Council accepts Eel Race Road closure

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CALLS from Frankston Council to stop a level crossing removal project at Eel Race Road have gone quiet.

Council unanimously voted in 2017 to write to the state government to “formally oppose the closure of Eel Race Road on a number of grounds including the increase of congestion, particularly on Railway Parade (Seaford), Armstrongs Road (Seaford) and Station St (Seaford)”. The successful motion stated that “the process has once again failed Frankston residents in that no consultation and no justification was evident in arriving at this decision.”

Level crossing removal works at Carrum Station are now underway, and despite Frankston Council’s efforts, Eel Race Road is set to close after work at Carrum Station is completed.

Councillors were asked to reaffirm their support of keeping the road open at the 29 January meeting, but support had been lost.

Cr Glenn Aitken moved that council should rewrite to the state government asking to keep the road open.

“It is incumbent of councillors to be consistent and stand by the words that have been uttered in this chamber,” he said.

“I can’t see anything that should sway council from its previous case.”

Cr Aitken did not receive the required support from his colleagues to keep pushing the issue.

Cr Lillian o’Connor said she was “opposed” to reaffirming her support. She said “interfering with state government projects” was unnecessary, as works had begun and there was “no turning back now.”

“What’s really important to me is the safety of pedestrians and cars,” she said.

Cr Colin Hampton said the state government project was approved by residents when Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny was returned to office.

“We as councillors should listen to what the community has to say. I for one will listen to the majority.”

Cr Quinn McCormack said the re-election of Sonya Kilkenny was not solely down to the Eel Race Road redevelopment.

The motion was lost 2-6, With only Crs McCormack and Aitken voting in favour. Cr Steve Toms was absent from the meeting.

The motion was supported by a public submission from Michael Telleson, who has been a vocal advocate against shutting the road and stood as an independent candidate in the seat of Carrum.

First published in the Frankston Times – 5 February 2019

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