The election victory of the Andrews Labor government has been attributed to many factors, including disunity in the Liberal-National Coalition federal government, but arguably the main positive reason for the win was Labor’s bold infrastructure plans.
In Greater Frankston, support for the new government’s current and future spending on infrastructure was clearly revealed by the size of victory of the two sitting MPs, both Labor, Paul Edbrooke in Frankston electorate and Sonya Kilkenny in Carrum electorate. Both were on paper-thin margins before Saturday but both now have handsome margins with Mr Edbrooke winning 60 per cent of votes after distribution of preferences, and Ms Kilkenny on 62 per cent after preferences. The percentage will change slightly as not all votes had been counted by Tuesday morning. Voters across Melbourne rewarded the Andrews government for delivering on its infrastructure commitments of the past four years and supported the government’s plans for future projects.
The big ticket item in Greater Frankston is $562 million to develop Frankston Hospital by building an 11-storey tower that will accommodate 120 additional beds, two new operating theatres, maternity ward, obstetrics ward, women’s clinic, children’s ward, kids emergency, and special care nursery, integrated cancer ward and day clinic (to treat people who currently have to travel to Melbourne hospitals), and two floors for mental health services. The project will create up to 1700 jobs during construction, which is expected to start in 2019 and be completed by 2024. Expansion will create 500 new long-term jobs for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administration staff in a region where professional jobs are lacking.
Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking congratulated the two MPs: “Paul Edbrooke and Sonya Kilkenny have had overwhelming victories and ran good campaigns. Now our committee is looking forward to the hospital project starting. Expansion was inevitable as the hospital serves a catchment the size of Canberra, 400,000 people in the southeast, and admissions are growing by 15 per cent a year. The emergency department is one of the busiest in Victoria. She said a key element of the expansion was creation of dedicated clinical teaching spaces “to train the next generation of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals”, to be done in conjunction with Monash University’s nearby Peninsula campus. “The redevelopment is at the centre of Peninsula Health and Monash University’s joint vision for a Frankston biomedical precinct. The hospital will become the hub of a vibrant healthcare, medical research and education precinct that will transform Greater Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula, and the southeast.” Ms Hosking said the boost to mental health services would see vastly improved support for older people with dementia.
Another project for Greater Frankston promised during the long election campaign was duplication of Lathams Road, the key access road of Carrum Downs Industrial Estate, which is now more economically important to the region than Frankston’s CBD and employs almost 6000 people. Work on the $80 million plus project will start in 2020 and be completed by 2023.
The Andrews government promised an additional $170 million to upgrade Hall Road between McCormicks Road and Cranbourne-Frankston Road at Cranbourne West, which will also assist the growth of Carrum Downs and surrounds. Ms Hosking said although the new State government had not yet committed to extending the metro train line beyond Frankston, with a business case due for release next year, it and federal Labor had jointly acknowledged the business need for affordable city car parking, and had jointly promised $35 million to build a 500-space multi-storey car park near Frankston station.
UPDATE 27 November2018 evening news.
And in further good news, both our local representatives have been promoted in the 2019 Andrews Government. With Sonya Kilkenny (Carrum MP) and Paul Edbrooke (Frankston MP) named along side Jane Garrett (former emergency services minister) and Danny Pearson (Essendon MP) on the as two of the four new parliamentary secretaries.
Ministerial portfolios are due to be announced in the coming days.