The election victory of the Andrews Labor government has been attributed to many factors, including disunity in the Liberal-National Coalition federal government, but arguably the main positive reason for the win was Labor’s bold infrastructure plans.
In Greater Frankston, support for the new government’s current and future spending on infrastructure was clearly revealed by the size of victory of the two sitting MPs, both Labor, Paul Edbrooke in Frankston electorate and Sonya Kilkenny in Carrum electorate. Both were on paper-thin margins before Saturday but both now have handsome margins with Mr Edbrooke winning 60 per cent of votes after distribution of preferences, and Ms Kilkenny on 62 per cent after preferences. The percentage will change slightly as not all votes had been counted by Tuesday morning. Voters across Melbourne rewarded the Andrews government for delivering on its infrastructure commitments of the past four years and supported the government’s plans for future projects.
The big ticket item in Greater Frankston is $562 million to develop Frankston Hospital by building an 11-storey tower that will accommodate 120 additional beds, two new operating theatres, maternity ward, obstetrics ward, women’s clinic, children’s ward, kids emergency, and special care nursery, integrated cancer ward and day clinic (to treat people who currently have to travel to Melbourne hospitals), and two floors for mental health services. The project will create up to 1700 jobs during construction, which is expected to start in 2019 and be completed by 2024. Expansion will create 500 new long-term jobs for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administration staff in a region where professional jobs are lacking.
Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking congratulated the two MPs: “Paul Edbrooke and Sonya Kilkenny have had overwhelming victories and ran good campaigns. Now our committee is looking forward to the hospital project starting. Expansion was inevitable as the hospital serves a catchment the size of Canberra, 400,000 people in the southeast, and admissions are growing by 15 per cent a year. The emergency department is one of the busiest in Victoria. She said a key element of the expansion was creation of dedicated clinical teaching spaces “to train the next generation of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals”, to be done in conjunction with Monash University’s nearby Peninsula campus. “The redevelopment is at the centre of Peninsula Health and Monash University’s joint vision for a Frankston biomedical precinct. The hospital will become the hub of a vibrant healthcare, medical research and education precinct that will transform Greater Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula, and the southeast.” Ms Hosking said the boost to mental health services would see vastly improved support for older people with dementia.
Another project for Greater Frankston promised during the long election campaign was duplication of Lathams Road, the key access road of Carrum Downs Industrial Estate, which is now more economically important to the region than Frankston’s CBD and employs almost 6000 people. Work on the $80 million plus project will start in 2020 and be completed by 2023.
The Andrews government promised an additional $170 million to upgrade Hall Road between McCormicks Road and Cranbourne-Frankston Road at Cranbourne West, which will also assist the growth of Carrum Downs and surrounds. Ms Hosking said although the new State government had not yet committed to extending the metro train line beyond Frankston, with a business case due for release next year, it and federal Labor had jointly acknowledged the business need for affordable city car parking, and had jointly promised $35 million to build a 500-space multi-storey car park near Frankston station.
UPDATE 27 November2018 evening news.
And in further good news, both our local representatives have been promoted in the 2019 Andrews Government. With Sonya Kilkenny (Carrum MP) and Paul Edbrooke (Frankston MP) named along side Jane Garrett (former emergency services minister) and Danny Pearson (Essendon MP) on the as two of the four new parliamentary secretaries.
Victorian state election 2018: Daniel Andrews unveils new Cabinet
Tom Minear and James Dowling, Herald Sun, November 27, 2018 6:28pm
A rookie Labor MP has been elevated straight into Daniel Andrews’s new Cabinet, which for the first time in Victorian history will have an equal split of women and men.
Melissa Horne is one of three new frontbench faces, along with factional powerbroker Adem Somyurek, who returns after he was forced out in 2015 over bullying allegations.
Upper house MP Jaclyn Symes has been promoted straight into the leadership team, but her place will not be approved immediately because she is at risk of losing her Northern Victoria seat.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams is the other addition, replacing John Eren, Natalie Hutchins and Philip Dalidakis, who was pushed out in today’s reshuffle.
Former emergency services minister Jane Garrett was chosen as a new parliamentary secretary, along with Essendon MP Danny Pearson, Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke and Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny.
