Trust, responsibility and commonsense are the key messages for Nationals candidate for Lyne, David Gillespie in the 2019 Federal election campaign.
The race for the seat of Lyne was ramped up on Wednesday, April 17 as the sitting member launched his campaign in front of a large group of supporters at Club Taree.
He used the launch to highlight his achievements in the electorate in recent years and his plans if re-elected.
"If we are to secure people's trust, we must take responsibility for the goals we set and be prepared to do the hard work and make the commonsense decisions that will allow us to achieve them," Dr Gillespie said.
Some of these achievements include the Forster Civic Precinct, Fig Trees on the Manning, the radiation cancer unit and MRI services for the area, investments in key roads, investment in main streets of Dungog, Kew and Wauchope, community organisations like the Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest Surf Club, Hinton Hall, Gloucester Tennis Club, Clarence Town Football Club and Dungog Soccer Club as well as park upgrades at Bulahdelah, Karuah, Largs and Tea Gardens' Marine Drive Reserve.
He said the Federal government would continue to focus on the economy, employment, infrastructure and aged care both locally and nation-wide.
"I am proud of the record funding we have been able to secure for our electorate, particularly in infrastructure and aged care," Dr Gillespie said
"I know there is still more to be done.
"That is why we have got our budget back into balance and grown the economy, which is allowing us to invest more in a whole range of local projects."
Dr Gillespie outlined several promises for the electorate if re-elected.
- $614,000 to MidCoast Council towards a $1,228,000 replacement of the single-lane timber bridge at Firefly;
- $662,500 to MidCoast Council towards a $1,325,000 replacement of the Deep Creek single lane timber bridge at Wherrol Flat;
- $2.1 million towards 32 new aged care places for Laurieton Lakeside Residence;
- 42 apprenticeships created in the Lyne electorate under the regional apprenticeship wage subsidy program;
- $352,774 to the Dungog Shire Council towards a $705,548 replacement of the Summerhill timber bridge;
- $1,047,220 to the Dungog Shire Council towards a $2,094,440 replacement of the Tillegra timber bridge;
- $455,000 to Port Macquarie Hastings Council towards a $910,000 Scrubby Creek timber bridge at Pappinbarra;
- $415,000 to Port Macquarie Hastings Council towards the $830,000 replacement of Thompson's timber bridge at Upper Rollands Plains, and
- Funding for a new 4G tower on Ebsworth Fire Road to boost mobile coverage in the Clarence Town area.
Improving the entrance to the Manning River at Harrington also was on the agenda.
"We need to get this fixed," he said.
"If we are to open up the Manning to larger boats and build the new marina along the Fig Trees on the Manning Precinct Development which will open up further economic opportunities - then all levels of government must take a serious look at this project."
On a national scale, Dr Gillespie spoke about the need for a very fast train between Brisbane and Melbourne.
"The Nationals in government have made no secret of the fact that we support investment in rail and we have announced funding to pursue major rail upgrades.
"But the technology and infrastructure we need to be seriously looking at is very fast rail - not just faster rail.
"The Australian Government has previous commissioned extensive work in this and it now time to bite the bullet."
Dr Gillespie outlined a method of reducing carbon emissions while still allowing Australia to maintain competitiveness as an energy producer.
"We could get both environmental outcomes - and maintain our economy and standard of living - if we simply replaced old dirty power stations with modern highly efficient ones that have up to 40 per cent lower carbon emissions."
Dr Gillespie used the launch to thank his family, political team and supporters.
Former deputy prime minister and member for Lyne Mark Vaile was a guest speaker.
He spoke about his time in the Howard government while throwing his support behind Dr Gillespie as the Nationals candidate.
"He (Dr Gillespie) has represented the best interests of the electorate in Canberra," Mr Vaile said.
The Federal election will be held on Saturday, May 18.
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Great Lakes Advocate newsletter here.