On the 26 February 2020, Frankston public transport problems were listed on Infrastructure Australia’s latest register of national priority projects as a near-term (0–5 years) priority. The initiative – one of 147 listed as nationally significant – covers the long-awaited 5km rail upgrade to Langwarrin
“Extending the line will radically transform public transport in our region, driving job creation, getting cars off congested roads, and making better use of public and private assets like Frankston Hospital and Monash University. We hope state Labor get on board soon.” –Fred Harrison, C4GF president 2019
A key priority of the Committee for Greater Frankston is extension of the metropolitan rail line past Frankston to Langwarrin, a distance of just 5 km, and on to Baxter, a further 3 km.
The enormous public benefits of extending the Frankston train line are well known throughout our community. The Federal Coalition government and Federal Opposition understand the nationally-significant benefits and both have already committed to provide $225 million, half of the project’s estimated cost.
However, the extension of the Frankston train line – and the benefits it will bring – is not guaranteed.
Extending the train line requires both federal and state government funding. 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.
Read about how the extension of the line is strategically important for access and transportation in the Greater Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region.
What has happened so far? Follow the rail extension story.
26 February 2020, Frankston public transport problems were listed on Infrastructure Australia’s latest register of national priority projects as a near-term (0–5 years) priority. The initiative – one of 147 listed as nationally significant – covers the long-awaited 5km rail upgrade to Langwarrin
29 October 2019. The Committee for Greater Frankston notes that the Victorian Minister for Transport infrastructure, Hon. Jacinta Allan has released the Frankston rail extension preliminary cost – benefit study to the federal Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Michael McCormack. The benefits of the rail extension are already widely understood by our community. This project will radically transform public transport in our region, drive creation of new jobs and improve overall prosperity, reduce congestion on roads, free-up crowded car parks, and make better use of public and private assets such as Frankston Hospital and Monash’s Peninsula campus.
On the 23 October representatives from Frankston City Council, the Committee for Greater Frankston and Monash Peninsula hosted an official delegation from the National Faster Rail Agency. The National Faster Rail Agency (NFRA) is a newly formed agency providing advice to government about how investments in improved rail infrastructure will assist in unlocking the economic development opportunities in the surrounding regions of Australia’s largest cities.
Media coverage: Frankston railway line to stretch to Mornington under bold new plans. Frankston Hospital would have a station and trains would run to the Mornington Peninsula under a radical plan to get “cars off congested roads” and “free up crowded carparks” in Melbourne’s outer southeast. Here’s what it would look like
VICTORIAN Liberal Senator David Van says he will champion the Frankston rail extension in his new role as “patron” of Dunkley electorate. The federally-funded rail extension business case was due to be released by the Victorian government in the first quarter of 2019 and then last month, August, but is now expected at the end of September…. Senator Van said the project had first been proposed to the state government in 1929: “It was rejected 90 years ago and it could take up to 10 years to build so I look forward to attending the opening on the 100th anniversary of that particular mistake,” he said. Senator Van said he would ask questions of the state government if the preliminary business case was not released by end September.
The Committee for Greater Frankston has made a formal submission to Infrastructure Australia ahead of its 2020 infrastructure priority list on the lack of public transport across the Greater Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula region. Outlining the proposal for the Frankston rail extension- our region most important infrastructure project- and how it will benefit the 400,000 living in the region (a population of equal size to Canberra).
TWO new transport infrastructure reports strongly back the proposed Frankston train line extension. Rail Futures Institute’s blueprint for the next 30 years of rail development in Melbourne calls for the extension to be built by 2026, while a Prosper Australia–Chris Hale Infra Strategy report says nine urgently needed rail projects including the Frankston to Baxter extension can be fast-tracked by using more progressive funding models that would include developer contributions. Media coverage
The Committee for Greater Frankston has been working behind the scene for the public release of the Frankston rail extension’s preliminary business case. This week both Minister Tudge’s and Minister Allan’s departments confirmed that the Victorian government will sign-over the federally-funded report to commonwealth government in the coming weeks. This is a necessary milestone to finalise any shared financing arrangement for the rail extension project in 2020.
The Federal Government has claimed the much vaunted Baxter rail project remains on track, despite losing its key advocate. Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther, a passionate supporter, lost his seat in last month’s election. But Flinders Liberal MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government remained committed.
