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NEWS DESK

Freeway fears Continued from Page 1 Ms Kelly said one of the wildlife shelters was told clearing would begin mid-May. “If this is true, VicRoads is failing to prepare and are already not adhering to the agreed and consulted plan,” she said. “How can VicRoads be trusted to follow the rest of the plan if they are failing in the preparation stages? Again, VicRoads’ communication is very lacking.” Crystal Ocean Wildlife Shelter’s Brenda Marmion said while travelling to Mornington on Sunday she saw two dead kangaroo joeys lying beside the road where vegetation had been completely cleared. “Wildlife volunteers are not satisfied with VicRoads’ response to our concerns,” Ms Kelly said. “They have failed to communicate and adhere to the plan that they funded. “There is no point in having a plan if they are not following it. She has called for the freeway median strip clearing to “stop immediately and for VicRoads to rethink the entire project”. Safe system road infrastructure program director Bryan Sherritt said VicRoads “recognised the importance of the environment – that’s why we’ve completed a redesign to minimise the impact on the environment and wildlife before installing these life-saving treatments”. He did not explain how the works had been “redesigned” other than to say the Mornington Peninsula Freeway as “one our state’s most high risk roads” would receive flexible safety barriers between Mt Martha and Rosebud. “As part of this safety upgrade, we’ve had to remove some vegetation which we’ve done in consultation with the CFA and local wildlife groups. At least two qualified zoologists will be on site during any vegetation removal to identify and assist any wildlife which may be displaced.” “VicRoads has worked with the AWPC and informed local wildlife shelters of the works due to occur,” he said. Vegetation removal is due to begin later this month.

Big bucks for rail but Neil Walker neil@mpnews.com.au A PLEDGE to spend $225 million to electrify rail tracks from Frankston to Baxter was the big ticket item for the region in last week’s federal budget. Federal Liberal Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed the federal government’s commitment to the project as part of a $7.8 billion package for new roads and rail lines across Victoria. But it seems construction works to extend the metropolitan line to Baxter are still some way down the track. The project is not yet fully funded and a business case has not been completed before the federal and state governments can agree on a funding split. Federal Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther said estimates “are between $500-800 million for the build” when asked. “The $3 million federal Coalition governmentfunded business plan, commenced a couple of weeks ago by the state government, will determine the full build options and associated costs,” Mr Crewther said. “The overall budget for the project won’t be known until the business plan is finished.” The Dunkley MP said it will take about four years to electrify the rail line from Frankston to Baxter after work begins. “Given $225 million is already on the table to build the project, works can start on part of the project quite soon after the business plan is finished and after a build option is chosen from the options presented.” The business plan is expected to be finalised later this year. Labor candidate for Frankston, Peta Murphy, supports the electrification of the line to Baxter but questioned the federal government’s head-

line $225 million figure since most of the money will not be spent in the near future. “It’s a hoax to suggest that the infrastructure funding in this budget is actually in the budget,” Ms Murphy said. “It is of concern that promises are being made when there’s no money in this year’s [2018-19] budget.” Ms Murphy noted about $60 million in federal funding for the Baxter line electrification has been allocated up until 2021-23. “I’m sceptical of the Turnbull government’s funding in any of this budget.” The RACV said the federal government’s backing for transport infrastructure upgrades across the state is “great news for Victorians” but noted extended timelines on the projects means there does not appear to be “any hurry” at this stage. “The critical point going forward will be on when this funding is delivered,” RACV public policy and corporate affairs general manager Bryce Prosser said. “The budget infrastructure announcements are good and promise a lot for Victoria, but the detail suggests that it will be some time before Victorians will see any real action on the ground.” Mr Prosser said “more divisive politics” should be avoided. “Victorians want our governments to work together to deliver the best projects for Victoria which cater to the needs of our growing population.” Mr Crewther said the business plan will investigate the cost of extending metro rail to a new Frankston Hospital station, Leawarra station at Monash University Peninsula Campus, a new Langwarrin train station and Baxter station. Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking said the federal money “is the first serious commitment to a vital regional project”.

LEVEL CROSSING REMOVAL WORKS

FROM NOW – 18 JUNE Upcoming changes to the Frankston Line

Works will continue to remove the level crossing at Skye/Overton Road on the Frankston Line and build the new Frankston Station. This will affect the way you travel. The sooner we get this done, the sooner you’ll be on your way.

Buses replace trains

Parking

• On the Frankston Line between Carrum and Frankston from now until last service on Sunday 17 June. • On the Stony Point Line between Carrum and Stony Point from now until last service on Sunday 17 June. • Normal train services resume Monday 18 June.

During this period, additional all day parking has been made available: • At Seaford, an additional 64 spaces are available at Seaford North Reserve, near Seaford Station. • At Carrum, an additional 30 spaces are available at the Carrum foreshore opposite the Carrum Surf Lifesaving Club, near Carrum Station. • At the Old Law Courts car park, corner of Young, Playne and Davey Street, Frankston. • Mechanics Institute car park, corner of Bay Street and Plowman Place, Frankston.

Please plan ahead and allow extra time for your journey. Local traders will be open for business during this time, so please support businesses in the area.

contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au 1800 105 105 levelcrossings.vic.gov.au

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Mornington News 15 May 2018

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15 May 2018  

Mornington News 15 May 2018

15 May 2018  

Mornington News 15 May 2018

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