Mornington: A new era awaits the heart of the Peninsula.


Mornington. The heart of the Peninsula

No matter their duration, all things must come to an end. This rings especially true for David Morris MP, whose tenure as member for parliament for Mornington will end in November, after 15 years in office.

After being ousted by former Dunkley member of parliament Chris Crewther in preselection late last year, the Liberal candidate is ready for someone else to assume responsibility.

“Do you think it is going to last forever, no, but what you do is you work bloody hard to try and make it last forever,” Morris said. “I am now retirement age, I am pretty relaxed about moving out the Parliament at this point, and the closer we get to the election, the more relaxed I am about moving out.

“People joke about having a career in politics, you cannot have a career in politics unless you are exceptionally lucky. I guess I am lucky in that.”

Morris has witnessed immense change in the area since first elected into Mornington’s Main Street office, with population figures having increased about 82 percent from 2006 onwards. While the electorate covers only a portion of that growth, a large bulk of it has fallen under Morris’ watch.

While so much, including the rapid rise in numbers within his district, has changed, the former Caulfield Grammar student insists some things have remained constant.

“The strength of the community has persisted I think. It is so much easier to do the job when you understand the community and you can accurately reflect the views of the majority whatever that may be.I certainly have felt that if you work hard, and the community see that, they will reward you with ongoing support.”

While observing the electorate in a parliamentary role, Morris maintained he was content with the majority of his time in office.

His record in the last four elections confirmed, seeing off the likes of Ryan White, Rebecca Wright, James Dooley, and William Puls during this time.

Despite the confidence placed in him by locals, and a grip on the seat not loosened until now, there are still actions rued to this day.

Morris said his spell representing Mount Martha, Mount Eliza, Mornington, and Tuerong has improved these locations from when he first took on the role, but more could have been done.

“I think in any period of 16 years, there is always some regrets, but overwhelmingly I think I am pretty happy with the outcome. I can point to the election results and say I contested four times and four times I won on primary vote. Have I kept ahead of the curve, I think I have, but I have not kept as far ahead of the curve as I would like to have.

With Morris not contesting his seat this November, he is looking forward to the future, asserting his opinion the incumbent member of parliament will not have it easy.

The local public transport network was described as the main issue still plaguing Mornington, due to a lack of alteration in the area’s bus services

“I would like to think [the electorate is in a better place], but I think the reality is, to maintain the lifestyle, maintain the green wedge, all of these things are going to be a constant battle. There has been no change to public transport since the Liberals left government, so things like that are particularly frustrating.

“Half of Mount Eliza is several kilometres from a bus stop, so there is a lot of work to be done. “There is no shortage of work to be done for whoever is the member at the end of November.”

The only candidate who has nominated to take the Mornington mantle as of now is Crewther. A Mount Eliza resident, the Liberal candidate has been involved in a number of community projects involving the local area in recent times.

If elected, he plans to see such involvements continue, as he looks to forge a strong relationship with his community in a similar vein to his predecessor.

When asked what he would do if elected in December on RPPFM, the Peninsula’s local radio, his answer was simple, yet hopeful:

“To focus on the future and fight for a range of things that the community want,” he said. “There are a lot of young families like my own who have moved across Melbourne and elsewhere that have made this area their home. These are the sorts of things I want to fight for.”