RE-ELECTED Liberal MP Greg Hunt has vowed to continue fighting for hospital facilities on Phillip Island, reiterating that it remains his “number one task” after a decisive win in his electorate on Saturday. “That’s clearly my number one priority,” Mr Hunt told the Sentinel Times the morning after retaining the seat of Flinders for a fifth straight term. “We have to make sure we get the state (government) on side.”
Mr Hunt had previously promised that $2.5 million would be made available if the Coalition gained power once more. In June, Mr Hunt wrote to the State Premier, Dr Denis Napthine, about the matter, stating that “a four-stage approach is the best way forward.” “It would start with a community health hub offering round-the-clock GP services, with the adding on of services such as allied health, palliative care and acute hospital care over subsequent stages,” he wrote. On Saturday, Mr Hunt recorded 54.69 per cent of the primary vote, comfortably up on the ALP candidate Joshua Sinclair (25.73 per cent). Mr Hunt recorded a swing of 1.93 per cent on the two-candidate preferred vote, pushing the total to over 61 per cent. “We’re really thrilled,” Mr Hunt said. “After the postal votes (are counted) we expect it to finish at around 62 per cent.”
The Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage spent all day Saturday on a whirlwind tour of his electorate, stopping off at 54 voting centres. “We started at about 7.45am in Moorooduc and got to the last booth at Cowes at 5.50pm,” he said. “It’s great to see the whole electorate in one day.” While he ranks Phillip Island’s medical needs at the top of his to-do list, Mr Hunt said he will also work towards a Children’s Hub for the Waterline area; a ‘Green Army’, which will restore and rehabilitate foreshore areas around Phillip Island and the Waterline area; an aquatic centre for the Island; and a new secondary school for San Remo, which he sees as a “five-to-six year project”. The son of former state planning minister Alan Hunt, Greg has held onto the seat of Flinders since 2001. He celebrated the Coalition’s momentous Saturday evening at a function in Rye. On Sunday it was “back to business” for the 47 year-old as he officially opened the upcoming season at Dromana Bowls Club.