under constant pressure to provide and sustain the “holiday lifestyle” they, quite possibly, take for granted. On the other hand I hoped I was wrong, and that my call in the article Back to the future asking Victorians to contact their state MPs and lobby them to introduce measures to preserve this region would happen.
Voters in this region alone cannot bring about change or help all MPs appreciate the significance of this region’s distinctive ecosystem, or thwart those seeking to abuse it for commercial gain. We need everyone’s support to ensure that Western Port becomes part of the political agenda, for its future depends on it.
Leaving the hazardous journey along the Monash freeway to the competent bus driver, I sat back and wondered if Matt had surreptitiously sent me a message on his Chat with Matt YouTube channel; I checked my mobile. Not one of the seven presentations to camera mentioned Western Port or the region – it seems my question has gone astray.
Speaking of disappointments, my football team lost that day – it was indeed a long journey back from the MCG, but it gave me time to consider the run-up to the election and the local candidates at this stage.
The Legislative Assembly electorates that take in the councils of Mornington Peninsula Shire, City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council and Bass Coast Shire Council, are:
- Nepean: held by Chris Brayne (Australian Labor Party). Sam Groth is the endorsed Liberal candidate.
- Mornington: held by David Morris (Liberal). Chris Crewther will stand as the endorsed Liberal candidate.
- Hastings: held by Neale Burgess (Liberal). Briony Hutton will stand as the endorsed Liberal candidate.
- Bass: held by Jordan Crugnale (ALP). Aaron Brown is the endorsed Liberal candidate. Brett Tessari is the endorsed Nationals candidate. Jeni Jobe is standing as an Independent.
Chris Brayne and Neale Burgess acknowledged my earlier emails. David Morris was supportive of the Western Port Strategic Management Plan concept.
Jordan Crugnale, from the outset, has encouraged my advocacy for Western Port and within the bounds of her party’s policy, has shown she shares the concerns of those who want to preserve Western Port and its hinterland.
Of the newly endorsed Liberal and Nationals candidates, Chris Crewther has indicated the issues relating to Western Port are pertinent to the Peninsula and the wider region. The others are still to respond.
Jeni Jobe says her policies are based on local issues, community values and strategic future planning.
Now on the last leg of my journey in the local bus from the Bass Highway to home, I thought of one last message.
All candidates across Victoria, thanks to the events demonstrated by the federal election, are on notice that the voters are no longer passive bystanders. They are: armed with facts and figures about climate change and renewable energy; aware of what needs to be done to manage our economy and preserve the environment; and no longer beholden to traditional voting patterns.
Makes you wonder how the candidates will handle this as they venture onto the hustings. They’ll need to be on their toes as they walk the “political plank”.
I hope you’ll be there to prod them and help them understand that a nature-based circular economy is the key to this region’s future.