Labor vows $1.5 million for business case on the duplication and electrification of Frankston rail line to Baxter
May 5, 2016 3:38pm
FEDERAL Labor has promised to kick in $1.5 million for a business case on the full duplication and electrification of the rail line to Baxter. Labor’s Infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese made the announcement at Frankston Train Station this afternoon with Dunkley Labor candidate Peta Murphy and Frankston state Labor MP Paul Edbrooke. Mr Albanese said he was confident the business case would “stack up”.
He described the announcement as a game changer that if ultimately implemented would “improve productivity and make an enormous difference to the region”. Mr Albanese promised the money would be available immediately if Labor was successful at the July 2 election. “This vital project will be a game-changer for the whole region and will entrench Frankston’s position as a new centre for jobs and growth,” he said. “The project will enhance access to services, jobs and opportunities for the residents of Frankston South, Langwarrin and Baxter, and support wider regional growth,” he said.
“It will build on the Frankston Station upgrade to unlock development potential and support the growth of key local institutions such as Monash University peninsula campus.” Ms Murphy noted the full duplication and electrification of the rail line to Baxter was recommended by the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce, headed by Mr Edbrooke.
The taskforce is overseeing the $50 million redevelopment of the precinct while is being complemented by a $13 million revamp of nearby Young St. Ms Murphy said electrification to Baxter was a once-in-a-generation opportunity. “The Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce recommended in August 2015 that the station’s development proceed in a manner consistent with electrification to Baxter,” she said.
Mayor James Dooley said he was rapt with the announcement. “This is the most important piece of infrastructure and yes, it’s only a business case, but it paves the way for the funding to occur down the track,” he said. Cr Dooley said council had been advocating for business case funding for years and the announcement was “very welcome”. He said if implemented the duplication and electrification would give people in Baxter and Langwarrin better access to public transport and reduce congestion in central Frankston.