The chair of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership has high expectations for the Nationals, after voters gave them another three years in government and in Mallee at Saturday's Federal Election.
David Jochinke said he expected them to have a good idea of what the region needed, having already been in power for six years.
"I believe that with the swing we saw in the Mallee, the status quo can't be maintained," he said.
Anne Webster, who will become the new Natoinals Member for Mallee, received just under 30 per cent of the primary vote on Saturday, a swing away from the Nationals of more than 26 per cent compared to the 2016 election.
Mr Jochinke said this result was a message from voters that they could see things needed to be improved.
"I hope the government acknowledges the work that needs to be done in the in Wimmera," he said.
"We need to take note of our base level of services when it comes to Health and Education, and demand that there is improvement across the board."
Mr Jochinke said the Nationals' promise to commit $1.65 million to upgrades to the Wimmera River through Horsham would benefit the town directly, but the region needed wider support.
"The government's previous look at regional development hasn't for enough," he said. "We need to see population growth rather than decline in our regions, because otherwise we can only expect fewer resources. I'd hope they can hit the ground running on these issues, we will be pushing quite firmly for action."
Mr Jochinke is also the president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, and said the quality of roads and telecommunications was affecting farmers' ability to do business in the Wimmera.
"I've heard stories from Wimmera farmers of native vegetation impediments to road access and the state of the roads is deteriorating to the point where it is getting harder to transport machinery. The level of government responsible for roads funding shouldn't be the debate, it should be how all levels of government can play their part," he said.
Mr Jochinke also welcomed the Nationals' plans to introduce new legislation to make it an offence to use the internet to disclose personal information about farms to incite trespassers.
During the campaign, incoming Member for Mallee Anne Webster said if elected, she would work with health providers to ensure there are enough medical professionals for small towns.
Catherine Morley, chief executive of the Wimmera Health Care Group, said funding models needed to be altered.
"The funding models for health workforce, infrastructure and timely access to specialist services isn't as effective as it could be, resulting in poor health outcomes for rural communities," she said.
Ms Morley said Dr Webster's suggestion of getting more nurse practitioners to small communities to perform some of the roles GPs did needed more attention.
"Nurse practitioners are a great model that we are already using in the region, but the current system doesn't allow us to access any funding for them, which means health services have to self-fund positions and they are expensive," she said.
"We have invited Dr Webster to the Wimmera Cancer Centre opening on June 12th and we are happy to talk to her and new health on how we can work together."
Mark Fletcher, acting executive director of the Wimmera Development Association, echoed Mr Jochinke's sentiment that Dr Webster and the government should focus on improving communications in the Wimmera as a priority. He said improving road and rail infrastructure was of equal concern.
"WDA continues to advocate for improvements to public transport across the region in particular, strongly supporting 'Western Rail' to see passenger rail services returned to Horsham," he said.
"In light of the recent drought, ongoing funding for mental health programs for rural and regional areas is also being sought. In times of drought, funding sources become available for these extremely important programs, however, once the drought funding finishes so do many of these programs.
"Unfortunately, many of the issues from these lean times can take a number of good seasons to address."
Dr Nick Economou, politics lecturer at Monash University, said the election result held good and bad news for Mallee.
"The bad news is notoriously safe seats for major arties don't get anywhere near the promises of marginal ones, but the whole point of the National Party is to look after its constituents," he said.
"I suspect the current leader Michael McCormack, whose authority has been greatly boosted by the election result, will want to make sure his newest members are sensitive to the needs of the community and that the Coalition government responds to them."
"In Mallee it looked as if the government was in trouble, because the sitting local member Andrew Broad was caught out being silly. If ever there was an opportunity to sneak this seat, that was it, but the Nationals have seen that off. That is a significant victory, and Dr Webster stands on the edge of a long parliamentary career if she wants it."
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