A positive campaign

A positive campaign

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has welcomed last Thursday’s announcement of a May 18 election and says he’s taking nothing for granted.

Mr Chester, who has represented Gippsland in Federal Parliament since 2008, said he would be running a positive campaign focussed on his record of delivering infrastructure and service improvements across the region.

“It is a great honour and an enormous privilege to represent the community I love in Federal Parliament and I’m proud of the things we have been able to achieve together,” Mr Chester said.

“Over the past six years in government I have delivered record road, rail and telecommunications infrastructure improvements across Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley, but there’s always more to be done.

“I want to keep working with other levels of government and communities across our region to see more investment in infrastructure which helps to create jobs and improve the living standards of local people.

“I love Gippsland and I have the experience to make it an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Mr Chester said the election campaign in Gippsland should focus on the candidates’ plans for the future of the region.

“Ever since I was elected I have been committed to putting locals first and delivering a fair share of government funding to our region,” Mr Chester said.

“I want to keep fighting for the jobs in our traditional industries but at the same time work with businesses and our communities to deliver more opportunities in areas like the visitor economy and further development of the agricultural sector.

“We need to see greater commitment from all levels of government to provide infrastructure on public land that improves the liveability of our region and encourages more visitors to explore everything Gippsland has to offer.”

Mr Chester said the Federal Government deserved to be re-elected on May 18 because of its strong economic management and the ability to deliver a balanced budget.

“This year the budget returned to surplus which has taken a great deal of work by our Federal Government,” Mr Chester said.

“We have been able to deliver income tax cuts which is putting more money back into the pockets of Gippslanders while still delivering the infrastructure and services we need.

“If I’m given the opportunity to continue as the Member for Gippsland I will keep putting locals first and keep delivering better infrastructure and improvement to health, education, aged care and child care services.”

Some of the key projects Mr Chester has delivered include $10 million for on-farm dams in the Lindenow Valley, $3.8 million for the Hope Restart drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, $1.5 million to build a mountain bike trail in Omeo and $588,000 for the Giles Street bridge to better link the saleyards and keep heavy vehicles out of the Bairnsdale CBD.

“My work to secure funding for the Hope Restart Centre will make a real difference to people’s lives,” Mr Chester said.

“Drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t discriminate. Most people have a friend or family member, or know of someone, who has been impacted by drug and alcohol addiction. The Hope Restart Centre will save lives and reduce harm from illicit drugs in Gippsland.

“There will also be economic benefits for the local businesses involved in construction and once opened, the centre will generate employment opportunities for health workers and support service providers.

“I’ve delivered $342 million to duplicate the Princes Highway between Sale and Traralgon and a further $25 million to upgrade the highway east of Sale. As Minister for Infrastructure and Transport I was also able to deliver an historic $504 million investment in Gippsland rail infrastructure.

“I’ve demonstrated, I’m not interested in silly political games. I’m focused on getting things done and continuing to deliver Gippsland’s fair share.”

PICTURED: Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, secured $3.8 million for the Hope Restart drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. Mr Chester has also delivered $10 million for Lindenow Valley farmers and $1.5 million to build a mountain bike trail in Omeo.