CAROLYN Gleixner, the Labor Candidate for Flinders has confirmed her ongoing commitment to take a strong stand on protecting Ramsar listed Western Port.
If elected she has vowed to take this message to Canberra.
“I stood up to protect Western Port Bay in 2014 at the State elections. My position has not changed,” Ms Gleixner said.
“This is a huge issue for all the people living on French and Phillip Islands, and in the coastal towns and villages around the bay from Flinders to Hastings and Wonthaggi.”
In the 2014 State Election, Ms Gleixner and neighbouring Labor Candidates Rebecca Wright (Mornington) and Steve Hosking (Hastings) put out a joint press release supporting Labor’s position, following a visit by Natalie Hutchins MP, Labor’s then Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, and Ports, Freight and Logistics who spoke at a packed community meeting in Hastings in October 2014.
At the meeting, Ms Hutchins stated unequivocally that “Labor is opposed to a container Port in Hastings because of the environmental impacts”.
The Liberal proposal for a container port was also flawed, said Ms Hutchins, as it “could lead to a doubling of the cost of freight”.
The notion of Western Port being a “deep water” port was challenged by Ms Hutchins and by members of the audience who brought their own navigational charts.
As a result, under the Andrews Labor Government, the Liberal plans for expanding Hastings into a container Port were debunked.
Labor’s current position is that a second container port is not likely to be needed for at least 25 years, and a number of more suitable locations such as Bay West are likely to be considered by Labor’s Infrastructure Victoria when the time comes.
Ms Gleixner says her position in protecting Western Port is based on compelling evidence related to infrastructure issues, the environment, boating, commercial and recreational fishing, safety and exclusion zone issues, and the risk to the 50,000 existing and more potential future jobs and businesses in the Western Port area related to the tourist industry.
“If elected I will throw my support behind Labor’s Infrastructure Victoria and Labor’s National Policy Platform at the Federal level to win employment and business growth alternatives that are environmentally friendly,” Ms Gleixner said.
“Many people I have spoken to have clearly stated they are not antigrowth and development, they just do not want the kinds of development that come at the cost of ruining Western Port forever.”