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Gippsland MP Darren Chester says he will be focused on delivering further drought relief for local farmers and important local community projects in Yarram, following his weekend win at the Federal election.

Mr Chester was re-elected as the Federal Member for Gippsland on Saturday with 54.9% of first preference votes. In Yarram, Mr Chester won an overwhelming 76.4% of votes on a two-party preferred basis.

Mr Chester today confirmed the $57.4 million package of new drought assistance measures announced by the Prime Minister at the start of the election campaign, bringing the total amount the Federal Government is investing in drought support to more than $6.3 billion.

“These initiatives are designed to help Gippsland’s drought-affected farmers and local communities, but, as I’ve said before, there’s still more support required and I will keep working to secure that additional help,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Chester said he would also help to progress construction of a new exhibition and storage shed at the Yarram Showgrounds with $250,000 from the Federal Government, as well as supported living units for Mirridong Services, which has been allocated $2.32 million.

Mr Chester said it was an enormous honour and privilege to be elected to represent Gippsland in Federal Parliament for the fifth time.

“I have never taken Gippslanders for granted and I am extremely grateful for the support of my family, friends, staff and community members who made this win possible,” Mr Chester said.

“Work begins immediately to keep putting locals first and delivering everything we promised during the election campaign.

“I am humbled by the support I received from Gippslanders and the many supportive comments which inspired my team over the past month.

“We have a big job to keep making Gippsland an even better place to live, work and raise a family. By working together with other levels of government and the community, I believe we can make huge progress in the new term of government.

“I will remain focussed on supporting jobs in our traditional industries and creating new opportunities, particularly for young people. We need to invest in the education and training opportunities for Gippslanders to allow our youth to achieve their full potential in our own communities, without always being forced to relocate to big cities.

“We also need to see more government investment in new and emerging industries, particularly tourism. I want state and local governments to put forward decent infrastructure investment plans that the Federal Government can support to boost the visitor economy across Gippsland.

“As an optimistic person by nature, I believe the best days for Gippsland lie ahead of us and by working together we can achieve a great deal more than by promoting division and disruption.

“To that end, I will be calling on the State Government to show more interest in the Gippsland electorate and inviting the Premier and his senior ministers to work with us on positive plans to grow our region.

“There is a lot of work to be done and I am confident I have the experience, passion, enthusiasm and positive team behind me to keep building an even better Gippsland.”

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