Frankston rail extension and other transport news
Baxter rail still on track
Frankston leader, 11 June 2019
The Federal Government has claimed the much vaunted Baxter rail project remains on track, despite losing its key advocate. Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther, a passionate supporter, lost his seat in last month’s election.
But Flinders Liberal MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government remained committed. “We are the only level of government to put any money on the table for this project, with $3 million delivered for the business case and $225 million secured for the extension,” he said. “It has now been over a year since the Victorian Government announced the business case and we’re still waiting for it to see the light of day.”
New Dunkley Labor MP Peta Murphy said the $225 million would be “not available for years”.
Supporters including advocacy group Committee for Greater Frankston say the project to electrify and duplicate the rail line from Frankston to Baxter is vital and will transform public transport in the region, while also creating almost 4000 jobs.
Melbourne’s northwest and southeast suburbs to get a transit turbocharge
Infrastructure projects in two booming areas of Melbourne are set to be fast-tracked as part of a plan to turbocharge development and manage soaring population growth.
New roads, rail lines and other big infrastructure projects are set to be fast-tracked throughout Melbourne’s suburbs as part of a plan to manage soaring population growth. Long-awaited rail upgrades, a third Melbourne airport and development of the Outer Metropolitan Ring Rd could all be part of the pact.
The Morrison Government will begin talks with the Victorian government and local councils within weeks on establishing two City Deals covering Melbourne’s southeast and northwest. The plans would bring all three levels of government together on an agreed set of infrastructure, employment, housing and liveability priorities, with funding locked in for a suite of projects.
The Southeast Melbourne City Deal would cover about 1.5 million people and include at least eight local government areas taking in Cranbourne, Berwick, Narre Warren, Chadstone, Clayton, Glen Waverley, Oakleigh, Pakenham and the Mornington Peninsula. The final boundaries for the Northwest Melbourne City Deal are still to be negotiated, but it would likely cover more than 2 million residents and include the suburbs of Broadmeadows, Essendon, Tullamarine and Sunshine.
Federal Cities Minister Alan Tudge told the Herald Sun his vision for Melbourne was for people to be able to “live, work and play” in the same area.
“We need to have the discussions with the councils and the state government to assess their level of interest in fully participating in this,” Mr Tudge said. “If there is a strong desire, then we will go through a consultation process, we will lay out some of the priorities and then we will work through to final commitments that each of us will be able to bring to the table over a 10-to-20-year horizon.” Mr Tudge said the deals would take between 12 and 18 months to be sealed.
In the southeast, projects on councils’ list of priorities include road and rail upgrades, a rail shuttle linking the Port of Melbourne with Dandenong and an international airport. In the northwest, proposals could include a push to build the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road — a 12-lane super-highway around Melbourne’s outskirts — and accelerating the development of freight hubs.
Regions unite on fast train strategy
The Age, 8 June 2019, Timna Jacks and Clay Lucas
A proposal to connect Victoria with a fast rail network has been presented to Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan and federal Cities and Urban Infrastructure and Population Minister Alan Tudge. However, no Consideration has been given to fast rail connection between the South East Melbourne cities in Frankston, Dandenong or the Mornington-Peninsula .
Fix due for $13m road fail
Traders, council say VicRoads to rectify ‘botched’ Young St
Christian Tatman, 3 June 2019, Pg1
Works to fix ongoing issues with the controversial redevelopment of Young St will start later this year amid trader claims VicRoads has admitted it botched the $13 million project. Several traders said VicRoads officials had quietly told them the revamp — completed in late 2017 — had left the road too narrow and it would have to be widened. “They have said they are going to try and fix it,” a trader who did not want to be identified said. “They have not elaborated — they’re embarrassed.
The business owner said there had been a number of pedestrians hit by cars because the road was too narrow. “It’s dangerous,” he said. Another trader said bus drivers were constantly complaining Young St was not wide enough. “VicRoads said ‘we are going to be doing some modifications’,” he said. The roads authority did not deny the allegations or confirm more works were needed when asked by Leader.
