Baxter rail plans in doubt

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FRANKSTON Council has made a plea to re-elected Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke to make funding commitments to their ‘Future Frankston’ projects.

Council last week released a statement which heaped praise on Liberal candidate Michael Lamb for committing to council’s four major projects.

“Council is delighted that Michael Lamb and the Victorian Liberals have met each of the four priority funding requests made in the lead up to the state election,” said mayor Cr Michael O’Reilly.

“This is a fantastic achievement following months of extensive advocacy and we’re proud our work alongside relevant stakeholders has resulted in this positive outcome for the Frankston City community.”

Cr O’Reilly also said he was “urging Paul Edbrooke” to support “these vital projects” prior to the election.

Council’s tone has changed significantly since Michael Lamb was easily defeated on election day by sitting member Paul Edbrooke.

“Council has worked tirelessly advocating to Members, candidates, Ministers and Shadow Ministers in order to secure much-needed funding for local projects that meets the needs of our local community,” Cr O’Reilly said after the election.

“This has included numerous meetings, letters and the Future Frankston campaign involving key stakeholders and community members, a combined effort that has resulted in over $1 billion worth of funding being committed to Frankston City.”

“Our role now is to work with our elected members to ensure delivery of the funding promises made during the campaign.”

A council statement said it “aims to meet with new Victorian Government ministers soon to discuss election pledges made, including extending the electric rail line from Frankston towards the Mornington Peninsula, building a new tennis and gymnastics centre at Centenary Park, expanding the Jubilee Park Indoor Stadium, building a new safe boat refuge and Coast Guard facility, and upgrades to Frankston Hospital

Mr Edbrooke has committed to the project at Jubilee Park, but made no commitment to funding Centenary Park, Oliver’s Hill, or the Baxter rail extension. Mr Edbrooke’s main event pledge was to expand the hospital at a a cost of over half a billion dollars.

The statement does not mention Baxter as the final destination of the train line, as had been previously touted.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 5 December 2018

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