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Ryan Smith MP, Member for WARRANDYTE

Roads and Infrastructure

Bayside bay trail

9 May, 2017

My contribution to the adjournment debate is directed to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and concerns the stalled plans to build a trail along Beach Road from Mentone to Mordialloc Creek. My specific request of the minister is that he makes his position clear on this matter, stating whether he supports the majority of residents who were consulted on this issue many months ago and who settled on a compromise position that was widely accepted or whether he supports the minority view of his Labor Kingston council colleagues who wish to continue to reprosecute the issue until they get the answer they want.

There could not be a clearer or more simple approach to this issue. Council has heard the will of Kingston ratepayers in its previous iteration, before the most recent local government elections, and none of the newly elected Labor councillors made this a platform issue when they asked Kingston residents for their vote. Yet here we are, months later, and for reasons that are purely focused on the political rather than on ratepayers wishes, this matter has become a toxic issue that has divided and angered the community. They are angry that their views have been discarded and angry that some members of council are taking such a pig-headed approach and employing underhanded tactics to frustrate the will of the ratepayers.

Local Labor MP the member for Mordialloc is employing a typical Labor tactic — pretending to support his local community while doing nothing to actually have the problem dealt with. The only other explanation for his inability to have this issue resolved is that his colleague the minister for roads, who he sits with in the Labor caucus, is so disinterested in the member for Mordialloc's views that the issue is not even on the minister's radar.

Residents of Kingston deserve a state member of Parliament who is effective and active in supporting the community he is supposed to represent. This issue has dragged on for months but not once has the member for Mordialloc raised the matter in this chamber and, frankly, I doubt that he has even raised it behind closed doors.

As it now falls on the opposition to support and represent Kingston residents I ask the Minister for Roads and Road Safety what the member for Mordialloc is unprepared to ask: Minister, make a public statement on where you stand on this important local issue.
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