Major election pledges ‘duplicated’ Works begin at hospital Neil Walker firstname.lastname@example.org
PREMIER Denis Napthine visited a Carrum Downs family last week with a media pack on his campaign trail as he announced a commitment to spend up big on an overhaul of Thompsons Rd if his Coalition government is reelected on 29 November. The Premier said a re-elected Coalition government will spend $310 million to improve Thompsons Rd, including two grade separations and lane duplications. The revamped Thompsons Rd will be six lanes wide between the Western Port Highway and South Gippsland Highway and between McCormicks and DandenongFrankston roads. It will be four lanes between McCormicks Rd and Western Port Highway. The oft-congested Thompsons Rd level crossing will be removed and a grade separated interchange will replace the Western Port Highway roundabout. “Once the upgrade is complete, drivers using Thompsons Road will save up to 20 minutes as average speeds during peak hour will increase to 70 km/h from the current 20 km/h,” Dr Napthine said. “No matter where you travel or whether you choose to go by train or by car, we will get you there faster and make your journey safer.” Carrum MP Donna Bauer said Thompsons Rd needed to be widened to six lanes “in key sections” because “duplication is simply not enough for our growing region”. “Only the Coalition government’s upgrade includes an overpass of the
Family visit: Premier Denis Napthine, second right, and Carrum MP Donna Bauer, right, visited Glenn and Dayle Tasker last week.
Western Port Highway. The overpass is the most important component of the project in terms of removing congestion,” Ms Bauer said. Earlier this year, Labor opposition leader Daniel Andrews announced a $175m duplication of Thompsons Rd between East Link and Clyde Road in Cranbourne to ease traffic congestion. The major political parties are scrambling to match promises and one up each other as the marginal bayside ‘sandbelt’ seats of Frankston, Carrum, Mordialloc and Bentleigh shape up as pivotal to both the Liberal Party and Labor’s hopes of forming government. On Friday, Liberal candidate for Frankston Sean Armistead visited McClelland Secondary College in Frankston with Education Minister Martin Dixon to announce a $4.5m commitment to upgrade the school’s sports facilities, finish a modern gymnasium and “expand amenities” for students and staff.
“This is a fantastic announcement for students and families in the Frankston community. If elected, I will work hard with the great schools here in Frankston to support our students and families,” Mr Armistead said. In October, McClelland Secondary’s assistant principal Tristan Lanarus said he had approached former Liberal, now independent, MP Geoff Shaw to push to have any incoming state government commit about $4m to upgrade the school’s facilities. “[Geoff] has a track record of getting things done and delivering on promises,” Mr Lanarus said at the time. “The opportunity to provide another school in Frankston with the funding that it deserves is a commitment I couldn’t pass up,” Mr Shaw said. “McClelland College is such a tremendous asset to our local community, one which produces a fine quality of high school graduate.”
AN emergency department will be built at Peninsula Private Hospital in McClelland Drive, Langwarrin. The decision was announced last week by Ramsay Health Care and Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust. The proposed $55 million-plus development has been given the nod by Frankston City Council to modify the master plan for the site. It has also received approval-in-principle from the Victorian Department of Health. The emergency department is part of a major building re-development in which a further 71 inpatient beds is being added to the hospital. A state of the art operating room will be added to the existing operating room complex to enable highly technical procedures to be performed at the hospital. A much anticipated parking facility and relocated imaging and pathology services will support the new emergency department. Further specialist consulting suites will also be added. Ramsay Health Care’s second hospital on the Mornington Peninsula, Beleura Private Hospital in Mornington, is also being substantially redeveloped. Around $10 million is being spent on a comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation facility with gymnasium and hydrotherapy centre. Planning minister Matthew Guy will ‘turn the sod’ today (Monday) at Peninsula Private Hospital to officially start construction. ADCO construction is overseeing the development which will take 18 months, providing employment opportunities for construction workers in the greater Frankston region. “Once the complex development
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is complete, the new emergency department will be a valuable asset for the local community,” CEO Greg Hall said. “The hospital will employ an additional 120 full time equivalent staff.” Mr Hall acknowledged that the ageing population on the Mornington Peninsula would be significant users of the new service. Demand for emergency services is high on the peninsula, with Frankston Hospital emergency department recognised as one of the busiest emergency departments in the state, he said. The emergency department will be supported by an intensive care unit commissioned 18 months ago.
Mayor change FRANKSTON mayor Darrel Taylor will hand over the robes and ceremonial chains to his successor on Wednesday evening when councillors meet to formally vote in the city’s next civic leader. Councillors will vote on Wednesday 12 November to decide who the next mayor will be but met informally late last week to discuss the matter. Councils traditionally prefer councillors to meet behind closed doors before the public vote to ensure the appointment of a new mayor is not mired in political and personal debate. A deputy mayor will also be voted in by councillors on Wednesday evening. Mayors serve a 12-month term and the annual remuneration is about $85,000.
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OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Frankston Times 10 November 2014