Win for region

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Win for region

All smiles: Bass MLA Ken Smith, has been returned.

MILLIONS of dollars will flow in to South Gippsland, following the Coalition’s landslide win in Saturday’s election.
The Barry Beach deep sea port, a passing lane on the Strzelecki Highway, more roads funding, new school buildings at Mirboo North, restoration of the Long Jetty and improvements to health and recreation facilities were promised by the Coalition in the election campaign.
Nationals Leader and Member for Gippsland South, Peter Ryan, will become Deputy Premier and he has pledged to continue his main political focus of looking after his electorate.
Despite an expected Greens’ surge, Ken Smith romped back home in Bass. This will be his last parliamentary term. He said a ministry would “be lovely”, adding further clout to this region’s political sway.
He wouldn’t be drawn on which one, except to say he was expecting some “role of responsibility”.
Ken said he’d feared a surge in the Greens’ vote, but that hadn’t materialised.
Not so, said Bass Greens’ candidate Neil Rankine.
“We grew the Greens’ vote by 25 per cent.”
The Coalition win is a feather in Mr Ryan’s cap.
An acrimonious split had left the Liberals and Coalition in the State wilderness.
It was Mr Ryan who negotiated with Liberal Leader Ted Baillieu, to bring the Coalition back.
Funding has been set aside for a new Leongatha Memorial Hospital, thanks in large measure to lobbying by Mr Ryan.
He has pledged to ensure a shortfall of between $11 and $15 million, is met.
On Sunday, Mr Smith promised to unearth and make public a sub regional health plan that includes the upgrading of Wonthaggi Hospital. As far as possible, details of the Wonthaggi desalination plant cost will no longer be secret.
He spent much of the election campaign drawing attention to local roads – including the Bass Highway – that have been badly damaged by heavy desalination plant traffic. Bass Coast Shire Council has estimated the cost of repair at more than $12 million, not including the highway.
Coalition election promises for this region included:
. up to $2 million for the first stage of Port Anthony;
. a passing lane on the Strzelecki Highway;
. local roads funding, worth millions of dollars;
. $6m for Mirboo North Secondary College;
. more paramedics;
. $3m to restore the Long Jetty;
. new lights for night football at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve;
. resurfacing Wonthaggi Tennis Club courts;
. ensuring upgrading of Wonthaggi Hospital to sub regional;
. developing a 24 hour emergency medical centre at Phillip Island;
. revealing contractual details of Wonthaggi desalination plant;
. ensuring roads damaged during construction of the above are properly repaired; and
. supporting the fledgling Bass Coast Education Precinct.

Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=280

Posted by SiteAdmin on Nov 30 2010. 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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