Frankston Times 20 February 2024

Page 6


Candidates target cost of living Brodie Cowburn

JODIE BELYEA (Labor Party)

EARLY voting has begun in the Dunkley by-election. Polling day for the by-election is on 2 March with eight candidates on the ballot - in ballot order they are Nathan Conroy (Liberal), Bronwyn Currie (Animal Justice), Chrysten Abraham (Libertarian), Reem Yunis (Victorian Socialists), Darren Bergwerf (Independent), Alex Breskin (Greens), Heath McKenzie (Australian Democrats), and Jodie Belyea (Labor). Early voting centres have been set up at Lyrebird Community Centre in Carrum Downs, Functions by the Bay in Frankston, and 1st Ranelagh Scout Group in Mt Eliza. They are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays (6pm on 1 March), and from 9am to 4pm on Saturday 24 February. The Dunkley by-election was triggered by the death of incumbent MP Peta Murphy. She died of metastatic breast cancer in December. Murphy won the seat for Labor in 2019. She retained it with an increased margin of 6.3 percent at the 2022 federal election. Before Murphy’s 2019 win, the Liberals had held the seat since 1996. Bruce Billson was the local member for 20 of those years. The Times sent questions to all candidates last week about their priorities. All candidates who responded* identified cost of living as one of the most prominent issues facing Dunkley voters.

What do you do for work? I founded and run the Women’s Spirit Project, a local not-for-profit that supports local women doing it tough. Over 6 years, we’ve helped empower women overcoming trauma and abuse. How long have you lived in Dunkley? I have lived in Dunkley for more than a decade. I live in Frankston with my husband Dave, our son Flynn who studies at Frankston High School, and we’ve got two dogs and a mortgage. Why did you decide to run in this byelection? I’m running because I love our community, and I want to make a real difference and improve people’s lives. The late Peta Murphy encouraged me to think about public service. Peta and I shared similar values: compassion, fairness and a deep commitment to social justice. My priorities, are easing the cost of living, strengthening Medicare, housing affordability and improving access to fee-free TAFE. What is the most prominent issue facing Dunkley voters? When I’m out doorknocking in the community the top issue raised with me is cost of living. My number one priority is helping locals with the cost of living - and that’s why I’m supportive of tax cuts to every taxpayer in Dunkley. I’ll be a local MP that listens and advocates to make our local community in an even better place.

What local infrastructure projects should be prioritised? We are delivering investment in local infrastructure - the Chisholm TAFE redevelopment, Hall Road upgrade, and the new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic. Improving our health system, housing affordability, and making it easier for people to get access to TAFE and university, are priorities for me. At age 25, I went to TAFE as a mature aged student to study youth work and community development, it gave me the experience I needed to kick start my career. What specific measures would you take to ease cost of living pressure? I’m a strong supporter of giving tax relief to workers and Labor’s cost of living tax cuts will give every taxpayer in Dunkley a tax cut from 1 July. For instance, a retail worker at the Bayside Centre earning $73,000 a year will get a tax cut of $1,504 – that’s $804 more than under the Liberals. Making prescription medicines cheaper is a practical way we can help older people with the cost of living. LABOR candidate Jodie Belyea. Picture: Gary Sissons

LIBERAL candidate Nathan Conroy. Picture: Gary Sissons

& community groups

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The by-election will be held on Saturday 2 March 2024. Only people enrolled in the division of Dunkley are eligible to vote. Voting is compulsory if you are enrolled to vote in the federal electoral division of Dunkley including if you are 70 years of age or older.

Each month the Frankston Times will run a Community Events page, where your school or organisation can promote upcoming events, fund raisers, social events, etc. at no charge.

If you can’t make it to a polling place on by-election day, you may be eligible to vote early. For more information go to or call the AEC on 13 23 26.

This page is sponsored by Frankston Arts Centre, and listings are completely free.

The AEC takes the safety of our voters and election workers seriously and implements appropriate hygiene measures.

Lisiting should be about 40 words and include event name, date, time & address.

Dunkley by-election, Saturday 2 March 2024

Send your listing to:

13 23 26


Community Events

Authorised by the Australian Electoral Officer for Victoria, 150 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC Frankston Times

What do you do for work? I have served as the mayor of Frankston City since 2021. How long have you lived in Dunkley? I have lived in Dunkley for six years. My wife, Steffie, was born and raised in Carrum Downs. Why did you decide to run in this by-election? In my time serving the community, I’ve seen first-hand that people are hurting under the Albanese Labor government. I’m passionate about the future of this community and believe I am the best candidate to represent it in federal parliament. What is the most prominent issue facing Dunkley voters? Voters are concerned about the Albanese government’s cost of living crisis, as well as Labor’s cuts to local infrastructure. What local infrastructure projects should be prioritised? Frankston-Baxter Rail Extension, Monterey Reserve Redevelopment in Frankston North, Bruce Park Pavilion in Frankston, Len Phelps Pavilion in Carrum Downs, and the revitalisation of Nepean Highway along with the modernisation of Mount Eliza Secondary College. What specific measures would you take to ease cost of living pressure? Under Labor, Australia’s inflation is higher than any major advanced economy. I’ll fight for - and be part of a team that delivers - responsible

economic and energy policies that lower inflation and take pressure off interest rates. For example, we don’t need the 10,000 new bureaucrats this year Labor are hiring. We need to focus on better service delivery. We also need to back small businesses, rather than burden them with red tape and higher costs - so they can deliver better value for customers and grow our economy.

Attention Schools, sporting clubs



NATHAN CONROY (Liberal Party)

20 February 2024

PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or email

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