ARGUABLY the two most important Members of Parliament in this area are Jordan Crugnale, the state Member for Bass and Danny O’Brien, the state Member for Gippsland South.
Both are hard-working local representatives who have made strong contributions to improving infrastructure and services in the region, as well as raising the profile of our most important issues down here.
Even before Ms Crugnale won the seat of Bass for the Australian Labor Party in 2018, her credible challenge brought promises, and ultimately government investment in tourism, health and education to this area, the like of which we had never seen before.
Certainly, the area had been badly neglected, over a long period of time, so much of the spending was “catch-up funding” in a fast-growing area, and while the works we have received to date are most welcome, aquatic and sports facilities still demand serious investment at both Wonthaggi and on Phillip Island.
There’s still much more to do.
Danny O’Brien has had the handicap of being in Opposition but he hasn’t let that hold him back, attacking important needs like road upgrades and the next stage of the Korumburra Secondary College project like a dog with a bone.
Again, there’s still much to do.
So why this “love in” about our local MPs.
Because by the end of October 2021, we could be faced with a radical change to the Bass and Gippsland South electorates as a result of a redivision of boundaries because of burgeoning growth at the Pakenham and Cranbourne ends of the electorate of Bass.
Simply adding Inverloch to Gippsland South and some West Gippsland areas, north-east of Koo Wee Rup, could provide a solution but the redivision offers the opportunity to finally recognise community of interest in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland areas.
There has never been much community of interest between the Phillip Island to Wonthaggi areas anywhere north of Mirboo North or even as far as Yarram since the breakup of the Alberton league.
A new South Gippsland-Bass Coast electorate, potentially called Bunurong, running from Foster through to Grantville, along the South Gippsland and Bass highways might better bring together the wants and desires of a fairly homogenous area.
Hopefully the electoral district would remain marginal enough to be in the bidding again come election time.