Public health & Sport priorities in Bentleigh


Nathan Sepe

Sporting facilities are a priority in Bentleigh

A swift journey down the Frankston line to McKinnon, Bentleigh, Patterson, or Moorabbin station, and you’ll find yourself in the district of Bentleigh.

The Bentleigh electorate is now home to 66,780 people and 18,448 families, a rapidly increasing electorate, with numbers up 9.42% and 12.8% according to the 2021 and 2016 censuses.

Representing the Labor government for the third consecutive term is life-long local Nick Staikos, who has been the current MP for Bentleigh since 2014.

Staikos believes his background as a local of the area makes him the right fit to represent the electorate for another term.

“I have a real passion for the Bentleigh electorate because it’s where I was born and raised and where I continue to live, he said. “I’m a local, just like the people I represent.”

Throughout the last eight years representing the Bentleigh electorate, Staikos’ achievements include upgrades of education facilities, removal of railway level crossings, and increasing road safety.

Staikos said he wanted to be a part of the pandemic rebuild, turning his attention to public health improvements in the Bentleigh electorate.

“We’re going to get started on the Moorabbin Hospital ambulance station and should turn the first sod on that this year,” he said. “This will mean that for the first time ever, Bentleigh will have its own ambulance crew serving our community’s needs.”

Staikos said  the community needed more healthcare personnel to aid the recovery from the pandemic.

He said Labor had deliberately made TAFE nursing courses fee-free to increase numbers of healthcare workers.

“We need to respect their work because if we respect their work, if we treat them better, we will get more people into that.”

But looking to win back the electorate of Bentleigh in the upcoming electorate is Debbie Taylor-Haynes, running candidate for the Liberal party.

Taylor-Haynes declined an interview, however, she urged people to view her website for details on her policies leading into the upcoming election.

On her website, Taylor-Haynes said she migrated from England 27 years ago, establishing a small family business in Moorabbin, which she still runs to this day.

A mother to three children, Taylor-Haynes said she understood the need for balance in the  community moving forward out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I understand the needs of young people and recognise how their lives have been impacted in recent times,” she said. “I am committed to ensuring that their future is one of stability, equality, and one where they are heard.”

According to Taylor-Haynes’ website, the Liberal government is prioritising no more lockdowns, slashing hospital waiting lists, fixing Victoria’s healthcare crisis, keeping the cost of living down, and fixing the mental health crisis heading into the state election.

In Taylor-Haynes’ latest media releases, her focus has been on the development of sporting precincts in the Bentleigh electorate.

Recently she proposed upgrades to Bailey Reserve, where under a Matthew Guy Liberals and Nationals Government, a $500,000 grant would be handed to renovate the current sporting pavilion.

“I’m proud to be part of a Liberals and Nationals team backing grassroots sport and providing local sporting clubs with the facilities they need and deserve,” she said.

Taylor-Haynes said she would deliver for the community an upgrade to the Bentleigh Bowls club.

An election win for Taylor Haynes would see the Liberal party attain the Bentleigh seat for the first time since 2014.

The Australian Greens party are currently going through the preselection process and the successful candidate will be confirmed after voting closes on September 12.