Budgets, meetings and ‘roadshows’ make it a busy merry month of May
The month of May 2018 will be remembered by Committee for Greater Frankston members, board members and others in the organisation as the busiest since the committee was formed in early 2017.
The action started with the release on Tuesday 1 May of the Victorian state Budget by Treasurer Tim Pallas. Mr Pallas announced money for duplication of Lathams Road in Carrum Downs Industrial Estate, one of the committee’s key advocacy priorities (and a project that had been languishing for almost 20 years). Lathams Road is part of the state government’s Suburban Roads Upgrade – $2.2 billion to improve arterial roads in the southeast package . The government has not announced the cost of Lathams Road but the committee has been told it will be more than $80 million.
On Thursday 3 May, state Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan visited Carrum Downs Industrial Estate to provide more detail to committee members and industrial estate business owners (as well as bask in the glow of pleased business owners). Michael Crowder – director of commercial real estate agency Nichols Crowder, C4GF member and long-time advocate of duplication – perhaps summed it up best when he said the project would not only transform the industrial estate, but also “deliver investment and therefore more jobs for the residents of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula”. Mr Crowder praised Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny: “Credit where credit’s due, we’ve been talking about this duplication for 20 years. Frankston City’s No 1 road funding priority is finally being achieved largely thanks to Sonya Kilkenny. Sonya listened to local business people’s concerns and actively promoted the issue within her own government. It’s fantastic to see it finally coming to fruition.”
C4GF chief executive Ginevra Hosking praised VicRoads, in particular “regional director for metro southeast Aidan McGann and his team”.
Mr Donnellan said expressions of interest would be sought mid-year and contractors appointed in early 2019 with completion expected by 2020.
Also at the event was Frankston mayor Cr Colin Hampton and Dunkley ALP candidate Peta Murphy.
Luke Donnellan Minister for Roads, Sonya Kilkenny – Member for Carrum, Paul Edbrooke – Member for Frankston and Peta Murphy spoke with local Carrum Down business owners about Lathams Road
Monday 7 May saw the first of three Committee for Greater Frankston “roadshows” for community groups. C4GF vice-president Christine Richards and CEO Ginevra Hosking were guest speakers of Rotary Club of Langwarrin and with exquisite timing were able to tell Rotarians that federal Treasurer Scott Morrison would next day announce $225 million to extend the metropolitan rail line from Frankston to Baxter – and that the committee (and other rail extension supporters such as Frankston Council, Frankston Hospital and Monash University’s Peninsula campus) was advocating for a new station at Langwarrin as well as a 1000-plus space car park for rail commuters, also called a park and ride.
(Christine and Ginevra repeated their presentations on 9 May at Rotary Club of Frankston Sunrise, and on 18 May at Frankston Combined Probus Club, and have since been asked to speak to many other groups as the committee explains the benefits of the rail extension and garners broad-based support for the project.)
Tuesday 8 May was a big day with expectations building during the day about the final content of the federal Budget to be announced that night (which is well covered elsewhere on the website). However, in the morning a broad cross-section of Greater Frankston stakeholders gathered in the council chambers to hear independent transport planner Dr Chris Hale present his paper Campus access & transport connectivity study: Peninsula Campus, Monash University. The briefing and open information-sharing session was organised by Dr Hale and Fotios Spiridonos, Monash University’s manager of campus access and transport. Dr Hale’s findings will form a crucial element in explaining the benefits of the proposed Frankston to Baxter rail extension from the point of view of Monash’s Peninsula campus community, and there will be more about the study in the media and on this website in coming weeks.
Delivered in the Tuesday night 8 May budget was a federal contribution of $225 million towards the Frankston rail extension project. Fred Harrison saw it live emailed members with this statement. “What wonderful news in the Budget last night. I saw it live and almost fell off my chair when the Treasurer specifically mentioned the Frankston to Baxter train line. A mighty effort from Chris Crewther to help get this up. We’re not there yet but a fantastic starting point. Now we need the state government to match the amount.”
Friday 11 May was when federal Treasurer Scott Morrison came to Frankston to sell his Budget. He was met at Frankston Hospital by the region’s two federal MPs – Greg Hunt, the MP for Flinders and Minister for Health, and Dunkley’s Chris Crewther. National, state and local media along with Frankston Hospital, Peninsula Health and Monash University representatives greeted “ScoMo” as he stepped out of his Commonwealth car holding an umbrella. Yes, it was raining for the first time in many weeks but no one complained. The three MPs joined a small group including C4GF’s Ginevra Hosking for a tour of the hospital before holding a so-called door stop: an informal interview with media in one of the hospital’s corridors. Ginevra spoke with the Treasurer, thanking him for the rail extension commitment and taking the opportunity to emphasise that it would play a major role in supporting the proposed Frankston “biomedical precinct”, a medical teaching and research hub jointly operated by Monash University and Peninsula Health/Frankston Hospital that would attract biotechnology companies and become Melbourne’s third medical hub.
