Transcript: Denis Napthine's full statement

Thank-you very much for coming tonight. Just recently my parliamentary colleagues gave me the great honour and privilege of electing me as the leader of the Victorian parliamentary Liberal party. This is a great honour, a great privilege and a great challenge.

Firstly let me say about my friend and colleague Ted Baillieu, Ted has put his heart and soul into the Victorian Liberal party and he worked with the people of Victoria for the best part of three decades. He is an outstanding individual and an enormous contributor to the Liberal party and to Victoria.

I am proud to call him my friend. I am very proud to have served in his government and I am enormously proud that I was part of the Baillieu led coalition team that won the 2010 election.

Ted Baillieu certainly has served the state very well. He has served the Liberal party extraordinarily well and he can be very, very proud of his achievements. I am honoured and proud to say that he is not just a colleague, he is a great friend. And I want to pay tribute to Ted, Robin and his family.

As I was saying it is my task to build on the great work and the great foundation that Ted Baillieu and his team provided for this government — to build on the task where we have delivered a sound economic management, a triple A status and it is one of the only states and territories that has triple A status and maintained that status.

That is a great strength for Victoria and a great tribute to the Liberal National team but we want to deliver as we have on infrastructure and in the last budget we had a $5.8 billion record spend in infrastructure. Key infrastructure like the regional rail link, key infrastructure like the $1.6 billion Port of Melbourne expansion project, key infrastructure like the Bendigo Regional Hospital — the largest investment in health services in regional Australia.

Key infrastructure like the Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Like the development of the Port of Hastings. But at the same time we also want to build on the good work in the areas of fundamental basic services like law and order, community safety where we have delivered additional police, PSOs on our railway stations. Improved law and order. Better systems to deliver a safer environment in our homes, on our streets, in our communities. We also want to look after those who have special needs and that is why we are proud to deliver an extension of concessions to a wide group of pensioners for 12 months of the years. A 50 per cent cut in ambulance subscriptions while we are a champion of the NDIS system, and while we continue to be proud of our investment pensions for 12 months of the years, a  5-0 per cent cut in ambulance subscriptions. why we are a champion of the NDIS system, and why we continue to be proud of our record of investing in schools for students with special needs.

We are a government that is about caring for those who need assistance, making our community safer and creating the infrastructure and economic opportunities to grow and develop this state and that is what we want to build on as we look to the future and look forward to making Victoria stronger and better for all Victorians.

Related coverage: Denis Napthine takes the reins

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