Bellarine bounty

Alex de Vos
Labor has offered a $10.5 million bounty in Bellarine-specific election promises compared to a Liberal list worth $7.3 million, according to last-minute costings from the major parties.
The parties supplied the lists to the Independent in their final pitches for votes at tomorrow’s election.
Uncosted promises included a Liberal pledge for a vote on whether to form a new Bellarine shire and Labor’s plan for a peninsula link to Geelong’s bypass.
Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said Labor would put $250,000 toward a new pedestrian crossing on the Geelong-Portarlington Road at Curlewis and $3.5 million for Bellarine Rail Trail if the Bracks Government won re-election.
Other Labor promises included $3.73 million to upgrade Point Lonsdale Primary School, $1.5 million to restore Queenscliff Pier, $500,000 for Clifton Springs’ Dell beach and $1 million to promote food and wine tourism.
Ms Neville said the promises would “build” on commitments Labor had already delivered to the peninsula in her first term as Member for Bellarine.
Extra funds would also flow into securing Geelong’s water supply, tourism industry, kindergartens, neighbourhood houses and maths and science departments at government schools.
Ms Neville said statewide promises to affect the peninsula included “rebuilding or modernising” government schools by 2016, employing 350 extra police and a $1.6 billion plan to rebuild hospitals and hire 1000 more health workers.
Liberal candidate Don Gibson said the party would put $5.7 toward the peninsula’s schools, spend $1.2 million on 10 new police for Bellarine and put $50,000 into local neighbourhood houses.
The peninsula’s environment would also receive a boost from the Liberals through $200,000 to expand marine education and $100,000 for marine parks.
Mr Gibson said the party’s pledges reflected the Liberals’ “commitment” to the Bellarine Peninsula.
Statewide Liberal promises to benefit the peninsula included free public transport for school children, kindergarten rebates, $10 million for a bay trail, $100 million to fix local roads, $58 million for mental health and $30 million for dental health.
The party has also promised 76 more police for the region and to send the third stage of Geelong’s bypass further west to avoid a T-intersection with the Princes Highway at Waurn Ponds.