Campaign coming to a close


Final countdown: Campaigning for the federal election in Dunkley will soon come to an end. Major party candidates are Liberal MP Chris Crewther (left) and Labor candidate Peta Murphy (right). 

ONLY days remain until voters head to the polls to vote. Candidates have spent months door knocking, debating, shaking hands, and making announcements. On 18 May the nation will find out who will be rewarded for their efforts, and who will go home empty handed.

In Dunkley the scene is somewhat similar to how it was at the last federal election. For the second campaign running, Liberal Chris Crewther will take on Labor candidate Peat Murphy. Mr Crewther came out victorious and replaced outgoing Liberal MP Bruce Billson 2016, although with a much reduced margin. Since then, redistribution has cut the margin even further, making it a notionally Labor seat.

Despite needing a swing towards him to retain his seat, incumbent MP Chris Crewther remains optimistic.

“With the assistance of a re-elected federal Liberal government that is focused on responsible economic management and building a strong economy, I will be able to continue to deliver the essential services and community support that is required to give locals the opportunities they need to succeed,” he said.

“Over my term I have been focused on delivering essential services and infrastructure that break down barriers and build opportunities, and support for organisations in our local community that build a more interconnected and supportive community.

“Funding I have secured for essential services and infrastructure includes $228 million for the extension the Frankston Metro Rail Line to Frankston East, Langwarrin and Baxter. It includes $38.5 million towards the building of 800 new free car parks at Frankston, Seaford and Kananook stations, $30 million for upgrades to Ballarto Rd intersections, and$42 million for a new Paediatric Emergency Centre and Health Hub at Frankston Hospital.

“To build a more interconnected and supportive community I have delivered the return of City Life Homeless Meals Service at Chisholm TAFE and establishment of other services to assist the needy, funding for sports clubs in our community to upgrade facilities and become more accessible to female players and those with disabilities, and funding for many community groups, including Men’s Sheds, Legacy, Miscarriage Information and Support Service and local environment groups.

“I feel very grateful to live in such a wonderful community that has the best of the city, the country and the coast. It is a community that I am passionate about serving and I have a plan and a vision to see it continue to grow and thrive.

Labor candidate Peta Murphy says she is “ambitious for our community and committed to a better, brighter, fairer future for our country”.

“I am a Frankston resident who has spoken with thousands of locals about the sort of federal MP that our community wants and needs. A vote for me is a vote for more positive politics. I will deliver the health, education and transport projects that our community is calling for. I will be a loud voice for the need to act now to combat climate change and protect our environment,” she said.

“I want Frankston to become Australia’s new hub for innovation in health. Peninsula Health, Monash University and Frankston Foundry have teamed up to drive new technologies and models of care in ageing, mental health and addiction. I will support them with funding for a Health Futures Hub and Health Solutions Fund. I know from experience that you don’t want to be worrying about money when you’re in the fight of your life. I’m proud that Labor will make cancer treatment affordable and invest in our hospitals to cut emergency department waiting times. 

“I will work in genuine partnership with the Andrews State Government to deliver much needed infrastructure, including upgrades to local roads, extending the Metro rail line to Baxter, and a new multi-story car park at Frankston Station. “

If successful, Ms Murphy will become the first Labor MP to hold Dunkley since 1996. She would also become the first woman to ever be the member for Dunkley.

Since the election was called, neither the Prime Minister Scott Morrison or opposition leader Bill Shorten have stopped by the electorate to pitch their case.

The full list of Dunkley candidates as they appear on the ballot paper are: Lachlan O’Connell – Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Elizabeth Johnston – Animal Justice Party, Ron Jean – United Australia Party, Peta Murphy – Australian Labor Party, Emily Green – The Greens, Chris Crewther (incumbent) – Liberal Party, Christopher James – Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationals, Yvonne Gentle – Rise Up Australia Party.

First published in the Frankston Times – 13 May 2019

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