9 Level crossings are being removed on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line, including many in our local area at Grange, Koornang, Murrumbeena and Poath Roads. Clayton Road and Centre Road, Clayton will also be removed. Major construction has begun with completion scheduled by 2018. There will also be 5 Station rebuilds at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park as well as 37 new high capacity trains. Other crossings already removed nearby include North Road, Ormond, McKinnon Road, McKinnon and Centre Road, Bentleigh.
Parliament – Apprentices on Level Crossing Removal Projects
MR DIMOPOULOS — The Minister for Training and Skills and I later joined the Minister for Industry and Employment at Carnegie station, where our level crossing works are well underway, to meet some of the apprentices filling the 743 new positions that have been created in just the first year of this government’s major projects skills guarantee. The total number of apprentices expected to work on just the Caulfield–Dandenong crossing removal project is 200. So far this skills guarantee applies to 15 major projects and is expected to rise to 38 projects.
On Thursday I paid a visit to the precast yard in Pakenham, which is an amazing operation. This is a massive factory specifically producing sections for the new railway line in my community that will mean the removal of many dangerous and time-wasting level crossings. We are removing nine crossings on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line. Instead of closing this train line, which is the busiest in Melbourne, for months and months on end to dig a big trench — as proposed by those opposite for this line — we have got an operation where much of the work is done off site and transported in. That is good for the community and good for jobs in Victoria.
I thank the ministers for taking the time to visit my community, and I look forward to seeing even more skilled employment resulting from this government’s initiatives in training and major projects.
Parliament – Grievance – Level Crossings
MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — I grieve for the people in my community who had to put up with four years of a government that was not prepared to recycle assets in order to invest in the infrastructure of my community to make life better. But we are, and here we are today rejoicing with the community we serve about the close to $10 billion lease price for the port of Melbourne. Those opposite did support the leasing of the port, and we thank them for that even though they got there reluctantly and following months of kicking and screaming. It was their policy to lease the port too, but if we remember, they announced their policy about a month after we did. They copied our policy all the way back in 2014, and what happened between then and now? They changed their mind.
Let us also remember, though, who negotiated the deal. Not just in the Parliament of Victoria but also, to be really frank, in the Labor Party. It was the executive of the government — it was the Treasurer, it was the Premier and it was those key individuals who had to bring it before a party that has been fairly resistant to these kinds of ideas in the past. The executive took it through the party process, took it to the floor of the Parliament and took it all the way through the upper house. I commend the members of the government in the upper house for their hard work in putting this deal together.
Let us remember the snooze fest during the four years of the Liberal government. What did they do? Where was the construction? Where were the major projects? They were nowhere to be seen. What is their record? As the member for St Albans said, what is their record on level crossings? Where are all the level crossing removals they promised? They never got around to them. I recall in my community that in 2010 the former Liberal government promised to remove the Murrumbeena Road level crossing on day one of its term in government. Yet by 2014 nothing had happened. Nothing. A couple of things did happen. The then Premier came to my community, waved around a piece of paper and said, ‘You know what? We’re going to sign a contract’. Sign a contract? When we came to power following the last election there was no signed contract.
We all remember the Age headline that said ‘Dandenong rail upgrade in disarray’. My opponent then, the funny fellow that he is — he reminds me a bit of Donald Trump; he never lets the facts get in the way of a story — put out material saying, ‘We’ve removed the Murrumbeena crossing’, because there was some modicum of money in the budget. That same day I went to the Murrumbeena crossing and guess what — it was still there. When I go there now, there is hoarding, there are workers, there are heaps of orange jackets and there are big drills. We are actually doing stuff.
Mr Andrews interjected.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — That is right. We are removing level crossings. Let us be real. This is about integrity; it is about a government’s words versus its actions.
I have some interesting statistics from Hansard, particularly around the member for Caulfield. He is a lovely guy; I actually like the member for Caulfield. But I will tell you something: over the term of the previous government, how many times do you think the member for Caulfield mentioned level crossings?
Mr Pearson — How many times?
Mr DIMOPOULOS — He mentioned them six times. What has happened over the 20 months of our government, which is less than half the period of the previous government’s term? He has mentioned them 32 times. I wonder why that is. I guess it is because he is in opposition.
If we look at the Leader of the Opposition, when he was in the senior ranks of the former government, how many times do you think he mentioned level crossings in this place?
Mr Pearson — Ten.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — He mentioned them three times. It comes up as 11, but when you do the due diligence, there were 3 times he mentioned level crossings; the other 9 were in response to questions or adjournment matters from other members. Now, in the term of this government, he has raised level crossings 15 times. In less than half the term of the former government, in the current term of our government, he has mentioned level crossings 15 times.
