Uneasy feeling after election
Some of us can’t help but remain unsure about what the landslide Labor win in the state election means for our part of western Victoria.
Despite convincing assurances from Labor Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford that she and her political colleagues would govern for all of the state, there remains a sense of uneasiness.
It is an uneasiness fuelled by a curious mix of frustration and uncertainty as well as expectation and hope.
Some people in the region fear, considering Labor’s reputation for governing strongly where most people in the state live – our major urban centres – their feelings of isolation can only increase in the next four years.
Others are trying to be more optimistic and are curious to see how a Labor government with so much expected power would embrace regions beyond the boundaries of the party comfort zone.
One thing is for sure – Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy, already renowned for being a ‘noisy’ representative, is going to need to be even noisier in getting her message across.
Ms Kealy, who like her conservative predecessors in the seat obviously has familiarity and sensibilities that resonate with her electorate, will find the new State Parliament a relatively lonely battlefield.
She will still have a few mates to back her up during the heat of debate but nowhere near as many as the past.
She, like many others, was waiting to see yesterday whether she would continue to have a neighbouring Liberal ally in Louise Staley with her in parliament.
Labor’s Sarah De Santis appeared on course, albeit by only a handful votes, to reclaim the goldfields seat of Ripon for Labor, but it was still too close to call.
Regardless of the ultimate make-up of the Victorian Parliament, we appeal to the government to consider what the Wimmera-mallee already is, but to also look beyond that to consider what it could be in the future.
To repeat ourselves yet again, Victoria is a relatively little state where there is no reason for anyone to miss out on services and opportunity.