THE Victorian Budget includes $6 million to begin planning the $562 million expansion of Frankston Hospital.
“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.
THE Liberal–National Coalition has retained government and the Frankston-based seat of Dunkley has a new MP, but the focus now is on delivery of many pledges made for the electorate, says Committee for Greater Frankston’s Ginevra Hosking. “As far as Dunkley residents are concerned, we believe most will judge the re-elected Morrison government on its ability to deliver the projects it has promised for our region,” she said. “We have been given a rare opportunity, a once in a generation chance, to create jobs, boost prosperity and turbocharge growth through important transport and health projects that were allocated funds in the past two federal Budgets or were supported during the election campaign.”
On Monday, Peta Murphy told the Frankston Times: “Really, the first priority was always representing Dunkley in Canberra, and that doesn’t change in government or in opposition. I’ll have to be a little bit louder in opposition but luckily I’ve got a very loud voice. Chris Crewther told The Times: “There’s been heaps of things done in this term and heaps of budgeted things done for Dunkley by the Coalition government [including] the $225 million for Baxter line electrification and duplication. I hope the state government gets on board, working with the member for Dunkley on that project. There’s $32 million for the Health Futures Hub, funding for the Ballarto Road project [as well as for] a range of different sporting clubs. Significant amounts have already been delivered to these projects, and more will be completed in years to come whether I’m in the seat or not.”
BUILD the electric train line to Langwarrin, then full steam ahead to Hastings…!
That’s the call from the region’s two municipalities – Mornington Peninsula Shire and Frankston City Council – in a joint letter to the state government sent in early April.
On the evening of Monday 29 April 2019 , Federal Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge MP and Dunkley MP Chris Crewther briefed the Langwarrin Community on the status of the Frankston rail extension project.
The federal Liberal government has pledged an additional $38.5 million towards Frankston line station car parking, if re-elected.
The Liberal plan includes 600 new spaces at Frankston Station in partnership with the State government, of which 100 are short-stay spaces, an additional 100 spaces at Seaford station and a further 100 at Kananook Station.
This new $38.5 million pledge is in addition to the $17.5 million Frankston car parking commitment from the Victorian State, which the Federal Labor government has agreed to match if elected on the 18th of May.
Rail fail fears rise: Advocacy group fears for train project unless business case completed soon. Councils link up on transport: Mornington Peninsula and Frankston councils want to meet with the Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan to discuss extending the electric train service to Hastings.
The State Government’s failure to commit to co-funding the Frankston train extension is jeopardising the Federal funding that the project has already received. Funding to start the project during 2019-2020 has now slipped out of the Federal budget announced two weeks ago.
The extension of the rail line to Baxter is currently being discussed, with the federal government committing $228 million to the project and the state government in the process of conducting a business case. Frankston mayor Michael O’Reilly said that both councils had met and support “stage two” of the project extending the rail line through to Hastings. “If the project is to be delivered as a staged rollout, both councils support Frankston-Langwarrin as stage one and Langwarrin-Hastings as stage two,” he said.
THE federal election was called by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday morning 11 April, and Australians go to the polls on Saturday 18 May, just five weeks away.
Mr Frydenberg and Mr Crewther met a delegation from the Committee for Greater Frankston, led by CEO Ginevra Hosking, three days later (5 April) to go through the Budget and how it benefits Greater Frankston and the wider region. Delegates took the opportunity to advocate for much-needed investment in the Greater Frankston region as well as seek clarification on the funding timeline of the Frankston rail extension project, which is covered in a separate article on this website.
FRANKSTON MP Paul Edbrooke has remained tight lipped on the progress of a business case investigating the extension of the Frankston line to Baxter. Mr Edbrooke did not answer questions from The Times asking for an update of when the case would be completed. The $3 million business case, paid for with federal funding, was started in April of last year. The media release stated it was expected to be completed by “early 2019”. The state Labor government is the missing piece in the project, with both major parties at federal level committed to the project.
