By Kyra Gillespie
Youth mental health, domestic violence and coastline erosion are just some of the issues Ron Bauer has pledged to tackle if voted the Independent member for Bass in the upcoming state election.
The now semi-retired Phillip Island resident moved to the Bass area in 1981 first as a holiday house owner.Having seen the region change dramatically in that time, Mr Bauer has decided an “independent voice” is what is needed to tackle issues affecting the region.
“I have seen Pakenham grow from nothing to be part of the fastest growing corridor in Melbourne; I have seen the waterline townships and Phillip Island become the fastest growing ‘seachange’ centres in Victoria; I have also heard successive governments of both colours promise and not deliver for this electorate,” Mr Bauer said.
“We need an independent voice to promote the issues that affect our region.”
He said the sweeping electorate has various needs.
“It is a broad electorate with the differing needs from the urban West Pakenham, or the market gardens of Kooweerup, to the coastal destinations from Grantville to Inverloch.
“I am also very aware of the special needs of Phillip Island. Not only is it Victoria’s premier tourist and holiday destination but it is a place where over 11,000 people from young families to retirees live permanently.”
One of his key election focuses includes a municipal review to make Phillip Island its own shire again.
“As the jewel in the crown of Victoria, it has special needs that can only be met by being its own shire,” he said.
In light of the tragic death of Samantha Fraser on Phillip Island earlier this year, Mr Bauer also believes domestic violence counselling is a crucial part of lowering the municipalities’ domestic violence figures.He will also push for a low-cost shuttle bus service for people living in Officer, Clyde and Pakenham funded by PTV to get people to the Pakenham or Clyde station, pill testing at music festivals on the island and a year’s 9-12 technical high school in San Remo.
He claims he is neither left nor right-focused, but “looking forward in the interests of the electorate.”
“I have talked to many people about their frustrations in our politicians so I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and stand for Bass as an independent voice.”