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C4GF Annual General Meeting 2020- With Keynote Speaker, Vince Punaro, On Nepean Highway Revitalisation


Summit plan, Covid-safe dining the keys to revive Frankton’s ‘gateway’

FRANKSTON’S northern gateway – the Nepean Highway – urgently needs to be revamped to lead revitalisation of the CBD.
Revitalisation is now even more important as Covid restrictions are removed and revival of the economy begins, says one of the municipality’s leading advocacy groups, Committee for Greater Frankston.

The committee called on Frankston Council election candidates to support the push to improve the city’s commercial heart, starting with Nepean Highway. “A majority of candidates agree that we need to create a main street of which our city can be proud,” said Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking who surveyed all candidates on their policies and priorities.

The city’s northern gateway was “the first window into Frankston seen by cyclists and motorists”. “It’s the gateway for people coming down from Melbourne; it’s a missing link in Melbourne’s Bay Trail, too. How Nepean Highway looks defines us.”

Ms Hosking said the highway precinct had been in decline for many years. It was now strongly impacting on how people saw the city’s commercial centre and was scaring off investors. “Many members of the community were disappointed Frankston Council and VicRoads couldn’t agree on the original 2014 proposal to improve Nepean Highway’s streetscape, which came with $1 million of state funding for proposed roadworks.

“We wanted to revive the proposal so organised a virtual summit two weeks ago, which was ‘attended’ by Frankston City Council, VicRoads and selected highway property owners to plan a way forward. “There are two ways to approach this – either Frankston Council revises the 2014 study and creates a design for permanent works or it takes immediate action via the state government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, which supports hospitality businesses to create Covid-safe outdoor dining areas to help revive the economy. Or both.”

Ms Hosking said the government’s outdoor eating plan enables council to request VicRoads to take prompt action to support the plan. “Reviving the local economy, led by supporting the hospitality industry, is now our community’s number one priority,” she said.

The state government has promised $87 million to councils and businesses in Melbourne’s suburbs to make widespread outdoor dining safe and practical this summer. “The next step is to remove or renovate dilapidated buildings on the highway,” she said. “Property owners at the summit spoke about their desire to see the precinct improved and how their buildings had been targeted by squatters and graffitists.

“The revitalisation plan provides another reason for owners to remove or upgrade buildings. “We as a community have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fast-track these projects. And the new councillors need to get behind them and push hard. “Renewal will enable residents and visitors to reclaim the precinct. Imagine a summer’s day with the family at the nearby beach and then strolling up to get an ice cream or a snack, and later going out for dinner.

“It’s time to revamp our gateway and show the rest of Melbourne the advantages of our bayside city.”

2020 has been a most ‘unusual year’ for everyone. The Committee for Greater Frankston has sadly missed our regular members meetings over the last 4 months but, with COVID health restriction on gathering sizes and venues operations, running these events just hasn’t been possible.

With the ongoing prevalence of COVID in Victoria, the C4GF Board recognises that health restrictions will regretfully continue to prevent us holding an in-person meeting this year and as such we have arranged a virtual Zoom 2020 Annual General Meeting .

At 10am, guest speaker Vince Punaro, the SE Melbourne Director of VicRoads will discuss with the Frankston Community about ‘mobilising a Nepean Highway revitalisation program and the impact transforming this important gateway will have on Frankston’s image.’

Followed by the official Committee for Greater Frankston AGM at 10:45am which includes:-
• 2020 Board elections,
• an update on the Committee’s current advocacy projects including infrastructure Australia national priority listing of the Frankston rail extension and the upcoming Victorian council elections.
• a member forum discussion on What regional advocacy issues are most important to ensure Frankston thrives during the post-COVID recovery phase which will inform our advocacy 2021 program.

About Vince Punaro

Vince Punaro is the new Executive Director Metropolitan South East Region, for the Department of Transport.
A qualified civil engineer with a post graduate degree in management, Vince has almost 30 years professional experience at VicRoads (now Department of Transport) in planning and delivery of “on-road capital works projects including walking, cycling, private vehicle, bus and tram initiatives.

Vince is joining us on 18 September to discuss how his department can work with the Frankston community to revitalise Nepean Highway into “a main street of which our city can be proud”.
Nepean Highway the gateway to help restore Frankston’s image.