By Luke Voogt
Local Liberal MP Sarah Henderson will embark on a “listening tour” across her marginal federal electorate following her party’s crushing defeat in the Victorian Election.
The Federal Member for Corangamite announced the “community-first” tour on Monday.
“I will be re-doubling my efforts to reach out to every local community, listen to concerns and take appropriate action wherever possible,” she said.
The tour comes as many political commentators link the election disaster to federal coalition infighting and August’s leadership spill in Canberra.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is Victorian, conceded on ABC during the vote count “the noise from Canberra certainly didn’t help” the election result.
“While the Victorian election was fought predominantly on state issues, voters continue to send us a clear message – focus on our issues and concerns, not yourselves,” Ms Henderson said.
In Saturday’s election Liberal MP Andrew Katos lost the seat of South Barwon, which overlaps Ms Henderson’s federal seat of Corangamite, to Labor’s Darren Cheeseman.
The “first-class MP” losing his seat “a terrible blow”, Ms Henderson said.
She would announce a schedule of dates for her tour soon, she said.
“Across such a large regional electorate, I have always taken the approach that every community matters.”
She used her announcement on Monday to attack her federal Labor opponent Libby Coker and Corio MP Richard Marles.
“In Parliament today, Labor’s arrogance was on full display,” she said.
“Corio MP Richard Marles could not wipe the smirk off his face.”
But Mr Marles hit back this week, ridiculing Ms Henderson’s listening tour.
“What has Sarah been doing for the past five years?” he asked.
“What people in Geelong want hasn’t changed; they want better schools, better hospitals and more jobs in our region.
“People in our community have been telling Sarah that since she was first elected.
“They’re sick of the pretend care and the talk that never amounts to anything. She has failed our city and the region, and we deserve someone better.”