It comes as the Liberal Party awaits a decision from Matthew Guy on his future.
He is expected to step down as leader, with Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto in line to replace him, although there are serious concerns Mr Pesutto will lose his seat of Hawthorn. Liberals want a woman as deputy leader but just three are certain lower house MPs, as Heidi Victoria fell 185 votes behind in Bayswater while Louise Staley crept in front by 29 votes in Ripon.
Mr Andrews said he was “very proud” to have a gender equal Cabinet “in stark contrast to others”.
He praised Ms Horne, the new Williamstown MP, for her work at the Level Crossing Removal Authority. She said joining Cabinet was “pretty daunting” and “terrifying”.
Mr Andrews welcomed his “very good friend” Mr Somyurek back to the frontbench, who said he was “humbled” to rejoin the ministerial team.
The Premier also praised Mr Dalidakis for the “very gracious way” he stepped aside. It is understood he will chair the public accounts and estimates committee, and Labor sources say he will be in line to return to Cabinet in the future.
If Ms Symes is formally re-elected, her elevation to upper house deputy leader comes at the expense of Jaala Pulford.
Bundoora MP Colin Brooks will likely remain Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, while electrician-turned-MP Shaun Leane is tipped to become President of the Legislative Council.
LOCAL MEDIA COVERAGE
Labor romps to victory. Both seats record high swings in favour of ALP
Frankston Standard: Lucy Callander
LABOR has scored thumping victories to storm home in Frankston and Carrum in Saturday’s state election.
Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke and Carrum Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny went into the election with wafer thin margins — 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.
But both recorded huge swings in favour, part of a state-wide trend that saw Labor resoundingly returned to government. Mr Edbrooke attributed the victory to hard work andunderstanding community needs.
“We’ve listened and we’ve delivered,” he said. He criticised the Liberals for trying to “scare people into voting for them”.
Liberal candidate Michael Lamb, a senior police officer, ran on a law and order platform while Mr Edbrooke campaigned on infrastructure, health and education. Mr Lamb could not be contacted for comment.
Mr Edbrooke said crime was, in fact, down in Frankston and more police officers were assigned to the area. Ms Kilkenny said Labor’s positive messages had resonated with the community.
In Frankston with 72.8 per cent of the vote counted, Labor scored a 9.5 per cent swing. On first preferences, Mr Edbrooke won 47 per cent of the vote ahead of Mr Lamb 33.3 per cent and the Greens’ Colin Lane 7 per cent. In Carrum with 68.3 per cent of the vote counted, Labor received an 11.7 per cent swing.
On first preferences, Ms Kilkenny won 53.9 per cent of the vote ahead of Liberal Party candidate Donna Bauer 32.8 per cent and the Greens’ Braeden Thompson 5.1 per cent.
Carrum Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny said: “We fought the good fight and it’s so overwhelming to see that reflected in the polls.”
Liberal candidate Donna Bauer — who has survived bowel cancer — thanked her family and the many volunteers in her campaign for their support. “I’ve picked up good support from people out in the community, but obviously the voters have spoken and it hasn’t panned out that way,” she said
Frankston Times: Brodie Cowdburn 27 November 2018
November 26, 2018 Keith Platt Latest News
By Stephen Taylor and Keith Platt
SATURDAY’S state election has signalled to the Liberal party that it cannot always count on holding the three seats covering the Mornington Peninsula.
While it has retained two seats – Mornington and Hastings – Nepean remains undecided.
All three may be within Labor’s grasp next time around and doubts are being voiced over the Liberals’ ability to retain the seat of Flinders in the federal election that must be held by May next year.
Flinders is held by Greg Hunt, one of leading figures in the leadership crisis that saw Scott Morrison eventually succeed Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.
The previously safe Liberal seat of Nepean held by retiring MP Martin Dixon since 2002 being sought by Liberal candidate Russell Joseph was too close to call yesterday (Monday) following Labor’s landslide election win. Mr Joseph was Mr Dixon’s office manager.
As vote counting continued yesterday morning Mr Joseph and Labor’s Chris Brayne were neck and neck, with Mr Brayne on 17,441 votes (50.95 per cent of two-candidate preferred votes) and Mr Joseph 16,789.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring Liberal seat of Mornington was easily retained by incumbent David Morris, albeit with a reduced majority.
