Liberals pledge $4 million study into the electrification and duplication of the Frankston to Baxter rail line
FRANKSTON Council can tick off its top pre election wish after the Liberals promised to fund a $4 million study into the electrification and duplication of the Frankston to Baxter rail line.
Dunkley Liberal candidate Chris Crewther, accompanied by Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher, made the election pledge at Baxter Train Station. The study will also investigate a new station near Frankston Hospital and creating a third express line enabling a 30-minute trip from Frankston to Melbourne. It will examine relocating stabling facilities from Frankston to Baxter — freeing up parking in the Frankston CBD as well as land for residential and commercial development.
Dunkley Labor candidate Peta Murphy has already pledged $1.5m for a study and the Liberals’ announcement means that it will occur regardless of which party wins the July 2 election.
The commitment from both parties is a major win for council, which has campaigned for years for a major study on the electrification and duplication of the rail line. Mayor James Dooley said the project was council’s No.1 priority. “It’s something we have been talking about for a number of years,” he said.
Council argues that duplication and electrification will give people in Baxter and Langwarrin better access to public transport and reduce congestion in central Frankston.
Mr Crewther said his party wanted to “achieve real transport solutions for everyone, from residents to commuters, students and visitors”. “Ensuring our communities have efficient transport, adequate parking and reduced congestion are crucial for liveable cities and jobs and growth,” he said.
In other announcements this week, Ms Murphy pledged that a Shorten Labor Government would direct NBN Co to roll out 21st century fibre to-the-premises to more than 6000 homes and businesses in Frankston CBD, Mt Eliza, Frankston South, Langwarrin South and Baxter.
Making the announcement at Mt Erin College, Ms Murphy said fast broadband would create jobs. She said the NBN rollout for across greater Frankston was long overdue. “High speed broadband will be critical to Mt Erin as it expands its design and technology capabilities and could transform opportunity for its many deaf students.”