Simon Ramsay: Ripon result crucial at November's State Election

Pictured meeting in Stawell (L-R) Northern Grampians Shire Councillor Karen Hyslop, chief executive Justine Linley, Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay, Mayor Kevin Erwin and Cr Murray Emerson. Picture: BEN KIMBER

Pictured meeting in Stawell (L-R) Northern Grampians Shire Councillor Karen Hyslop, chief executive Justine Linley, Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay, Mayor Kevin Erwin and Cr Murray Emerson. Picture: BEN KIMBER

MEMBER for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay has conceded the sitting Coalition Government needs to improve its messaging if it is to end Labor's hold over the seat of Ripon at November's state election.

Visiting Stawell on Thursday to discuss Northern Grampians Shire Council's priority projects, Mr Ramsay said success in Ripon will be critical to the government's re-election.

"We are very serious about winning this seat of Ripon," he said.

"The fact is it is very critical to the success of the Napthine government on November 29.

"I think the messaging has to improve, I think people have been worried about the impact of the Federal Budget which has had an impact on our messaging."

Mr Ramsay has declared Ripon residents will be seeing much more of him in the lead up to polling day.

"I intend to spend more time in Ripon, which will be good for the electorate, good for Stawell, good for Ararat, because the focus will come on these pivotal towns which are part of Ripon," he said.

"We are serious about winning this seat, we have two good candidates, Liberal and National working the electorate.

"We have a very clear idea now about what people want for their particular communities."

Northern Grampians Shire Council has a few clear ideas of its own and Mr Ramsay said he listened intently to what they were at Thursday's meeting.

"I sat down with council and obviously talked about some of the projects and priorities they have. They're particularly concerned about ongoing funding both federal and state," he said.

"They are seeking an extension of the duplication of the Western Highway from Buangor where presently money is committed.

"I'm a strong advocate for representing them both at state and federal level in pursuing additional funding to continue the duplication to Ararat and beyond.

"It is an ongoing lobbying role that I am more than happy to support. They've also identified other opportunities that I am more than happy to support."

Mr Ramsay said it is important the state government sends the right message so that people fully understand the vision it has for the state.

"I think as we get closer to the election people will start to look at the different parties and be quite analytical about what they have to offer," he said.

"As a local rural MP that lives and breathes Western Victoria I would like to see a fair and equitable share of state funding go into Western Victoria.

"We're very rich in resource and communities and because of some of the isolation in the region we do require good services such as road networks, education and health.

"That's my priority to make sure we as rural communities in Western Victoria have the same sort of access to quality services as they do in metropolitan areas."

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