JULIA Gillard believes the ALP will win the next election and says she is looking forward to working with the incoming Lalor candidate to continue the legacy of achievements “that only a Labor government can deliver”.
In her first statement since last Wednesday night, Ms Gillard said it had been an honour and privilege to represent Lalor over the past 15 years.
She paid tribute to the western suburbs community where “residents are so engaged and willing to fight to achieve better outcomes”.
“We have fought and achieved much,” she said, before singling out the 1998 community campaign against CSR’s plans to build a toxic dump at Werribee.
“In my first years as Member for Lalor, I was proud to be part of the No Toxic Waste Dump campain.
”’If anyone doubted the tenacity and passion of the passion of the people of Wyndham, they should look no further than the 15,000 local people who attended an outdoor public meeting on a cold autumn night to protest against the proposal.
“Whether it was at the Weerama Festival or at a Werribee Tigers footy game, locals have always been so willing to share their ideas and concerns with me.
“I would also sincerely like to thank local people for their support and generosity in recent days.”
LALOR ELECTION: Clash looms as school head steps up
Ms Gillard was returned as Lalor MP in 2010 with almost 65 per cent of the primary vote, an increase of 4 per cent.
She listed major investments in transport, infrastructure, education and health services as lasting legacies of her time as Lalor MP.
“These are outcomes that only a Labor government can deliver. They require boldness, bravery and a relentless belief that access to these things shouldn’t depend on your postcode or your bank balance.”
Ms Gillard said her proudest local achievements included a regional community trade training centre in Wyndham, a new GP super clinic at Wyndham Vale and a headspace youth mental health centre due to open in Werribee at the end of the year.
She also listed DisabilityCare, to improve services for more than 4000 Lalor residents with permanent disabilities, and her government’s $3.2 billion investment in Regional Rail Link.
Ms Gillard urged voters to give Labor another term in office, saying many major policies were “works in progress” and at risk of being cut back if the Coalition took government.
LIBERAL CANDIDATE: Unstable Labor ‘frustrates’ residents
LABOR CONTENDERS: Big shoes to fill
JOAN KIRNER: Former Premier speaks up for political sister
LOOKING BACK: Julia Gillard bids electorate final farewell