BY EMMA SCHMIDT
MT WAVERLEY is poised to become Victoria’s most fiercely contested electorate in the battle for votes as the state election looms in just 18 days.
The state’s most marginal Labor seat was the scene for several major party announcements last week, with both the ALP and the Liberals promising multi-million-dollar deals in return for crucial votes.
The Coalition threw the first punch, with Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu and Liberal candidate Michael Gidley descending on Mt Waverley police station last Monday, promising to extend it to a 24-hour station if elected.
“We believe there is an issue with public safety and we are going to address it by increasing police in Waverley,” Mr Gidley said.
The pollies took a break for Melbourne Cup Day, but first thing Wednesday morning the fight resumed, with incumbent Labor Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development and Women’s Affairs Maxine Morand visiting Glen Waverley railway station with Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula to promise $24.5 million for a new carpark.
“It’s a commitment to build a new multi-deck carpark; it’s great news for commuters,” Ms Morand said.
The Liberals shot back Thursday morning, with Mr Baillieu choosing Glendal Primary School in Glen Waverley to announce a promise of $29.3 million for maths and science teachers statewide.
The money would put 100 science and maths specialists in primary schools, and provide 400 scholarships for science graduates to study to become teachers.
Ms Morand, both loved and loathed after sponsoring the controversial Abortion Law Reform Bill in 2008, retained power in 2006 by a margin of just 0.3 per cent — or 238 votes on a two-party preferred basis.
Victorian voters head to the polls on November 27.