Kingston Level Crossings

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise a matter for the Minister for Public Transport. The action I seek is for the minister to continue to consult and consider the needs of the City of Kingston in preparing for the removal of seven dangerous railway crossings within the municipality. This Labor government has committed to removing 50 level crossings over the coming eight years, including 20 in the first term. The removal of these railway crossings is the most drastic transformation along the Frankston train line since the line went through to Mentone in the 1880s and eventually reached Chelsea in the early 1900s.

The City of Kingston has also got behind the government’s railway crossing policy. In the council’s August-September 2015 community newspaper update, which is distributed across the municipality, the council strongly advocates for the project. The front page has a picture of a Frankston train line crossing and runs with the headline ‘Push for crossing removals’. On page 3 the newspaper then refers to seven railway crossings in the city of Kingston which the Victorian government has committed to remove over the coming eight years. In the article the council acknowledges the eight-year commitment of the Victorian government and says:

The removal of these level crossings will provide improved safety, reduction in congestion and enable more frequent train services …

The article continues:

The level crossing removals will help reduce traffic congestion for motorists who have to wait at boom gates and provide further opportunities for urban renewal.

Finally, the council asks the ‘Victorian government to continue to fund and progress this project’. The article concludes:

… the removals are not only a critically important piece of infrastructure, they are essential for the community for the next 100 years.

I could not agree more with those sentiments about how vital these crossing removals are to our community. Such projects of 100-year significance do not happen overnight. Importantly the Victorian Transport Fund will carry on these works into the future, regardless of election outcomes. However, it goes without saying that this requires a bipartisan commitment to the ongoing removal of these dangerous crossings and to the funding source.

In conclusion, I seek that the minister consult with and address the needs of the City of Kingston in preparing for the removal of these railway level crossings.