Liberal candidate for Bendigo Sam Gayed says he will not detail what his party will provide to the Bendigo electorate before this Saturday's federal election.
He had said he would send out a letter to voters explaining his plan for the region, but has since reneged on that promise saying there would be no letter sent out.
Mr Gayed tonight posted a letter on Facebook, purported to be a plan for Bendigo. The letter, which he says was sent to all households in the Bendigo electorate, did not detail any commitments to funding or actions.
"We want to work on projects on a large scale and we need to promise what we can deliver," Mr Gayed said. "My great plan for the region in regards to infrastructure is to have a fast rail between Bendigo and Melbourne.
"But I won't be announcing that in the coming days because it's a large-scale project and it takes time.
"I only know about the vision I have but I won't make promises until I'm confident."
Mr Gayed last week backflipped on a promise to ask his party to "beat any promise (made) by Labor by 10 per cent''.
Mr Gayed wrote on the Bendigo Advertiser's Facebook page that he would "not match any of Labor's pledges" in Bendigo because they were "absolutely random and a waste of taxpayers money".
Mr Gayed also criticised the Labor Party's investments in Bendigo, saying "when you see the kind of promises the member for Bendigo is making, you wouldn't want to match them anyway".
His comments came a month after the Bendigo businessman said he planned to ask the Liberals to match and add 10 per cent more funds to any pledge for community projects or initiatives within the Bendigo electorate.
Labor candidate Lisa Chesters said an elected Labor government would provide almost $30 million in funding to the electorate.
"It's only Labor, locally, that has a plan for Bendigo," Ms Chesters said. "It's a big electorate so these commitments range all the way from the Macedon Ranges in the south, to Bendigo here in the north.
"This is what elections should be about - your plan for the region. I'm really proud that we have been able to pull together commitments that are informed by the grass-roots through working with people."
Labor election commitments
- $5 million for Castlemaine District Community Health (Mount Alexander Health and Wellbeing Hub)
- $5 million for the Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail
- $4.4 million for the Bendigo Airport Terminal Expansion
- $2 million for the La Trobe Rural Road Trauma Research Hub
- $935,000 for the Bendigo Showgrounds Redevelopment
- $425,000 for change room upgrades at Ken Wust Oval
- $125,000 for lights at Canterbury Park
- $10 million for the long-awaited Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct at New Gisborne
- $400,000 to the City of Greater Bendigo to top up funds to construct footpaths in Maiden Gully, Epsom and Strathfieldsaye
- $200,000 to the Macedon Ranges Shire to top up funds to construct footpaths in Kyneton
- $50,000 for multi-use outdoor space at Huntly Primary School
- $25,000 for JB Osborne Theatre upgrades at Crusoe College
- $210,000 over four years for emergency relief services at Cobaw Community Health
- $250,000 to the Mount Alexander Shire for female change rooms at Harcourt Recreation Reserve
Mr Gayed said he was focused on the work the Liberal Party has already done in the electorate.
"We invested $82 million a few months ago in the Bendigo-Echuca rail line upgrades," he said. "We always invest into our region regardless of an election.
"There will also be 60,000 people in Bendigo who will benefit from our tax relief policies, 5000 will benefit from our childcare package, 2000 more businesses will benefit from tax cuts and 7000 retirees will benefit from us opposing the retiree tax.
"If you want to hire an employee, you wouldn't be looking at their promises. You would look at their CV and that's why I am talking about what we have already achieved for the region."
Ms Chesters said it was a "great disappointment" that the Liberal Party had not committed to any infrastructure projects.
"We've never seen that before in Bendigo," she said. "It's always been a bit of a contest and we've always tried to make projects bi-partisan.
"If I made a commitment, the Liberals would try and match it, and if they made a commitment, I would try and secure the funding so regardless of who actually formed government, we knew what the plan was.
"At the end of the 2016 election, all of my commitments to the region had been delivered because we fought really hard, despite being in opposition, to get those projects delivered.
"The fact there have been zero commitments shows how out of touch the Liberals are."
How the funding commitments in Bendigo compare to other regional electorates
Independent MP Cathy McGowan has held the federal seat of Indi since the 2013 federal election. Ms McGowan announced her retirement from politics late last year.
Indi had always been a safe Liberal seat, with previous MP Sophie Mirabella representing the electorate for more than 12 years.
The electorate covers the more than 29,000 kilometres, including major regional centres like Wodonga, Wangaratta, and Mansfield.
- $64 million for the McKoy Street upgrade
- $10 million for Baranduda Fields
- $5 million for the Wodonga Senior Secondary College stadium and Galvin Hall refurbishment
- $5 million for the Wodonga veterans wellbeing centre
- $500,000 for the Wodonga Hockey Club refurbishment
- $250,000 for the Baranduda Scout Hall redevelopment
- $250,000 for the Myrtleford Scout Hall construction
- $200,000 for the Mansfield Armchair Cinema refurbishment
- $1.4 million for hospitality and disabled students at Wodonga TAFE
- $3.4 million for a La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga pilot program that has helped more than 200 students in four Border schools to identify pathways for study
The electorate of Wannon has received no new funding commitments from either of the major parties throughout the election campaign.
Wannon is a safe Liberal seat, held by Minister for Education Dan Tehan with a margin of 9.2 per cent.
Victoria's second largest electorate - which covers the regional centres of Hamilton, Ararat, Warrnambool and Colac - has been held by the Liberals since 1955.
The electorate of Ballarat is a safe Labor seat, with Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King sitting as the member of the electorate since 2001.
The seat covers Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Creswick and Daylesford.
- $10 million for Sovereign Hill
- $500,000 for Russell Square change rooms
- $14 million for the Ballarat Airport runway extension
- $10 million for Sovereign Hill
- $10 million for the BIRCH research centre
- $5 million for Her Majesty's Theatre
- $5 million for the Daylesford-Hanging Rock Rail Train
- $1.4 million for the Bacchus Marsh Sports Hub
- $500,000 for the Russell Square change rooms
- $500,000 for the City Oval change rooms
- $280,000 for upgrades to Ballarat schools
The seat of Mallee has always been a very safe National seat, with retiring MP Andrew Broad holding the electorate with a margin of 19.8 per cent.
It is Victoria's largest electorate, covering more than 81,000 square kilometres including the cities of Mildura, Swan Hill, Horsham and Maryborough.
There are more than 10 independent and minor parties contesting the electorate this year, but the National Party has never lost the seat before.
- $1.65m to upgrade Wimmera River foreshore through Horsham
- Introduce new legislation to make it an offence to use a carriage service, such as the internet, to disclose personal information to incite trespass on agricultural land where that could cause commercial detriment
- Upgrade all six major highways in the Mallee region
- Advocate for passenger flights to and from Horsham airport
Independent Ray Kingston
- Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan
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