THE Victorian Budget includes $6 million to begin planning the $562 million expansion of Frankston Hospital.
The project, announced last September during the state election campaign, includes an 11-storey tower to accommodate 120 new beds, new operating theatres, integrated cancer centre, child and maternal health services, two floors for mental health, and an ageing and chronic disease management centre.
The Budget was brought down by state Treasurer Tim Pallas on Monday 27 May, later than normal due to the recent federal election.
Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking said this State labor Budget was “all about planning for the delivery of Frankston’s future infrastructure”.
“There is nothing in this Budget for the Frankston rail extension, but we are eagerly awaiting the state government’s business case for the project,” she said. “Anticipation is rising in the community as we are just four weeks away from the long-awaited mid-year release date.
The Frankston rail extension already has a commitment of $225 million from the Liberal-National Coalition government, secured by Chris Crewther in last year’s federal budget and now being passionately championed by our new Labor MP for Dunkley, Peta Murphy.” However, the Victorian Labor government has yet to commit to the project. If the Victorian State government does not back the project, it cannot go ahead.
Ms Hosking said $6 million to start planning hospital expansion was a welcome contribution to creation of a project that would bring major benefits to Frankston and the wider region when it was completed in 2024. “Plaudits to local state MP Paul Edbrooke for his efforts in securing this funding, which ties in with the recent federal commitment to develop a ‘health futures hub’ at Frankston for medical research.”
She said other important projects starting next year included duplication of Lathams Road in Carrum Downs Industrial Estate, and the Golf Links Road Upgrade, both of which were out for tender. The projects were due to be completed by 2021.
Ms Hosking said other “start planning” items in the state Budget for Greater Frankston included:
- Duplication of Hall Road from McCormicks Road (the continuation of Lathams Road east–west arterial roadwork from Carrum Downs to Cranbourne).
- Removal of two roundabouts on Western Port Highway at Ballarto Road and Cranbourne–Frankston Road.
- $2.3 million to improve intersection of Lyrebird Drive and Ballarto Road, Carrum Downs.
- $10 million towards $32 million expansion of Jubilee Park stadium.
- $3.5 million towards “revitalising Frankston’s station precinct and Broadmeadows town centre”.
- A share of $150 million to create more car parks at some of Melbourne’s busiest suburban train stations, which includes $17.5 million towards a multi-deck car park at Frankston station.
- A share of $10 million for Chisholm Institute’s Frankston campus to start planning stage two – refurbishment and repurposing of Building E, and the demolition of Building C, to be replaced with a contemporary teaching space.
- A share of $6 million for planning of five dedicated children’s emergency departments with Frankston’s likely to be incorporated in the hospital rebuild.
- Almost $3 million for South East Water capital works.
- Upgrade of Frankston North Education Precinct and start of planning to upgrade Derinya Primary School.
- New programs for universal free access to 3-year-old kinder. Free dental care for students at government primary and secondary schools.
Ms Hosking said items in the Budget that would better connect our broader region included:
- $250 million to begin planning of the underground southeast section of the 90km Suburban Rail Loop – Cheltenham on the Frankston line to Box Hill on the Lilydale line. The loop will run from Cheltenham through eastern and northern suburbs to Werribee in the west eventually.
- Level crossing removals on the Frankston line at: Argyle and Swanpool avenues, and Chelsea Road, all in Chelsea.
Major points of the Budget included:
- A projected $1 billion surplus for 2019–20, but net debt was projected to reach $54.9 billion by 2022–23, almost double the estimated debt of $22.8 billion this financial year.
- The centrepiece of the Budget was a $27.4 billion “suburban transport blitz” that included $15.8 billion for North East Link, $6.6 billion to remove a further 25 level crossings (see Chelsea removals above), and a $2 billion upgrade of the Sunbury line to allow higher-capacity trains.
- Taxes for foreign property investors and absentee landowners will increase. Cars worth over 100,000 will have increased duties.
- The public sector has been told to find $1.8 billion in savings. An expanded solar panel rebate scheme will cost $1.3 billion.