THE federal election was called by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday morning 11 April, and Australians go to the polls on Saturday 18 May, just five weeks away.
The Frankston-based seat of Dunkley and the adjacent seat of Flinders, which covers most of the Mornington Peninsula, will both figure prominently during the election campaign, Dunkley because it is one of the most marginal in Victoria, and Flinders because it is held by federal health minister Greg Hunt who is being challenged by rebel Liberal-turned-independent Julia Banks.
The Liberal Party’s Chris Crewther has a battle to hold Dunkley, which had its boundaries changed by the Australian Electoral Commission last year, turning a marginal Liberal seat into a marginal Labor seat, based on how people voted last time. Labor’s candidate is Peta Murphy, who ran in 2016 when Mr Crewther, who replaced the retiring Bruce Billson for the Libs, won by just over 2500 votes (two-party preferred).
Mr Crewther will be hoping voters look kindly on him and the incumbent Coalition government following the federal Budget brought down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday 2 May.
Mr Frydenberg and Mr Crewther met a delegation from the Committee for Greater Frankston, led by CEO Ginevra Hosking, three days later (5 April) to go through the Budget and how it benefits Greater Frankston and the wider region. Delegates took the opportunity to advocate for much-needed investment in the Greater Frankston region as well as seek clarification on the funding timeline of the Frankston rail extension project, which is covered in a separate article on this website.
Bearing in mind that the Budget has not been passed as legislation, and that this will not occur until after the election, items for Dunkley in the Budget included:
The region gets a share of $1.1 billion for road upgrades including:
- $80 million plus duplication of Lathams Road at Carrum Downs and Seaford.
- Golf Links Road Upgrade project at Baxter and Langwarrin South (includes work on connecting roads Grant, Warrandyte and Baxter–Tooradin roads).
- $30 million for improvements to intersections on Ballarto Road, Carrum Downs.
- $70 million to extend Thompsons Road from Clyde Road to Cardinia Road in Officer South.
- $65 million to extend and duplicate Mornington Peninsula Freeway from Jetty Road to Boneo Road at Rosebud
Note that the Lathams Road project and Golf Links Road Upgrade are state government projects funded in the Victorian Budget in 2018, to which the federal government will now contribute.
Federal Labor has promised $850 million for the same roads. There is a section of the Budget called “Victorian Congestion Package” worth $162 million. This incorporates a new ‘commuter car park’ funding scheme to be made available for additional spaces at Melbourne’s train stations, but none as yet has been earmarked for our region.
- $32 million for Frankston Health Futures Hub, to provide better aged care, and improved services for people with mental health and addiction issues. The hub will have physical and data infrastructure at Frankston Hospital and neighbouring Monash Peninsula campus. Peninsula Health and Monash University will contribute $23 million to the $55 million project.
- $10 million extra towards a children’s (paediatric) emergency centre at Frankston Hospital.
Labor health pledge
In January, the federal Opposition’s health spokeswoman Catherine King and Dunkley candidate Peta Murphy stated that a federal Labor government would contribute $21 million to the Frankston Health Futures Hub project. Late last year, before the Victorian state election, the Victorian Labor government said that if re-elected it would redevelop Frankston Hospital at a cost of $562 million. Part of this pledge was to reconfigure or expand Frankston Hospital’s emergency department to provide for a dedicated children’s emergency section.
Voter registration closes 18 April. Close of nominations is 23 April. Polling day is Saturday 18 May 2019.
Would you like to know who’s committed to our region’s infrastructure projects?
The Committee for Greater Frankston will once again publish our downloadable Frankston election commitments table