Rail extension: End-of-the-line
Councils butt heads over Baxter line
January 29, 2019 Brodie Cowburn Frankston Times
MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire mayor David Gill has poured cold water on Frankston Council CEO Dennis Hovenden’s claims that the shire has “no problem” with Baxter being the end point for the Frankston line extension.
Mr Hovenden said that “the Mornington Peninsula [Shire] has no problem with the electrification to Langwarrin and Baxter” after discussions at an informal dinner meeting between Mornington and Frankston councillors (“Rail resolution between councils signalled”, The Times, 15/1/19).
Cr Gill has disputed those comments, saying it “is not an accurate summary of the meeting between Frankston City Council and Mornington Peninsula Council in which Mornington Peninsula Council expressed the wish to have the electrification extension to at least Hastings”.
“Mornington Peninsula Council is not in favour of the extension stopping at Baxter which is in the green wedge and the Mornington Peninsula municipality,” he said.
“Hastings is the logical extension with extensive zoned special use including port related and industrial land and residential land still available for development.
“At the joint Frankston City and Mornington Peninsula Council informal meeting there was some discussion about there being less issues with the electrification going to Langwarrin within the boundaries of the Frankston City municipality.”
“The Baxter end of line alternative may have severe consequences in terms of large scale infrastructure that will develop surrounding an electrified end of line station, and threaten years of careful planning to protect the integrity of the local planning scheme, the character of the Mornington Peninsula, and the protection of the green wedge.”
“It is unfortunate that the Frankston CEO felt it necessary to speak on behalf of the Mornington Peninsula Shire. He is the CEO of Frankston City, not the Mornington Peninsula Municipality.”
When asked to clarify his comments, Mr Hovenden told The Times “Frankston City Council has met with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to progress a joint position on the electrification of the train line towards the Mornington Peninsula, to take to the Minister.
“Council fully understands and appreciates the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s view that the stabling of trains should not be at Baxter and supports an alternative position within the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
“Council maintains an excellent working relationship with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, having established the executive sub-committee, the next joint meeting being in March.”
First published in the Frankston Times – 29 January 2019
Rail resolution between councils signalled
January 14, 2019 Brodie Cowburn Latest News
FRANKSTON and Mornington councillors have met behind closed doors to discuss the plan to electrify the Frankston line to Baxter.
There had been some discrepancy between Frankston and Mornington councils on the issue, as Mornington Peninsula Shire have pushed to see the track extended beyond Baxter all the way to Hastings. Mornington councillors resolved in November to call on “all political parties … to commit to extending electrification of the Frankston railway line to Hastings in the current Baxter electrification business case”. “The idea for a staged extension, starting with Baxter, leaves the possibility of waiting decades for the electric line to get to Hastings. Council has now decided on a major campaign to push for the electrified rail line to go to Hastings. Hastings is the logical place to end the electrified line because it has plenty of available industrial and residential land,” Mornington councillor David Gill said in November. (“Shire changes track on Hastings line”, The News, 7/11/18)
Then mayor of Mornington Shire Bryan Payne also said that Baxter should not be the site for a train stabling area. Frankston Council agreed during their final meeting of the year off the back of their meeting with Mornington Council to invite them “to be part of the delegation to the Minister to enable clarification of both council’s position” on the train line.
Frankston Council CEO Dennis Hovenden said at the last council meeting of the year that “there is concern that there is some mixed messages that could go to the [public transport] minister, which is of concern. One of those mixed messages is around the position that the Mornington Peninsula Shire council has.” “Councillors who attended last week’s dinner and working meeting with Mornington Peninsula Shire know that while the Mornington Peninsula has no problem with the electrification to Langwarrin and Baxter, they certainly do have concerns around the stabling of trains potentially in the green wedge at Baxter and they have a stated desire in perhaps taking the track further down towards Hastings,” he said.
Cr Sandra Mayer said ”we met with the Shire last week and the majority of their councillors were there and the majority of our councillors were there. I think we cleared the air, I think it was all laid out on the table, I think it was a very fruitful meeting. We discussed a number of issues, it was really good, and we’ve committed to working together to get a good outcome for both of our municipalities. “Public transport is such an issue down on the peninsula,” she said.
Plans for the project are still up in the air, with state Labor funding not yet committed to the project, pending the completion of a business case. The case is slated to be ready early this year.
First published in the Frankston Times – 15 January 2019
Unfinished business’: Julia Banks to take on Health Minister Greg Hunt
The Age, 30 January 2019, David Crowe
Read about Greg Hunts support for the Frankston rail extension
Frankston health and Education precinct: Research hub announcement
Health hub to help elderly. Trial would keep older people in their own homes longer.
ELDERLY Australians would stay in their own homes for longer under a federal Opposition plan to trial radical new health approaches in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.
Around-the-clock monitoring of elderly Australians and more rehabilitation services in the home and community would be trialled in a major bid to keep people out of nursing homes. The $48 million trial would be based in the Peninsula and include innovative new plans for aged care, mental health and substance addiction, including trials to find ways to keep the elderly in their own homes.
New technology would be used in the trials to give elderly Aussies more independence, which will also avoid unnecessary hospitalisations. It is hoped the health research hub — a partnership between Monash University and Peninsula Health — will develop successful models which can then be rolled out across the country.
Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King last week committed $21 million towards the project, with Monash and Peninsula Health to fund the rest.
Ms King said the trials would focus on delivering greater independence so people can stay at home for longer. “A partnership between Monash University and Peninsula Health, the hub will focus on designing and delivering new, better integrated models of care for some of the region’s most vulnerable people,” Ms King said. “Successful models could then be scaled up and rolled out across Australia. “The hub will focus particularly on improving outcomes in aged care, mental health and addiction — pressing issues both in the local area and across the nation.” The new hub will also trial a number of new treatments to tackle alcohol and drug dependence, as well as combat mental health conditions.
Ms King said the project would deliver jobs for the Peninsula region in both health and construction.
Carparking- Developer contribution scheme
Parking plans panned. Traders say council fix for city centre ‘too little too late’
Christian Tatman, Frankston Standard, 21 January 2019.
ANGRY traders say Frankston Council’s ‘cash in lieu’ scheme won’t fix the city’s parking mess.
Business owners told the Leader it was “too little too late” and more parking was needed immediately to help traders stay afloat. And Maverick councillor Steve Toms has called for a multi-level carpark to be built to address parking chaos in the CBD.
Under council’s plan, developers who cannot provide carparking at their development site in Frankston’s CBD will have to pay $19,500 per car space into a fund. The money will be used to build future carparks and improvements in the city centre.
Ginevra Hosking, chief executive of advocacy group the Committee for Greater Frankston, said the ‘cash in lieu’ scheme would not alleviate current parking woes. “Our community understands that lack of affordable CBD carparking is one of Frankston’s most debilitating economic issues,” she said. “Council’s focus for 2019 must be on implementing evidenced-based strategies to tackle this problem.”
Cr Toms said the new scheme would ultimately “reap rewards”, but radical action was needed now to address the issue. “There are a number of paid carparks, but what locals and traders are looking for is free carparking,” he said. Cr Toms said a multistorey carpark in the shopping region was a must to encourage shoppers back to Frankston.
Mayor Michael O’Reilly said the $19,500 to be paid by developers did not “fully reflect” the cost of building new multistorey public carparking, but it was “an appropriate level” to ensure Frankston remained a competitive location for new investment.
The Leader reported in October that the council had received a petition — backed by traders — signed by 2744 people calling for action to sort out the parking mess and for Bayside Shopping Centre to provide more free parking. The centre flatly rejected the call.