Traffic jams in different parts of the state have been the focus of Victoria’s main political parties in their bid to win the November 24 state election.
Premier Daniel Andrews was aboard the Labor campaign bus to Ballarat, pledging $58 million to fix some of the regional city’s worst traffic bottlenecks with a slew of intersection upgrades.
Meanwhile the Victorian Opposition promised to get traffic under control in Melbourne’s outer southeast by duplicating a main thoroughfare.
The Liberal National coalition pledged $130 million to duplicate 6.4 km of the Berwick – Cranbourne Road, saying it would ease congestion in the growing city of Casey.
The next generation of race drivers were also in Labor’s sights on Friday, with the Andrews government promising $5 million for motor sports upgrades and equipment and $2.4 million in grants to support local clubs to run bigger events, if re-elected on November 24.
Sports Minister John Eren said the money would help get more women into the sport and fuel future Australian race drivers.
Meanwhile, the opposition unveiled a $5.1 million plan to track offenders convicted of home invasions or carjackings with GPS ankle brackets while on parole.
Those convicted, but not jailed, would have to wear the bracelet for two years.
Noelene Nolan, who joined the Liberals for the announcement, welcomed the move after being the victim of two violent home invasions within three months last year.
In the first incident, offenders smashed their way into her home, dragged her from bed, assaulted her and held a knife to her throat.
They stole her pain medication, a safe, her parents’ wedding photos, cash and jewellery and she was left to crawl over cut glass to reach her mobility scooter.
Three months later, she arrived home with her mother, who had just had chemotherapy, to find her house being ransacked. The offenders punched her twice and threw her against a fence.
‘If they have the GPS, you’re going to know they are being monitored and it’s going to play a huge mental role in helping people recover from their trauma,’ she said.
Labor was unable to escape questions about its 2014 election votes-for-rorts scandal while in Sebastopol, near Ballarat, on day five of the election campaign.
Labor candidate for Buninyong, Michaela Sette, said she ‘would always cooperate with police’, when quizzed about her involvement in the scandal after claiming work hours as a field organiser.
The Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad is investigating the 2014 election campaign rort, in which Labor used parliamentary allowances to partially pay party campaign staff.