Q&A – 2022 State Election

Alpine Observer & Myrtleford Times

Q&A – 2022 State Election – Ovens Valley Candidates



Tim McCurdy – The Nationals

Do you have any funding commitments for the Bright Hospital Precinct? If so, what are they?

I have committed $26.5 million to upgrade the Bright Hospital Precinct, including the aged care upgrades, student accommodation at Hawthorn Village, and upgrades to the hospital itself.
I have worked with the community on planning a vision that will serve the Bright community into the future, ensuring that locals can stay local when they need health or aged care.

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues that face the Alpine Shire, and how would you address them?

Housing is by far the biggest issue in the Alpine Shire, with median house prices in Bright sitting in excess of $1.2 million. This is unsustainable and is driving the workforce away from residing locally due to being priced out.
The Nationals will free up more land for housing development, matching demand, and making housing more affordable.
Health is another key issue, with the community lacking the investment to ensure there are the facilities that are required. We have committed to the Bright Hospital Precinct upgrades, and under a Nationals Government, we will ensure there are more nurses and doctors available, especially in our regional communities.
We will also be addressing the cost-of-living crisis by providing targeted energy bill relief, and slashing V/Line fares in half, making it more affordable to travel via coach or train to a major center. Only a Nationals Government will ensure we get our fair share.


Zuvele Leschen – Labor Party – Victorian Branch

Do you have any funding commitments for the Bright Hospital Precinct? If so, what are they?

We’ve delivered $1.52 million through the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to design and plan the Bright Health Precinct and redevelopment of Alpine Health’s Hawthorn Village. This process will map how the current aged care facility will be transformed into a bigger, better and safer home for residents.
Only Labor will do what matters – our comprehensive workforce plan includes training and hiring thousands of nurses and paramedics, making it free to study nursing and building hospitals to provide the care Victorians need.

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues that face the Alpine Shire, and how would you address them?

As a former Alpine Shire councillor, I have a good understanding of the area. This is why I became interested in the difficulties potential workers were facing finding accommodation – and the problems employers were facing finding workers.
One way of providing the workers needed is through training – that’s why we’re developing the skills locals need by building and upgrading TAFE campuses, making more free courses and supporting people to upskill.
The shire is remarkably dependent on the environment – it provides most of our jobs, whether that’s through growing the myriad of produce we offer, or through activities such as skiing, mountain bike riding, and bush walking. I’ve been a consistent advocate for environmental action.
Finally, as a former board member of Alpine Health, I’m aware that we have an aging population. Providing good health facilities – particularly for aged care – and a health workforce are obvious priorities.


Zoe Kromar – Australian Greens

Do you have any funding commitments for the Bright Hospital Precinct? If so, what are they?

I 100 percent support the expansion of healthcare services in our region. We need so much more of it. Waiting lists are long and our healthcare workers are hurting. It’s not just Bright that needs more healthcare – I’ll fight for every person in the region to have access to affordable efficient healthcare, including mental health and dental care.

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues that face the Alpine Shire, and how would you address them?

My focus in the upcoming election is on the housing crisis, healthcare, and the climate emergency.
Over 100,000 Victorians are awaiting public housing. We plan to build over 200,000 public and affordable homes across the state, and have that partially funded by developers who are making profits while we are struggling to afford to rent and buy.
Almost one in three Victorians are renters, but rents are currently going up four times faster than wages. We can fix that.
Our plan to replace coal and gas with 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 will ensure the protection of our environment, while creating tens of thousands of sustainable and long-term jobs.
With better investment in our regional healthcare system, we can provide our community with the services they so desperately need.


Julian Fidge – Liberal Democrats

Do you have any funding commitments for the Bright Hospital Precinct? If so, what are they?

The Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing funding for the Bright Hospital Precinct by retaining regional taxes to invest in new health infrastructure like hospitals and clinics. Regional Victorians currently contribute 25% of the state’s taxes, but we only get 10% back. The rest is wasted in Melbourne to buy votes.
Our policies can be found at: vic.ldp.org.au.

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues that face the Alpine Shire, and how would you address them?

The biggest issues in Alpine Shire are the high cost of living, including high energy prices, lack of infrastructure and housing scarcity.
The Liberal Democrats will improve the lives of Alpine Shire residents by –
•Constructing hydroelectric dams in the Alps to provide cheaper, cleaner, more reliable hydroelectric power, as well as employment and water sports facilities;
• Returning the taxes paid by residents of the Alpine Shire to be spent on roads and infrastructure in Alpine Shire by reducing pork-barrelling spending in Melbourne;
• Abolishing stamp duty in the Alpine Shire to encourage more and better quality housing;
• Abolishing payroll tax in the Alpine Shire to encourage builders to employ more tradesmen and other workers;
• Unlocking the state forests and other public land to encourage tourism; and
• Reducing government red tape and regulation that blocks businesses.


The Alpine Observer / Myrtleford Times attempted to contact Anna Wise (Family First Victoria), Aisha Slater (Animal Justice Party) and Mark Bugge (Freedom Party of Victoria) on repeated occasions, but failed to get a response from these candidates or their represented parties .