18 May 2016

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PUPILS Charlotte Collier from Mentone Grammar as the mayor and Isaac Madafferi from Kingswood Primary school as jumior mayor learned about a day in the life of a mayor at Kingston Council. See story Page 4. Picture: Yanni

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Wednesday 18 May 2016

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‘Silence’ on sky rail slammed Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au ANTI-SKY rail campaigners are continuing to build a groundswell of support against any plan for elevated rail along the Frankston line. The protest group noskyrail.com.au hosted a community forum in Seaford on Sunday (15 May) attended by about 150 people to discuss with councillors and politicians options to remove Frankston line level crossings without the need to build rail over roads. Group co-founder Simon Johnson said the forum was well attended but it was disappointing no Labor Party MPs could turn up to address community concerns. State Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny and federal Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus were invited to the Seaford forum and Mr Johnson said they are both welcome to head along to another forum being held in Mentone later this month. Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson flagged his unavailability ahead of the forum. “Tim Richardson and I had a brief conversation and he was flying out that morning and he was quite genuine and wanted to know when we were having another forum,” Mr Johnson said. Ms Kilkenny called off a few hours before the forum on the day according to Mr Johnson. He noted Mr Dreyfus was speaking out publicly about redevelopment plans for the Mentone Hotel (‘Hotel plan ‘fails pub test’’, The News 11/5/16) when it is a state government matter yet seemed to be handballing concerns about elevated rail on the Frankston line to state MPs. Mr Johnson said Mr Dreyfus is “absolutely silent on sky rail – the biggest development to hit

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this community which is definitely out of character and will overshadow property.” Frankston councillors Glenn Aitken, Rebekah Spelman, Darrel Taylor and mayor Cr James Dooley attended the noskyrail.com.au weekend forum in Seaford. Mr Johnson said the three Frankston councillors opposed sky rail but described Cr Dooley as “non-committal” on his views about the possibility of elevated rail. Liberal opposition spokesman for planning David Davis and federal Liberal candidate for Dunkley Chris Crewther were also there to voice the party’s opposition to sky rail. Mr Dreyfus said he “supports the removal of dangerous level crossings in our community”. “I am now waiting for the recommendations of the Level Crossing Removal Authority about the best options for removal. “I don’t propose to interfere with the community consultation by the Level Crossing Removal Authority, which is now underway. “I have been assured by the state government that no decisions have been made about the best method of removal for these level crossings. “I would encourage anyone interested in this issue to voice their concerns with the Level Crossing Removal Authority.” The Level Crossing Removal Authority will next month announce options for level crossings removals along the Frankston line. A final decision on how level crossings will be removed will be made at the end of this year. nThe noskyrail.com.au group will host a community forum at Mentone Bowls Club, 2 Swanston St, Mentone on Sunday 29 May, 2pm. See website for details.

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