A group of Wannon electorate voters have outlined their five priorities.
The Voices of Wannon community group has detailed the views of its members after more than 40 people gathered at Camperdown on the weekend.
The group is set to present its What Wannon Wants report to Member for Wannon Dan Tehan on Friday, November 19.
The group's top priorities are:
- 1. Real and urgent action on climate change
- 2. Improved integrity and transparency in government
- 3. Compassionate treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum
- 4. Increased availability of affordable and social housing
- 5. Improved access to health services (including mental health)
Voices for Wannon was launched in early 2021 and since then, more than 170 residents from 20 towns across the electorate, including Portland, Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Hamilton, Terang, Peterborough, Camperdown, and new Wannon communities such as Lorne, Aireys Inlet and Deans Marsh have participated in kitchen table and online conversations.
"An overwhelming majority of people did not feel that they are being well represented by their local federal member of parliament," a group spokeswoman said.
"People wanted to have their concerns listened to and respected, and for their local member to be more present in the community.
"There was strong support for greater transparency of political donations, and for government decisions to be based on informed and impartial advice.
"This report shows that the people of Wannon need their local member to better represent their key concerns, and to do so with integrity, transparency and accountability."
Group members said they believed politicians "need to be more upfront" and have meetings open to members of the public.
"Politicians need to be prepared to say sorry when they make a mistake," group members said.
Fast rail, better roads and public transport to accommodate the growing needs of the electorate were also identified as priorities in the report.
Positives of the electorate are also outlined in the report.
Some of these identified include "people look at you and smile and say hello", "I find it a thriving regional city, good medical system, transport, tourism, nature - a little piece of everything" and "a great community. Really quiet. If someone has a crisis people will help."
"Our kitchen table Conversation process showcased a community that is proud of its natural environment, its welcoming community spirit, its peacefulness, its diverse economic sector, and the availability of great education and health services," the report states.
"While people in Wannon love their communities, they acknowledge there is room for improvement, particularly in support for the disadvantaged, being more welcoming of people from diverse backgrounds, better roads and public transport services, and greater opportunities for young people.
"These main priorities were only some of the dozens of issues raised during kitchen table conversations and via our online survey.
"Other issues that were raised frequently included caring for and restoring our natural environment, addressing social inequality and improved support for public education."
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