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MP's line up to support 'bi-partisan' lobby group

THE now-amalgamated committees for greater Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula appear to have the endorsement of MPs from state and federal governments and both major parties.

Josh Sinclair, CEO of the Committee for Frankston and Mornington Peninsula, said “extremely supportive comments” had been received from the seven MPs whose electorates cover Frankston and the peninsula.

“This level of support from our local Labor and Liberal MPs shows the committee is bipartisan and a serious advocacy body for our region,” Sinclair said.

“It also comes in addition to the significant membership/partnership the committee now has with corporate gold member, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.”

Sinclair, who has twice been a candidate for the Labor Party in Flinders and in his previous job was office manager for former Labor MP for Nepean Chris Brayne, said the committee would continue to seek investment for the region “in a non-partisan and collaborative manner with all sides of politics and all levels of government”.

He said the MPs who had expressed their support were Zoe McKenzie (Liberal, Flinders); Peta Murphy (Labor, Dunkley); Paul Edbrooke (Labor, Frankston); Chris Crewther (Liberal, Mornington); Paul Mercurio (Labor, Hastings); Sam Groth (Liberal, Nepean); and Tom McIntosh (Labor, Eastern Victoria).

Sinclair applauded the shire for its three days of lobbying in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House “because we need to literally bang on the doors of Ministers to be heard” (“Shire’s show and tell for MPs” The News 7/8/23).

“The perception some in government have of the peninsula is that it’s all golf courses and mansions in Portsea down here. There’s so much more to the peninsula than politicians in Melbourne think, and telling that story is critical to any advocacy success we may have,” he said.

“Unlocking land in Hastings for industrial use is something the committee has been advocating for since its inception, and we’re really pleased to support the shire in their advocacy efforts in this space.

“The shire and committee have a joint advocacy role to play in helping change the way government thinks about our region.”

Former Liberal MP for Dunkley and federal minister and now Small Business Ombudsman Bruce Billson, will be the committee’s breakfast guest in Mornington on Tuesday 5 September.

Sinclair said Billson was a “key founder” of the peninsula committee and was now “very supportive of the two committees working as one”.

Quotes provided by Sinclair from the various MPs included McKenzie saying the “terrific news [of the committees’ amalgamation] … brings so much more firepower to the argument, with all three levels of government”, and Murphy saying she would “continue to work with the committee to highlight opportunities for the Commonwealth to invest in Frankston and on the peninsula”.

“The state Labor Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke, believes the merger will give Frankston more strength in its arguments around the decision-making table,” Sinclair said.

He said Mornington MP Crewther “suggests issues on the peninsula and within Frankston constantly overlap, so a combined and stronger committee makes sense”.

“The state Labor Member for Hastings, Paul Mercurio AM, is positive about what industry, community and government can deliver for Western Port with a collective and united advocacy voice,” Sinclair said, while Nepean MP Groth believed the peninsula’s “uniqueness” required a powerful voice in the corridors of parliament.

MP for Eastern Victoria McIntosh said Frankston and the peninsula were linked socially and economically “and it makes sense for the area to speak together with a louder voice”. He too committed to working closely with the combined committee.

First published in the Mornington News – 22 August 2023