Centre Road, Bentleigh - level crossing (27.5.2015)
Written on the 29 June 2015
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
While the announcement by the Premier Daniel Andrews to remove the Centre Road, Bentleigh, level crossing is welcomed, it will be a hollow promise until proper funding has been allocated. While the Premier may have promised to remove the Centre Road crossing, the $2.5 billion allocated to crossing removals does not exist, as it is dependent upon the sale of the port of Melbourne.This morning we heard the government making more announcements about the removal of level crossings on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, with vague dates and what appears to be a rushed and panicked process so that it can meet its election promise of removing 50 level crossings. But questions remain about how this will be paid for and how the disruption it will cause will be managed. In Bentleigh the public is still unaware of when construction on the Centre Road level crossing will begin, how long construction will take and what impact the construction work will have.
The success of the traders on Centre Road is contingent on traffic flows and the availability of parking, yet there have been no community forums to discuss these issues. Premier Daniel Andrews has not released a credible plan to minimise interruptions caused by the crossing removal. Questions such as whether the car park adjacent to the station will be closed during the construction phase and what transport arrangements will be in place once the line is closed need to be answered. The people of Bentleigh deserve better than this, and all Victorians need to understand how these level crossings will be paid for. The budget papers clearly state that all capital funding for level crossing removals beyond 1 July 2015 is to be confirmed and highlight that the only level crossings which have been actually funded are those that were funded by the coalition.