Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (09:39): I congratulate the Labor Party on its success in returning to government but remind it that a vast geographic portion of the state did not vote for it, indeed turned strongly away from it, including the electorate of Gippsland South. That means people in my electorate strongly supported the commitments the Nationals took to the election, including those such as the fix for the dangerous intersection of the South Gippsland and Strzelecki highways in Leongatha, otherwise known as kamikaze corner to locals. This intersection is a headache for Leongatha, with two highways and three other roads meeting on a bend, with a newly completed section of the Great Southern Rail Trail right through it as well. A solution is crucial for the town for the safety of motorists and to help make the rail trail a success for tourists and local users alike. The Nationals recognised this at the election and committed to a solution. Labor did not but cannot ignore it continually.
I call on the Minister for Roads and Road Safety to visit Leongatha to see the intersection herself and understand why money needs to be allocated in this year’s budget to get a solution underway. Likewise our other commitments in South Gippsland should be matched by the Labor government, including finishing the Foster Primary School rebuild, a new overtaking lane on the South Gippsland Highway at Toora, a new Mirboo North stadium and upgrades for the Korumburra Bena Football Netball Club and Waratah Beach Surf Life Saving Club. In a break from tradition Labor actually made some commitments in Gippsland South this time, and I expect to see progress soon on a proposed $11.7 million upgrade of Leongatha Secondary College and delivery of new fire stations at Yarram, Foster and Mirboo North, as announced by the CFA.