North Road, Ormond level crossing communication (7.6.2016)

Written on the 8 June 2016

7 June 2016



GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

My adjournment matter this evening is for the minister responsible for the removal of level crossings, the Minister for Public Transport, Minister Allan.

It relates to an issue I have raised on a number of occasions in this house regarding the level crossing removal at North Road, Ormond. I have had a number of conversations with and emails from concerned traders in North Road highlighting yet more issues with this level crossing project that is being undertaken and the miscommunication, which really highlights just how badly this project is going for these traders because of the impact it is having.

What has happened in recent days is that traders have received mixed messages. They have received a number of phone calls from various stakeholders involved with the level crossing removal, including one that confirmed that John Holland, one of the companies involved in the removal of level crossings, had requested that United Energy cut the power so it could work on the level crossing. Some traders received a notice that this would be occurring tomorrow in North Road in Ormond and other traders in Bentleigh received the same notice but for next Wednesday. However, when clarification of what was happening was sought, the Level Crossing Removal Authority said, 'No, it is only going to be cut for an hour or so. Don't worry about it'. Yet the notice said from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. for those days.

To make matters worse, the traders have requested assistance time and time again with this communication to find out what is going on because they are losing significant business. They received an email today, just 16 days out from the time the whole level crossing will be shut down, causing major disruption to that area. It was headed 'Invitation business support services' this, to businesses that have been running their businesses for many, many years. In the email it talks about how the 'project team is committed to working closely with local businesses to minimise any disruption and impacts from our works'. It advises traders that they can go on to choose an experienced mentor with the background, skills and industry experience that will best assist them. They offer free photography for traders' business websites or social media and outdoor signage saying, ' Open for business'.

This is not really not going to help these businesses that have been impacted for the past six months because of miscommunication and the absolutely hopeless attention paid to their concerns by this government. So the action I seek is that the minister herself visit this area, speak with the traders and understand firsthand the full impact of the removal of this level crossing so the same thing will not happen with further level crossing removals when they are undertaken.

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