Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Higgins Electorate: Level Crossings
I rise to announce that I'm very excited by an election commitment that is now being rolled out to remove the Glenferrie Road level crossing in my constituency of Higgins. This is exciting because I have actual personal experience with this level crossing. My family lived in Warra Street, along the railway line, and I brought up my small children in this area. I also had a small medical practice along the railway line, so I have had firsthand experience of knowing how dangerous, how congested and how painful having this level crossing has been to the locals of this area. I'm delighted because hundreds of locals have written to me and so to be able to deliver a $260 million commitment for the removal of the Glenferrie Road level crossing and additionally to provide $8 million for a business plan, not just for the Glenferrie Road level crossing but for the Glen Waverley line, including the other intersections adjacent to the Glenferrie Road crossing at Kooyong station.
The Victorian government has had on its list this level crossing for decades. In fact, VicRoads has identified this as the last level crossing that has rail, cars, trams and pedestrians all confluent in this one area. As someone who has sat in my medical practice and waited for patients to turn up late to their appointment every single time that I had appointments, it was an example of how painful it is to local businesses. It is the reverse of what often happens for medical practitioners, as often it is our patients kept waiting for us. In this case, my practice was often held up because patients were sitting on the other side of the boom gate waiting for a significant period of time. In fact, we know from reports that for 30 per cent of the time in peak hour, morning and evening, the boom gates are down. The congestion is awful, with cars stacked up for hundreds of metres in both directions every morning and every night. Go down to Warra Street and see it for yourself. On top of that, it is dangerous because it is also a pedestrian crossing. There are parks close by, with young families taking their kids to the park with their family pet or to play football and this is a very dangerous level crossing. It is a great delight we will have a congestion-busting removal of a level crossing.
I am delighted that with my colleague and good friend the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, I announced recently a business plan for the commencement of this project to look at the best way to remove this dangerous level crossing that is a choke point for congestion which is unsafe, so we can ensure families can get home more quickly to their loved ones, so families can walk to the park and do so in a safe way with their loved ones. And we can make sure businesses can get on with doing business in the way they need to, without sitting in traffic and literally fuming at the fact that there's a level crossing in the local area.