Dr Denis Napthine has been an MP since 1988, representing first the seat of Portland and then, under new electoral boundaries, the seat of South West Coast. He became Premier of Victoria in 2013. Having made it to the top – and after more than 25 years in office – why does he wish to run again? He writes for us to explain all:
[dropcap style=”color: #a5cecd;”] F [/dropcap]irstly, I would like to congratulate Bluestone on its first birthday.
I believe that a vote for me and my government on 29 November is a vote for a better Victoria, one that is more prosperous, smarter and more secure.
I am proud to call south-west Victoria home.
I have a proven track record of delivering for South West Coast and its communities and, if re-elected by my constituents on 29 November, will continue to do so.
Over the past three-and-a-half years I have been delivering on my 2010 election promises. These include a new school for Woolsthorpe, a pedestrian overpass over the Portland Ring Road, seven new passing lanes on the Princes Highway, a passing loop on the Melbourne to Warrnambool rail line, a new police residence at Heywood, Avgas facilities at the Portland airport, and returning local rangers to Tower Hill and Mount Eccles, among many others.
And soon a cancer centre will be a reality for the south-west. I am pleased to have helped secure funding of $15 million for this life-saving centre – a project I have been particularly passionate about.
[dropcap style=”color: #a5cecd;”] I [/dropcap]n May’s State Budget I was able to deliver funding for a new school at Narrawong, a vital upgrade of the Woolsthorpe-Heywood road and other local roads, additional mental health beds for South West Healthcare at Warrnambool and a new community health facility at Port Fairy.
I have also announced a $4.9 million upgrade of Warrnambool airport; a $7.7 million boost for South West TAFE to allow the institute to offer affordable, accessible and high quality training programs anytime, anywhere on any device; a Master Plan for the Lady Bay area and new emergency vehicles for our hard working volunteers.
As part of the Coalition’s Fairer Water Bills Initiative, residential customers of Wannon Water will receive a $70 rebate on their water bills each financial year for the next four years.
I am also extremely proud of the work my government is doing for all Victorians.
East West Link is a vital project for all Victorians. I know that the many south-west Victorians who drive to Melbourne will benefit from this infrastructure project. How many people have been stuck in traffic waiting to get over the West Gate Bridge? Melbourne desperately needs a second river crossing and anybody who lives west of Melbourne and regularly drives to Melbourne knows that.
In terms of public transport, there are now 10,000 more public transport services per week than when we came to office; from January 1, there will be free tram travel in the CBD and Zone 1 and 2 travel for the price of a Zone 1 fare; we will build the Melbourne Rail Link and a Melbourne airport rail link as well as the $2 billion Cranbourne-Pakenham line upgrade.
Our Government is also completing the $4.1 billion regional rail link which will benefit v/line passengers from Western Victoria as well as metropolitan commuters from the western and north western Suburbs.
[dropcap style=”color: #a5cecd;”] A[/dropcap]s a result of the Coalition Government’s sound economic management, Victoria is the only Australian state or territory with the coveted AAA credit rating and with budget surpluses forecast across the next four years.
This careful stewardship of the state’s finances ensures there is more money available to fund the services families need now, and the important infrastructure our children and grandchildren will need in the future.
My Coalition Government is proud to be spending a record $15 billion this year on our vital health services and a record $9.2 billion on school education.
We have also increased police numbers by 1700 and put 940 PSOs on our railway stations. Our tough approach to law and order is delivering a safer community.
I am particularly proud of our proven commitment to vulnerable Victorians. Since coming to government, the Coalition has increased spending on vulnerable children and families by $900 million. This includes $100 million per annum on family violence, a 40 per cent increase since coming to government.
I am also passionate about delivering better services for people with a disability. That is why the Coalition is committed to the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which is now located in Geelong.
Be it here in the south-west, or more broadly across Victoria, my government is delivering the projects and programs that we need now and our children will need in the future.
That is why I urge you to support me and my government as we seek a second term on 29 November.
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