BASS MP Brian Paynter said he’s hoping for a change of fortunes for his electorate in the lead-up to the May budget to be released in May.
The Wonthaggi Education Precinct is number one on his wish-list for funding.
“This budget I’m hoping for a big birthday present on May 2 which is my birthday,” he said.
“We must be close to getting this school. We’ve made a lot of noise about it and its time for Wonthaggi to get an education precinct that’s worthy of the area.
“It’s not just about setting up secondary education, its education for the future with uni and TAFE, and a sporting facility – it all ties in beautifully with the needs of area.”
He said the area has been neglected for too long.
He is particularly disillusioned by the fact that no money has been allocated to Bass from the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which will see $500 million spent over a four-year period.
“They’ve already allocated about $160 million and nearly $120 million has gone to Labor seats.
“Only $40 million has gone to Liberal seats, but none of it has gone to Bass.”
He rubbished claims that the lack of funding was due to Bass being a ‘safe’ Liberal seat.
“It’s not a safe seat, it was a 4.8 per cent margin at the election which is the sixth most marginal Liberal-held seat,” he said.
“If you look at Russell Broadbent’s results at the Federal election in the Bass booths, it’s arguably a line-ball seat.
“I hear people say it’s a safe Liberal seat but it’s actually not. The way people vote these days and the way elections go there’s no such thing as a safe seat – we’ve seen seats go in recent elections we’ve never seen before.
“The way people are voting now, they’re no longer aligned to a particular party, they vote on issues or people. With social media and other media there is lot more information so they’ll vote accordingly.”
Wonthaggi hospital needs upgrade
Funding for a new emergency department at the Wonthaggi Hospital is another one of Mr Paynter’s priorities.
He said Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child and himself have requested funding.
“On the site plan there’s been an area suggested at the front of the hospital for the emergency department,” he said.
“It would be the perfect way to add to Wonthaggi Hospital’s strategy of becoming a sub-regional hospital and those types of additions would see the hospital progress in that strategy,” he said.
“It’s desperately needed up at the hospital, and would be far better located on the site operationally.
“That is a really good project that could be done and from a building point of view, it would be an easy build and wouldn’t impact on the operations of hospital.”
Another important project Mr Paynter is pushing for is the duplication of the Koo Wee Rup Road towards Pakenham, which he labelled dangerous.