The SEM priority projects that would form part of a City Partnership which will create tens of thousands of jobs and transform road and public transport infrastructure through better use of the region’s under-utilised assets, to increase productivity, promote sustainability and ensure liveability. The Committee for Greater Frankston first presented our economic priorities to Mr Albanese in July 2019 and we are thrilled to be working with strong organisations like SEM and our regions local councils to advocate for a city partnership strategy that will revitalise Frankston, creating jobs and a new health and education precinct with key investment in the extension of the commuter rail line.
FRANKSTON and Mornington councillors have met behind closed doors to discuss the plan to electrify the Frankston line to Baxter. There had been some discrepancy between Frankston and Mornington councils on the issue, as Mornington Peninsula Shire have pushed to see the track extended beyond Baxter all the way to Hastings.
Baxter rail plans in doubt. Council calls for commitments. FRANKSTON Council has made a plea to re-elected Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke to make funding commitments to their ‘Future Frankston’ projects.
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.
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.
If the Victorian State government does not back the project, it cannot go ahead.
The extension of the Frankston train line – and the benefits it will bring – is not guaranteed. Extending the train line requires both federal and state government funding. The Federal Liberal Government secured $225 million of Commonwealth funding for the project in last year’s budget. If elected, the Federal Labor Party has pledged to back that commitment. However, whilst a preliminary cost-benefit study is currently underway, 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.
Battle lines are drawn
There have been plenty of big ticket promises as candidates try to woo voters in the marginal seats of Frankston and Carrum. Mr Edbrooke said Labor’s infrastructure projects had struck a chord with locals. “I listen intently to our community and they know that I always deliver,” he said.
Keep informed before you vote
The Committee for Greater Frankston has launched a public information campaign, to keep our community up-to-date on each parties’ election commitment towards the Frankston rail extension and the redevelopment of Frankston Hospital. The electorates of Frankston, Carrum and Hastings will be informed, through print media, digital channels and our community networks.
A reliable train service (every 10-15 minutes) would transform Karingal, Frankston Heights, Frankston South and beyond. It would enable workers to get out of their cars and off congested roads – getting to and from work faster and home to their families sooner. Better transport would improve access to higher paying jobs and boost local incomes, a welcome relief as the cost of living rises. “Mum’s taxi” would get a break – frequent, safe and reliable local trains would enable young people to be more independent of their parents for transport. How good would it be if teenagers could get to their jobs, the beach or sports matches without having to ask mum (or dad) to drive them?
Time to get on board. A NEW train station between Frankston Hospital and Monash’s Peninsula campus would be among the 25 busiest in Melbourne, new data has revealed. More than 5000 people would use the station daily, according to research by Melbourne University transport strategist Dr Chris Hale. Read the full study here.
THE Victorian Labor government and federal Labor Opposition have promised to jointly fund a $35 million multi-level car park near Frankston train station if they each win government.Frankston station currently has a 416-space ground-level car park owned by Public Transport Victoria (PTV). It is full before 6.30am on weekdays. Committee for Greater Frankston president Fred Harrison said more accessible and user-friendly car parking in Frankston’s CBD was one of the committee’s main advocacy priorities. “Insufficient free and accessible parking has become a barrier to economic growth so today’s announcement is a good start, but it’s just a beginning as a solution to this major problem requires a much wider strategy,” he said. “Frankston’s economy can’t continue to grow unless the lack of car parking is solved.”
Frankston Heights catches the rail extension.
OLDER residents of Frankston Heights were enthusiastic about the proposed Frankston train line extension when presented with its benefits at a Frankston Heights Probus Club meeting on Tuesday 16 October. More than 100 members and guests packed Frankston RSL’s main function room to hear about the project. The Probus event was just the latest of several “roadshows” about the rail extension as the committee garners broad-based support for the $450 million plus project, which has the backing of the federal government (Liberal), Victorian opposition (Liberal) and federal opposition (Labor), three of four promises needed for it to go ahead. The Victorian Labor Government has not yet committed to the project.
AUSTRALIA’S new Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made first visit to Frankston as leader, visiting Leawarra station to reaffirm the federal government’s $228 million commitment to electrifying the Frankston train line to Baxter. Dunkley MP Chris Crewther, Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge MP, and Victorian leader of the opposition Matthew Guy MP were among the many faces on hand to support the statement.
“This is a project which we announced in the budget, this is a commitment that is fair-dinkum.
State Coalition pledges to build $30m Frankston station car park.
