SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

OK THEY’VE called the election but down here in the supposedly insignificant seat of Monash (formerly McMillan) we’re unlikely to see much if anything of the passing parade.

Our long-serving local MP Russell Broadbent has for many years fought the good fight in Australian Parliament, taking the issues of local constituents, local shires, local hospitals and sporting groups forward when help or funding was needed – the Mirboo North Swimming Pool an obvious example of a very timely funding announcement by Mr Broadbent being crucial in the spectacular outcome.

He’s been prepared to stand up for individuals and small business when they needed support, and we can include his assistance for country newspapers in that. Thanks Russell.

He’s also been prepared to take a principled stand, rightly or wrongly, on issues of the day and all-in-all done a thoroughly decent job.
But his wacky stance on vaccination and the response to the pandemic has damaged his legacy and likely his ability to even campaign in this election.

So, we won’t see much of the incumbent and we’re unlikely to see much of Sco-Mo, Albo or the other luminaries either which means no handouts to sweeten the task of voting.

So, no, the circus isn’t coming to town.

But that’s not the problem. The problem is what the politicians have done to the political process. Where do you start? The donations, the vested interest, the dirty deals for preferences, the corruption in government, the bad behaviour, the self-interest, the control by small, sectional interests… the list goes on.

A case in point, and it’s not even a federal issue, is the process around the approval of a new draft Bass Coast Statement of Planning Policy and associated landscape planning controls and who is well resourced enough, well connected enough to have a say.

Your time might be better spent taking an interest in what’s being proposed for Bass Coast than what happens in the election. Check out the engage.vic.gov.au website. Submissions must be received by 5pm on Friday, April 29. The election on May 21 can wait.