PREMIER Denis Napthine visited a Carrum Downs family last week with a media pack on his campaign trail as he announced a commitment to spend up big on an overhaul of Thompsons Rd if his Coalition government is re-elected on 29 November.
The Premier said a re-elected Coalition government will spend $310 million to improve Thompsons Rd, including two grade separations and lane duplications.
The revamped Thompsons Rd will be six lanes wide between the Western Port Highway and South Gippsland Highway and between McCormicks and Dandenong-Frankston roads. It will be four lanes between McCormicks Rd and Western Port Highway.
The oft-congested Thompsons Rd level crossing will be removed and a grade separated interchange will replace the Western Port Highway roundabout.
“Once the upgrade is complete, drivers using Thompsons Road will save up to 20 minutes as average speeds during peak hour will increase to 70 km/h from the current 20 km/h,” Dr Napthine said.
“No matter where you travel or whether you choose to go by train or by car, we will get you there faster and make your journey safer.”
Carrum MP Donna Bauer said Thompsons Rd needed to be widened to six lanes “in key sections” because “duplication is simply not enough for our growing region”.
“Only the Coalition government’s upgrade includes an overpass of the Western Port Highway. The overpass is the most important component of the project in terms of removing congestion,” Ms Bauer said.
Earlier this year, Labor opposition leader Daniel Andrews announced a $175m duplication of Thompsons Rd between East Link and Clyde Road in Cranbourne to ease traffic congestion.
The major political parties are scrambling to match promises and one up each other as the marginal bayside ‘sandbelt’ seats of Frankston, Carrum, Mordialloc and Bentleigh shape up as pivotal to both the Liberal Party and Labor’s hopes of forming government.
On Friday, Liberal candidate for Frankston Sean Armistead visited McClelland Secondary College in Frankston with Education Minister Martin Dixon to announce a $4.5m commitment to upgrade the school’s sports facilities, finish a modern gymnasium and “expand amenities” for students and staff.
“This is a fantastic announcement for students and families in the Frankston community. If elected, I will work hard with the great schools here in Frankston to support our students and families,” Mr Armistead said.
In October, McClelland Secondary’s assistant principal Tristan Lanarus said he had approached former Liberal, now independent, MP Geoff Shaw to push to have any incoming state government commit about $4m to upgrade the school’s facilities.
“[Geoff] has a track record of getting things done and delivering on promises,” Mr Lanarus said at the time.
“The opportunity to provide another school in Frankston with the funding that it deserves is a commitment I couldn’t pass up,” Mr Shaw said.
“McClelland College is such a tremendous asset to our local community, one which produces a fine quality of high school graduate.”