VICTORIAN Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has promised to build a multi-level car park at Frankston train station if the Coalition wins government at the 24 November state election. The $30 million car park would have 450 additional spaces. Currently the station has a 416-space ground-level car park owned by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) on the eastern, Fletcher Road side of the station.
Monash growth plans on track. THE Baxter rail line project will provide a major boost for Monash University’s Peninsula campus expansion plans, says vice-chancellor Professor David Copolov. Prof Copolov said a new station — slated for near the Frankston campus as part of the rail project — was vital as student numbers increased at the Frankston campus. “We have 4000 students at the campus — an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year (and) we’ve had an increase in international student numbers from 300 to 1000,” he said.
Labor’s Anthony Albanese vows to move quickly on Baxter rail project. THE Baxter rail project has received another shot in the arm with Federal Labor vowing to start work quickly if elected. Labor transport and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese said his party had thrown its weight behind the project and wanted to get it underway. “Labor will move quickly to deliver the much-needed Frankston to Baxter rail upgrade,”
Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula community leaders converse on trains, tracks and new stations. THE two recent successes of Committee for Greater Frankston’s advocacy – Lathams Road duplication and Frankston to Baxter rail extension – were on display for the Greater Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula business community on Tuesday 29 May at the second BITE Conference
A POWERFUL southeastern suburbs lobby group is calling on politicians to deliver more planes, trains, buses and a freight plan, which they say are needed to future-proof the region. South East Melbourne (SEM) is demanding MPs and candidates to act as “fierce advocates” for the region and work with councils, business and community leaders to secure big ticket infrastructure projects.
A FEDERAL Labor government will build the Frankston rail extension, infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday 31 July. Mr Albanese – the federal Opposition’s spokesman for infrastructure, transport, cities and regional development – was speaking at a “City Partnerships” roundtable organised by the Committee for Greater Frankston when he made the announcement.
Federal Labor has announced bipartisan support for the Frankston rail extension project. Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese visited Frankston to discuss Federal Labor plans to bring forward the funding timelines of this vital regional transport project. Mr Albanese said, “Liberals have now put $225 million on the table for the Baxter project, but none of that money is available in 2018-2019. Labor will do better.”
Frankston Leader has joined Frankston Council in its ‘Extend the Frankston Line’ campaign urging government to fund the essential infrastructure project. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council mayor Bryan Payne said the project would provide a massive boost for the region and a much-needed upgrade to public transport.
TUESDAY 17 July was another red letter day for Greater Frankston when the Victorian Opposition promised to match the federal government’s $225 million to build twin electrified tracks from Frankston to Baxter. Opposition leader Matthew Guy was joined by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when making the announcement at Baxter station.
Mr Guy said if the Liberal National Coalition won the state election in November, his government would match the $225 million allocated in the federal government’s Budget in May to extend the metropolitan train line and build a new station to service Frankston Hospital/Monash University and one at Langwarrin. Baxter station would be upgraded.
Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula community leaders converse on trains, tracks and new stations.THE two recent successes of Committee for Greater Frankston’s advocacy – Lathams Road duplication and Frankston to Baxter rail extension – were on display for the Greater Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula business community on Tuesday 29 May at the second BITE Conference
The Premier indicated his government would not make any commitment to fund the extension of the Frankston train line before the state election in November – a project that the Committee for Greater Frankston and Frankston City Council have stated would bring significant benefits to the region. Addressing the Premier at the event, Christine Richards told him the rail extension would improve access to the hospital, greatly expand the catchment area for students of Monash University’s Peninsula campus, connect Karingal and Langwarrin’s 37,000 residents with quick and reliable public transport, and free up car parking in Frankston’s CBD.
Opposition spokesman on Public Transport David Davis and Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke both pledged to investigate improving services in the long neglected region after community members and councillors raised concerns.
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 with Prime Minister, Infrastructure Ministers, Roads ministers and Treasurer visits. Amid a full program of community group and service club roadshows.
FEDERAL Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed funding of $225 million to extend the metropolitan electrified train line from Frankston to Baxter during his Budget speech on Tuesday night 8 May. Mr Morrison’s speech was broadcast live on ABC TV and radio. It was the first time in living memory “Frankston” had been mentioned by a federal Treasurer during his Budget presentation.