Mr Morris was on 19,010 votes after 51.20 per cent of the vote was counted – well ahead of ALP candidate Ryan White on 15,427 votes (44.80 per cent). While Mr Morris’s win was solid, it should be remembered that Mr White was virtually unknown in the seat.
Mr Morris has held Mornington since 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018.
An anxious Mr Joseph said yesterday the result was still “too close to call” and that he would wait until all votes were counted on Wednesday, taking solace from the fact he had had a “good bounce from pre-poll and postal voting”.
He said Nepean had previously had a 7.6 per cent margin on a two-party preferred basis, but that this was insufficient to withstand “the Labor tsunami that swept across Victoria” giving the ALP its second term in office. “That margin was not strong and I never took my position for granted,” Mr Joseph said. “I had some good policies and achievements, such as the [proposed recycled] water pipeline scheme and the Jetty Road overpass to my credit, whereas Labor and the Greens didn’t even have one policy down here.” Mr Joseph alluded to “external issues”, such as the ousting of former PM Malcolm Turnbull, as having a “greater impact down here than elsewhere”. The ALP’s Chris Brayne, who lives at Balnarring, said he was “very pleased with the result in Nepean”.
“It was a resounding endorsement of the policies of the Andrews government,” he said. “People on the Mornington Peninsula want to see investments in schools, hospitals, roads and rail.
“We expect the result to be decided by just a small number of votes, so a result may not be known for some days still.
“Every voter in Nepean deserves to have their voice heard.”
Mr Brayne, who writes sit-com pilot scripts and works at Dromana drive-in on weekends, said the “significant swing to Labor was indicative of the hard work my team and I put into the campaign … over the course of this year”. “We did what we could with little resources, but it is clear that the message from myself and the Andrews Labor government resonated with this community.”
Prophetically, in his candidate statement to The News two weeks ago, Mr Brayne said: “Imagine a day where the peninsula was on a knife edge every election leading to both parties focusing more heavily on our area.”
On the weekend he got his wish. Over at Hastings, sitting Liberal Neale Burgess was looking more comfortable despite saying: “In our local electorate things are still too close to call, with 30 per cent of the vote still to be counted and recounts to follow.” But, with 18,127 two-candidate preferred votes in hand compared to the ALP’s Simon Meyer’s 16,685 votes, Mr Burgess should be home and hosed. He was sitting on 52.07 per cent of the vote on a two-candidate basis compared to Mr Meyer’s 47.93 per cent. On Monday Mr Burgess said: “Victorians spoke loudly and clearly on Saturday and, as always when our community speaks, I listen. He congratulated the Andrews Labor government for “being given the honour of governing our great state for another four years”. “I am hopeful that our local community will see fit to again give me the great honour of serving them. If so, I will continue to represent each and every one of them to the very best of my ability.”
Mr Morris on Monday said he was “grateful” to voters in his electorate, but that it was “too early to analyse what went wrong for the Liberals across the state”. He said the result was “pretty disappointing”, with the ongoing ructions and change of leadership in the federal Liberal/National government “being an element, but not the major factor” in the lack of voter support. Mr Morris would not comment on how voter disenchantment with the federal government might affect the re-election chances of Flinders MP Greg Hunt. Mr Hunt was one of senior ministers who stood alongside Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in the split that ultimately led to the resignation of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Morris said that during the election campaign he had not seen any indications of a major swing against the Liberals. “We were an incredibly unified team, but that was not the same in Canberra,” he said. “I haven’t had time to process [the result] yet, but I didn’t really get a feeling [in the campaign] that anything was different this time. “I wasn’t expecting a swing either way or, at the most, thought we might take a one or two per cent haircut. “On Friday [the day before Saturday’s election] I received an email from a 50-year-old woman saying she had voted Liberal all her life but could not do it this time.”
Mr Morris believes the federal problems account for “less than one third of the swing against us”. He said he “gets on well” with John Presutto (Hawthorn) and Michael O’Brien (Hawthorn) the two main contenders for leadership of the Liberals in parliament if Matthew Guy decides not to stand. “They’ve both got what it takes to lead the party.”
First published in the Mornington News – 27 November 2018