April 9, 2016
STATEMENT FROM DARREN CHESTER:
The Federal election has been called and Gippslanders will be asked to make a choice on July 2 about who they believe is best able to make our region an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
As a proud Gippslander, I love our region and I am focussed on supporting jobs growth and providing the services and facilities we need for the future.
I’ll be taking nothing for granted in this election campaign.
I have a proven track record of providing a voice for Gippslanders in Federal Parliament and delivering results for our community; but there is still much more to be done.
The Nationals as part of the Coalition Government have a strong economic plan to support small business and help regional Australia prosper. As a senior Minister, it is my responsibility to make sure Gippsland continues to get a fair share of government resources.
The role of government is to provide the critical infrastructure like roads, rail and telecommunications that we need; along with the health, education, aged care and child care services that are essential for our community to flourish.
Good governments provide stability, certainty for businesses to invest with confidence so local communities to prosper.
Since being elected to Parliament, I have worked in government and in opposition to help deliver: $185 million upgrade of East Sale RAAF Base; $260 million duplication of Princes Highway; $23 million Gippsland Cancer Centre; doubling of Roads to Recovery funding to local councils; $9.5 million for Maryvale Mill expansion; $7.2 million to build a dental prosthetics training clinic in Churchill and Port of Sale cultural hub; and several Green Army and Landcare environmental projects across Gippsland.
I helped to develop the $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund and the $160 million Mobile Phone Blackspots policy, which are both delivering improved services in our region. My long-running campaign to improve the Youth Allowance system is making it fairer for Gippsland students, but there’s more to be done.
By working with the community, I successfully fought against Labor and the Greens plan to force the closure of Latrobe Valley power stations and I have been an outspoken advocate for tourism and the small business community through my ‘Putting Locals First’ and #lovegippsland promotions.
I have provided local leadership in the campaign against family violence as a White Ribbon Day Ambassador, and I worked with the responsible Ministers to develop the government’s response to tackle ‘ice’ and other illicit drugs.
As part of a strong Coalition team, we have the plans in place to keep our national borders secure, strengthen our defence and national security, and provide the right economic environment for businesses to invest with confidence and create more jobs.
There’s always more work to be done and I remain relentlessly positive and optimistic about our region’s future. By working with all levels of government and community groups across the region, I’m confident that I can keep delivering for Gippsland if I’m successful at the next election.
CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with wife Julie and children Clancy, Jamieson, Morgan and Lachlan. Mr Chester is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.