Ballarat’s candidates have buckled down on their pet issues as the contest comes to an end.
In the red corner, Ballarat member and Labor Shadow Health Minister Catherine King said another Coalition government would make it harder for people to see the doctor.
Ms King said freezing of rebates in recent years had already had an impact.
“We’ve already seen first hand in our community what that has meant for general practitioners having to increase their fees for people to go and see the doctor,” she said.
“People want Medicare to stay, they want Medicare to remain affordable.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly said his government would not privatise Medicare.
In the blue corner, Liberal candidate Sarah Wade has campaigned heavily on the CFA crisis, and said if elected she would work to legislate against union interference in their duties.
“The first thing that I would be doing is to ensure legislation is passed in order to give protection to the CFA volunteers,” she said.
Ms Wade – a workplace relations lawyer – said she could not yet detail these law changes.
“(I would be) working with the appropriate people to ensure we get the best possible outcome and the best possible amendments or changes to that legislation,” she said.
Ms Wade defended the lack of any major promises for Ballarat.
City leaders have expressed their disappointment at seeing no infrastructure pledges from Ms Wade in the long campaign.
Neighbouring marginal seat of Corangamite has received $100 million in pledges from incumbent Liberal Sarah Henderson.
“I don’t concentrate on other electorates. I’ve got my focus totally on Ballarat and what I can do for Ballarat,” said Ms Wade.
Ms King has pledged to partly fund the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre for $5 million and the Parwan Employment Precinct for $1.5 million, as well as put $2.2 million into the Ballan Hospital.
She said worked hard for each of those projects.
“I do not take a single vote for granted, which is why I have worked so hard. It is not easy getting prmoises for your electorate. I have worked very hard to ensure that we are in a position to promise (those).”
Follow Saturday’s election results at thecourier.com.au from 6pm with crosses to the local party events and analysis of where our race was won and lost.
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