Fred Harrison, president of advocacy group Committee for Greater Frankston, was one local listening to the Treasurer. He emailed committee board members next morning: “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 [Dunkley MP] 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.”
Frankston Traders letter. Frankston has suffered from lack of parking for more than 40 years. We have lost business to Karingal, Mt Eliza, Mornington and other nearby centres that have free and untimed parking. The authorities talk about creating Frankston jobs. Well, if they make it easier for people to shop and do business in our city, businesses will grow and when businesses grow they need more staff. More parking will lead to more jobs. Taking the strategic view on city access, we heartily support the proposal to extend the Frankston train line. Having a 1000-space commuter car park at Langwarrin is especially attractive idea as it frees up parking in central Frankston.
Read the Monash University Peninsula Campus access study February 2018, by Dr Chris Hale.
THE Victorian Government has started work on the federally funded business case to assess the costs and benefits of extending the Frankston rail line to Baxter. The announcement was made on Monday 23 April at Carrum by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan.
A key priority of the Committee for greater Frankston is the extension of the metropolitan railway line past Frankston, where it currently ends, to Langwarrin a distance of just five kilometres.
Duplication and electrification of this line would provide viable public transport links through all “sandbelt suburbs”.
Benefiting two of the region’s most car-dependent suburbs, Karingal and Langwarrin, by connecting 37,000 residents including 19,000 who commute to work.The three stations would service Karingal, the Frankston health and education precinct (Monash University’s Peninsula campus, and Frankston Hospital), and Langwarrin. The Frankston line is a significant public asset and extending it to Langwarrin would encourage people out of their cars and off the peak hour congested M1 (Monash Freeway).
There is plenty of affordable land at Langwarrin for a “park and ride” commuter car park. Mornington Peninsula residents would be able to drive to Langwarrin, park and ride, and access the metropolitan train service. Moving commuter car parking to Langwarrin would free up valuable CBD land at Frankston.
STATE Liberal leader Matthew Guy says the Frankston train line should be electrified and duplicated to Baxter.
Mr Guy said it didn’t make sense for the rail line to effectively end at Frankston and the move would also free up land in the city’s commercial heart. “That line does need to be expanded,” he told a luncheon hosted by the Committee for Greater Frankston at McClelland Gallery.
President of the Committee for Greater Frankston, Fred Harrison, welcomed Minister Allan to Frankston and thanked her for the money her government had committed for the much-needed transformation of Frankston Station. However, he said that the electrification of the train line to Langwarrin was urgently needed to connect Frankston people with the jobs that they deserve
EXTENDING the electric metropolitan train line from Frankston to Baxter has been a dream for more than 100 years. It could have happened 90 years ago when a Victorian parliamentary committee said it should go ahead (at a cost of £92,500 – $185,000) but the Cabinet rejected the proposal. Subsequent calls for extension of the electric system fell on deaf ears especially with the rise of motor vehicles.
Now the project is firmly back on the agenda after the federal and Victorian governments late last year agreed to commission a business case using $4 million of federal funds.
As in the 1920s, many people support the project, including politicians, business people and members of the public.
Fred Harrison launches “The Voice of the Peninsula”, community radio station RPP FM, has opened its first pop-up studio.
If we are to provide the jobs that are so obviously needed for Frankston’s future, investment will be needed in a range of other major infrastructure projects. The electrification of the train line to Baxter will help both institutions. Both Monash University and Frankston Hospital abut the Frankston to Stony Point train line; the only non-electrified suburban train service in Australia
FRANKSTON Council can tick off its top pre election wish after the Liberals promised to fund a $4 million study into the electrification and duplication of the Frankston to Baxter rail line.
Dunkley Liberal candidate Chris Crewther, accompanied by Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher, made the election pledge at Baxter Train Station. The study will also investigate a new station near Frankston Hospital and creating a third express line enabling a 30-minute trip from Frankston to Melbourne. It will examine relocating stabling facilities from Frankston to Baxter — freeing up parking in the Frankston CBD as well as land for residential and commercial development.
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. The full duplication and electrification of the rail line to Baxter was recommended by the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce, headed by Mr Edbrooke. Mr Albanese said he was confident the business case would “stack up”.