“A total of 16 bus services are now operating from Young St,” VicRoads said. “We regularly review the public transport network to identify opportunities to improve services and ensure passengers travel needs are met.”
But Frankston mayor Michael O’Reilly said bus operators had reported at the completion of the Young St works that the new traffic lanes were not wide enough for buses to safely swing in and out of. Cr O’Reilly said that was “largely rectified” at the time, but he understood more works would be done to “finalise these adjustments” in September and October, and traders would be notified of the planned works.
Frankston State Labor MP Paul Edbrooke did not respond to requests for comment.
Paul Edbrooke subsequently updated the Frankston Traders Association, with the following assurances:
Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP this afternoon in relation to the article published on Page 1 of the Frankston Standard Leader dated 3 June 2019.
The Member for Frankston has assured me that their are no plans that he is aware of to widen Young St as suggested by the article. He went on to add that certainly there has been some discussion in relation to extending the length of the bus bays to give bus drivers more room to pull in and out of their bays, however, at this stage, there is no immediate plan for such rectification works. Further, the Member for Frankston has committed to keeping us, Frankston Traders Association Incorporated, updated should their be any details relating to works on Young St and shared his wish to work with us.
I hope this clarifies things for everyone, and we look forward to working with the Member for Frankston and other stakeholders as we continue our work for our Members and our community.- John Billing
Police hit the CBD beat.
Patrols take aim at bad behaviour
Christian Tatman and Lisa Schefman; Leader 3 June 2019, pg 3
Police have ramped up patrols near Frankston’s transport hub, but frustrated traders say more needs to be done as drinking, fighting and swearing in the CBD spirals out of control. Frankston Senior Sergeant Phil Hulley said there had been an increase in uniformed and plain-clothed police in the city’s transit precinct.
While Frankston Traders’ Association president John Billing welcomed the move. “We want to see more police patrolling Frankston’s CBD, walking irregular routes to increase the element of surprise,” he said. “We want everyone to feel safe and welcome when they come to Frankston and not be subjected to offensive language, intimidating or unlawful behaviour.”
Traders, commuters and shoppers have reported an increase in large groups of people displaying anti-social behaviour in Frankston’s transit precinct. Business operators say frequent drinking, fighting and swearing on the streets is getting out of hand.
Frankston councillor Steve Toms, who has acted as an advocate for traders, said there had been a more visible police presence in the transit precinct. He said greater youth engagement was also needed to address the problem of anti-social behaviour involving young people.
Store owner Natalie Waterworth has said feral youths and pre-teens were a nightmare and lawless. “They have the attitude authorities will give them a slap on the wrist and tell them to go home,” she said.
Anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour is urged to report it to police. Sen-Sgt Hulley said police had the ability to hand out on-the-spot fines
Frankston Council takes it to the streets with new busking policy
Street musicians in Frankston’s CBD will be put under the microscope after some traders complained that some were too noisy and performed inappropriate material — but the council is insisting they aren’t auditions.
Christian Tatman, Frankston Standard Leader, 4 June 2019
Buskers in central Frankston in central Frankston will be vetted by the council under a new quality control policy.
Street performers will have to provide digital links to their music such as a website or YouTube video as part of their application for a permit — but Frankston Council insists this is not an audition.
Councillors last night voted to adopt the new approach in a bid to improve the quality of street performances and ensure family friendly lyrics. In future, would-be buskers would be “vetted through a quality lens”, a council officer’s report stated. “Street performers must not offend any members of the public by their behaviour, performance or other offensive language/material,” it stated. Buskers and street performers must also provide “evidence of developed and varied repertoire”.
The policy was adopted after some traders complained that some buskers were too noisy and performed inappropriate material. Frankston councillor Steve Toms, who has acted as an advocate for traders, said some had been concerned about the quality of performances. Cr Toms stressed that traders acknowledged buskers added “culture to the streets”, but said they felt so-called “gangsta rap” was completely inappropriate.
Fellow councillor Sandra Mayer, who sings regularly at venues as ‘Shania Mayer’, said the new policy was fair. “It’s got to work for everybody,” she said.