Annual report 2017: the year in review
By Fred Harrison, President, and Ginevra Hosking, CEO, Committee for Greater Frankston
In the Committee for Greater Frankston’s inaugural year of operation, 2017, our members selected a small number of policies and infrastructure projects – much needed projects that have sat on government desks for over two decades – that, once achieved, will advance the social and economic wellbeing of our region. Since then, the Committee has been energetically pursuing this agenda.
The result of our advocacy should be to bring more investment and, importantly, more jobs, jobs, jobs into the area from Carrum Downs in the north and Mount Eliza in the South; and from Frankston city in the west and Langwarrin in the east.
Currently underway are projects investigating and advocating for:
· Duplication of Lathams Road, in the Carrum Downs industrial estate, to alleviate daily congestion in our largest and fastest-growing employment precinct.
· Extension of the Frankston rail line to better connect our region’s workers to jobs.
· Redevelopment of Frankston Hospital into a state-significant specialist research and teaching facility.
· Recognition of the need for car parking in outer suburbs.
· An adequate future supply of commercial and industrial land.
· Best practice, efficient and easy town planning processes.
· Future-proofing of affordable freight movements, air transport and shipping to and from the Greater Frankston region.
Considerable progress has been made in two of these project areas.
The inadequate vehicle access provided by Lathams Road has been holding back the growth of our region’s most important economic hub, Carrum Downs Industrial Estate, for more than two decades. The Committee’s work has meant that it is finally being taken seriously.
We have been told that there could soon be an announcement by the state government that Lathams Road will be duplicated. Matthew Guy, Victorian Opposition Leader, attended a Committee-hosted briefing on the community benefits of extending the Frankston rail line including adding stations at Monash University’s Peninsula campus, Karingal and Langwarrin as well as additional station car parking for commuters.
He responded with the public statement that electrification of the rail line from Frankston to Baxter was one of two major rail extension projects in the state (the other being Melton). “The line does need extending,” he said, “and we will be making formal comments in the months ahead.”
The Committee entered 2017 as a concept only. At the time, six passionate Frankston people were working to establish the Committee – Fred Harrison, Grahame Gordon, Peter Patterson, Ken Rowe, Bob Seiffert and working group chairperson Christine Richards.
After 18 months of fundraising, signing up our first 28 members, and recruiting a CEO, the working group’s task was completed when the Committee was formally launched by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas on 10 February 2017. Four members of the working group have continued on the Committee’s 15-member board.
During 2017 the Committee for Greater
Frankston’s foundations have been firmly established:
- More than 40 passionate, successful local businesses, organisations and community members have joined. Our aim is to have a membership base of 50 by the end of 2018.
- Recurring membership income is now more than $188,000 annually and we delivered a first-year operating surplus.
- A 15-person board – boasting engineers, lawyers, a doctor and a range of dynamic CEOs from the Greater Frankston region’s business community – is working effectively and efficiently to support our CEO, Ginevra Hosking, to advance our agenda.
- A website has been developed by the Frankston Foundry, and there is regular and positive coverage of C4GF advocacy and events in the region’s media.
- An exciting events schedule is underway, enabling our members to connect with leaders and policymakers.
- Effective working relationships have been developed with a range of organisations that play an important leadership role in the Greater Frankston region, including VicRoads, Frankston City, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Frankston Business Network, Mt Eliza Chamber of Commerce, and the state Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning through the Southern Metropolitan partnerships
In the past 12 months, the Committee for Greater Frankston has hosted events with six high-profile politicians or former politicians, from both major political parties, as guest speakers. All spoke keenly about the need for change to be driven from within our community, and the importance of delivering clear, concise messages to governments. They were:
· Tim Pallas,Victorian Treasurer
· Jeff Kennett, Former Victorian Premier
· Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects
· Neale Burgess, Shadow Minister for Small Business
· Sonya Kilkenny, Carrum MP and an Acting Speaker in the Legislative Assembly
· Matthew Guy, Victorian Opposition Leader and Leader of the Liberal Party.
The financial support our members provide through membership fees not only enables the work to be done but also ensures a politically-independent, strong and meaningful voice for the Greater Frankston community. When we work together as a region, we achieve far more than as individual organisations.
The Board and Management congratulate and thank our members for their vision in supporting the Committee for Greater Frankston and we sincerely thank members for their support in making the Greater Frankston region a better place to live, work and invest.
We warmly acknowledge the excellent work that our team of passionate volunteers and staff has undertaken this year including Bob Seiffert, the architect of our constitution and company secretary; events coordinators Max Butler, Lisa Dixon and Tony Bracy; and Christine Richards, who founded and led the Committee’s media and communications program. The quality of our press releases, website, newsletters and other publications has cemented a reputation for quality and substance. At the end of last year, we welcomed Mike Hast to the role of writer and communications adviser, and he has played a valuable role in gaining publicity for the Committee’s activities and objectives. Finally, thank you to the Committee for Greater Frankston Board of Directors. All volunteers, they provide credibility, expertise and a significant level of commitment to our region. The Board has worked efficiently and effectively throughout 2017. They have our respect, admiration and gratitude.
Fred Harrison Ginevra Hosking
19 February 2019