FEDERAL Labor has been outgunned by Coalition spending in the south-west with the Liberal party promising at least $14 million more to win over the ultra-marginal seat of Corangamite and shore up support in Wannon.
Estimates based on election promises across both seats show Liberal pledges as high as the $50 million mark, while Labor’s commitments hit around $36 million.
Just $7 million from Labor’s war chest has been directed to Michael Barling’s campaign for Wannon, most of it for trade training centres. That figure is dwarfed by Corangamite Labor MP Darren Cheeseman, who is desperately pitching nearly $28 million to hold his seat.
While Liberal MP Dan Tehan looks set to comfortably increase his hold on Wannon it hasn’t stopped his election commitments totalling around $18 million that includes money for an integrated cancer care centre, roads and a promise to match Labor’s trade centre funding.
The crumbling Great Ocean Road that spans both electorates will also receive $25 million if the Coalition wins.
Where exactly the money is spent remains to be seen. Wannon covers roughly 100 kilometres of the tourist road but the announcement was centred around Corangamite.
Meanwhile, Labor has promised $12 million to the Epworth Geelong private hospital in Waurn Ponds.
Dozens of surf life saving clubs and recreation reserves have received cash promises from Mr Cheeseman and Liberal challenger Sarah Henderson, who is tipped by the polls to win today.
Education would be Wannon’s biggest winner under Labor, with more than $5 million directed towards trade training centres in Cobden, Timboon and Maryborough — although that cash was announced before government caretaker mode.
Mr Tehan and his Wannon Labor opponent Michael Barling stood side by side campaigning in Hamilton yesterday afternoon.
Premier Denis Napthine talked up Mr Tehan’s chances on a visit back to his state electorate yesterday.
“I think Dan has done the hard work during the last term in office and he’s been around the electorate time and time again,” Dr Napthine said.
“He’s got a bright future in the Coalition, he’s relatively new and there’s others who have been on the team for a bit longer.
“I’ve got no doubt that he’s a future minister in a Commonwealth government, if not in the first term but then perhaps in a future government.”