Stuart’s electorate spans 79,000sqm – it is huge! From Geelong to Horsham, the Wimmera, down the South Australian border, along the coast through Portland, Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Lorne, there are many local issues.
Despite this large distance, Stuart regularly travels the electorate (when COVID allows!) and is aware of local issues.
Some issues he has campaigned on in the past include (but are not limited to):
Northern Aquatic & Community Hub (NACH) – This project would see aquatic and allied health facilities in the Northern suburbs of Geelong which are often neglected by successive Governments, due to them being within ‘safe’ seats. Stuart has been campaigning for this project for many years and despite it being now fully funded, believes it should have been funded earlier by the State and Federal Government, rather than the City of Greater Geelong. The long-term savings from the project, derived by positive health outcomes, are enormous!
Western Victoria Transmission Network Project – Stuart tabled an e-petition and has met with many landowners. He has asked the Government to review the project and consider undergrounding of most of the transmission lines.
No toxic soil in Bacchus Marsh – Stuart has been supportive of this campaign since the very early days. He has been in contact with the organisers and has spoken in Parliament on many occasions about the dissatisfaction from the community of being taken advantage of, being the dumping ground for tonnes and tonnes of toxic soil. Having been a police officer in the area prior to being an MP, Bacchus Marsh holds a special significance for Stuart and he believes the soil should be dumped somewhere else.
Stuart has campaigned on many local transport issues including:
Overland: Stuart was successful in getting the Overland ‘back on track’ for at least another 3 years after it was shut down due to Government funding (from both Vic and SA) ceasing.
Wimmera Rail: Stuart has championed ‘The Return of Wimmera Rail’ that would link up Horsham to Ararat and Ballarat and into Melbourne. It’s essential that this piece of infrastructure is funded, instead of the billions of dollars of overspending occurring in Melbourne infrastructure projects.
Murray Basin Rail Project: Stuart has been asking about this rail project since he was first elected. MBRP needs funding ASAP – it is nothing like the initial scoped project which would have injected billions into the agricultural sector and allowed the Western and Northern regions to flourish. The State Government – as a matter of urgency – needs to fund the missing $5m to allow for a business case into standardising the whole line. Stuart has been working with various Councils and the Rail Freight Alliance to get this project funded.
Maroona to Portland Rail: this rail project needs to become part of the broader MBRP. It will include increasing the Tonne Axle Load. This investment would create above rail competition at the Ports of Geelong, Melbourne and Portland, increasing international competitiveness and creating jobs and investment in the national economy.
Great Ocean Road preservation and advocacy – whilst DHJP runs on a platform of ‘justice’ issues, our MPs do have to vote on all legislation, including that which concerns the environment. Our track record is of ‘common sense’ when it comes to voting on environmental bills. Stuart has been an advocate for the Great Ocean Road and its preservation. He also successfully passed an amendment that will now require the Environment Minister to consult with the community if they decide to put tolls, fees or charges on facilities along the Great Ocean Road. This is common sense.