Photos of the event, details of the federal Budget as well as media articles are on the C4GF website under the “Latest News” button: Federal Budget – and the winner is: Frankston!
After the hospital event, vice-president Christine Richards and chief executive Ginevra Hosking meet Frankston City mayor Cr Colin Hampton to specifically thank him, his council colleagues and council staff for their work on the Frankston rail extension project.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, C4GF chief executive Ginevra Hosking and Dunkley MP Chris Crewther at Frankston Hospital on Friday 11 May.
On Tuesday 15 May, Ginevra Hosking took part in a “rail extension roundtable” with Paul Fletcher, federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, at local federal MP Chris Crewther’s new office in Playne Street. She joined a Frankston City Council delegation led by mayor Cr Colin Hampton and CEO Dennis Hovenden, a Mornington Peninsula Shire delegation led by mayor Cr Bryan Payne, Peninsula Health CEO Felicity Topp, state MP for Hastings Neale Burgess, Liberal candidate for Carrum Donna Bauer, and Trudy Poole of C4GF’s transport subcommittee.
Messrs Fletcher and Crewther were keen to meet stakeholders and listen to their ideas as well as provide more detail about the federal funding. A full review of this meeting is on the C4GF website under “Main events – Past events: Chris Crewther Hosts Frankston Rail Extension Roundtable With Paul Fletcher, Minister For Urban Transport”.
Paul Fletcher- Minister for urban transport, Chris Crewther- Member for Dunkley and Neale Burgess-Member for Hastings hosted a Frankston rail extension round table forum.
On Tuesday night 15 May, Ginevra joined the crowd crammed into the Seaford Hotel for one of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s “Politics in the pub” events, this one hosted by Chris Crewther. He mentioned the Frankston to Baxter rail project. Ginevra asked the PM how the project could be secured and was told “just get the state government to back it”.
Local Liberals spotted at the event included endorsed candidates Michael Lamb (Frankston), Donna Bauer (Carrum) and former Frankston mayor Darrel Taylor, who is talking on Victoria’s Attorney-General and Minister for Racing Martin Pakula in the seat of Keysborough at the November state election.
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Dunkley member Chris Crewther discussed pub politics at Seaford Hotel
Wednesday 16 May was Frankston High School’s annual business breakfast hosted by principal John Albiston. The school is a member of Committee for Greater Frankston so our chief executive Ginevra Hosking was doubly pleased to attend along with school supporters and donors who support scholarships for students, which were presented during the event. Attendees included federal MP Chris Crewther, Frankston’s mayor Cr Colin Hampton and Victorian upper house Greens MP Nina Springle who has represented South Eastern Metropolitan Region since 2014. (The seat has five MPs – two Labor, two Liberal and one Greens – and covers 11 lower house seats in southeast Melbourne including Frankston and Carrum.) Ginevra said Nina Springle has a special interest in public transport policy, which meant the two had plenty to discuss.
Committee members Fred Harrison, Christine Richards, Bob Seiffert and Ginevra Hosking held a fruitful meeting with Frankston state MP Paul Edbrooke on Thursday 17 May at his office in Young Street. The three big topics were the rail extension including one of its main benefits of creating more commuter parking at a new Langwarrin station, Lathams Road duplication and the proposed rebuild of Frankston Hospital. Mr Edbrooke was thanked for his support of Lathams Road. He encouraged the committee to continue its advocacy for a new hospital, which would bring employment opportunities for young people especially, and the creation of a biomedical precinct that together with Frankston’s rebuilt Chisholm would create fantastic education opportunities.
Thursday night 17 May saw several board members among 600 people invited to a Government House dinner, “Celebrating the South East”, hosted by Victorian Governor Linda Dessau and co-organised by South East Melbourne group of councils chairman Simon McKeon and his team to celebrate the achievements and diversity of Melbourne’s southeast and its 1.2 million people. They joined councillors, volunteers, business people, education providers and community group members from seven municipalities including Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula as well as Premier Daniel Andrews, Gordon Rich-Phillips and other politicians. Speakers were the Governor, the Premier and Australia Day Young Leader, community volunteer and nutrition science student Aishwarya Pokkuluri.
From left, SEM chairman Simon McKeon, husband of the Governor Anthony Howard QC, Victorian Governor Linda Dessau, Premier Daniel Andrews, his wife Catherine Andrews and guest speaker Aishwarya Pokkuluri at “Celebrating the South East” at Government House.
On Monday 21 May, Christine Richards and Ginevra Hosking met Hastings state MP Neale Burgess at his office in Somerville. No prizes for guessing that the main topic of discussion was the Frankston to Baxter rail extension, which Mr Burgess has been advocating for over more than a decade.
Further Media coverage:
Frankston teen asks PM for career advice Frankston teen and aspiring politician Zac Cohen asks PM for career advice, May 16th, Frankston Standard Leader, Christian Tatman,
PM at Seaford hotel Selfies, pots and pokies: PM fields budget questions at Seaford Hotel, May 15th Sydney Morning Herald, Melissa Cunningham