Ministers, it’s Brian calling


Ministers, it’s Brian calling

NEW Bass MLA Brian Paynter has three urgent calls to make.

One will be to Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy regarding the need for improved health services in Wonthaggi and on Phillip Island.

Another will be to Education Minister James Merlino to lobby for support for the Bass Coast Education and Learning Precinct.

The third will be to Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins to seek support for a review of local and state government services on Phillip Island.

“These issues were raised very clearly with me throughout the campaign,” Mr Paynter said.

He was sworn into parliament on December 23, soon after his team moved into the Wonthaggi office occupied by his predecessor Ken Smith.

Mr Paynter thinks Bass Coast Health needs more resources to deal with mental and health issues, and Phillip Island needs better health services. Addressing the proliferation of the drug ice in the community will be part of his push for health improvements.

“We need to continue to lift the operations that are able to be performed at Wonthaggi Hospital. Although the facilities are elsewhere, we need them here so the people that need them can be treated in the community,” he said.

“I do not want people having to leave to go to Casey or Monash hospitals to access health services.  The need for family support is far greater than people having to travel.”

Mr Paynter is aware of the dire need for funding for the education precinct, which would include a new senior campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College, and TAFE and university facilities.

The Coalition had promised $21 million towards the precinct if re-elected, but it was not and Labor is yet to commit to funding for the precinct.

“The first meeting I had was to see (secondary college principal) Garry Dennis and say the fight is not over,” he said.

“I’m not going to stop knocking on the door of the education minister. There are some projects that are beyond politics.”

Mr Paynter said despite the need for new facilities for secondary students, he said the quality of the education they received was high and the college’s culture was uplifting.

Describing Phillip Island “as a jewel in the crown of Tourism Victoria”, he said the Island attracts the second highest number of international visitors of any destination in Australia and therefore the State Government should ensure the infrastructure was in place to accommodate visitors.

Mr Paynter said the Island needs a medical facility combining an emergency department or stabilisation unit, and the Phillip Island Tourist Road was of an inadequate standard to service increasing traffic and must be upgraded.

Mr Paynter is married to Liz and is father to Chloe, Abbey and Libby. The former accountant is a passionate Richmond supporter and president of the Pakenham Secondary College school council, which he attended.

“For me, this a completely new experience and I will be drawing on my last 49 years as a father, as a community member and an accountant to be the best member I can,” he said.


Fresh era: the new Bass MLA Brian Paynter (left) outside his Wonthaggi electorate office with electorate officers Ann Selby and Tony Cantwell.

Fresh era: the new Bass MLA Brian Paynter (left) outside his Wonthaggi electorate office with electorate officers Ann Selby and Tony Cantwell.

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Posted by on Jan 6 2015. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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