The one that tickles my fancy the most — —
Mr Andrews — Nothing like a convert.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — Nothing like a convert, as the Premier said. The one that tickles my fancy the most is Mr Davis in the other place. According to the official record of the Parliament, over the 20 months of our term in government he has mentioned level crossings how many times?
Mr Pearson — Ten.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — He has mentioned level crossings 134 times. So you would say he has a real commitment to the issue, would you not? But when he was in government and he had all the levers at his disposal, how many times do you think? Three. The record does not lie. These are the people that are going around my community in hysteria about a project which most of the community supports, and they are people that have no integrity in terms of their word — they mentioned it 3 times under them, 134 times under us. That is what you get when you actually do some work. It takes a Labor government and, given the Premier and the Deputy Premier are in the chamber, it takes leadership like they have demonstrated to get this stuff done.
Let us go to what those opposite are claiming on level crossings. They have claimed 40 level crossings that they were responsible or were going to be responsible for in their term.
Honourable members interjecting.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — Yes, 40. They have gone a bit quiet on that figure now. So where were these miraculous level crossing removals that they were going to do? They included bridges on the regional rail link — sneaky. They included removing a crossing where one never existed. And who funded the regional rail link? We did. Labor did. I quote from an actual expert on transport, Daniel Bowen. He says:
The only possible way to get close to their claim —
of 40 —
is to include regional rail link bridges, which are on a new line, so are not ‘level crossing removals’ because there was never a level crossing there. There’s also Christies Road on the Ballarat line, which is a road extension — —
Mr Pearson interjected.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — And it is dodgy, as the member for Essendon says. He continues:
Christies Road on the Ballarat line, which is a road extension over an existing line, not on the regional rail link route but done as part of the project. Again, no level crossing has actually been removed …
That is where they got their 40 from. So what about the rest? There were four on the Dandenong line, removals we now know were part of a contract that was never a contract, and it was shown to be a sham.
Mr Andrews — It was a privatisation.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — It was a privatisation for 25 years, as the Premier says. It was a privatisation, and they go on about the port of Melbourne lease being a privatisation. They were going to privatise the busiest line in Melbourne, the Dandenong-Pakenham line. If that privatisation had gone ahead, it would have been $1 million a day for 15 years paid to a private consortium led by a former Liberal Treasurer. There were four that were funded but — would you not know it — not even started. There were no surprises because under their government there was a construction-free zone. That was their government — a construction-free zone.
In fact, we have no better authority than the Leader of the Opposition. I pulled up a reference from 1 June 2011 in response to a question without notice from one of the Labor Party members about level crossings. The now opposition leader said:
One of the reasons we put that money aside was that we take this issue with absolute seriousness.
Mr Andrews — So much so, he did not remove any.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — So much so, as the Premier says, he did not remove any. But he went on to say in response to the question from Mr Eideh in the Legislative Council:
Obviously the issue Mr Eideh raised is one that is of concern to all Victorians. It is certainly of concern to all of us in government, particularly bearing in mind the cost of removing those level crossings. We have allocated — —
This is the clincher:
We have allocated that money in the budget so we can do more than four or five over our term in government.
Four or five in our government!
Honourable members interjecting.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — That is right — from 40 down to 4 or 5. This was six months after they were elected. As the member for St Albans said very clearly and the Minister for Public Transport has said, we will have 37 either delivered or underway by the time of the next election. That is the record of this government, and that is the record of their failed, miserable government.
On top of all that, you have got all the other false promises about the Doncaster rail link, the Metro tunnel — —
Mr Edbrooke — Rowville rail.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — Rowville rail or, as the Premier called it, ‘space rail’. Then they have teamed up with their counterparts in Canberra to rip off, as the Treasurer said, the Victorian taxpayer to the tune of $1.4 billion or $800 million, whichever way you look at it, if we get no payment or a half payment. That is a record of the Liberal Party ripping off Victorians locally through the Victorian government but also ripping off Victorians through Canberra’s treachery, as the Treasurer demonstrated in a very, very comprehensive way in his contribution to this grievance debate.
The federal government is denying promised funds to Victorians. There are no two ways about it: it is denying promised funds. And what does the member for Higgins, whose electorate overlaps my community, do? Can I just remind you of the member for Higgins? I have raised this previously in a contribution in this house. The member for Higgins wrote to my community in May 2015. She sent a direct letter to every resident, saying:
After being active on this issue for a number of years and tabling a petition in the Parliament I was delighted when the state coalition government agreed with me and committed $2.5 billion to upgrade the entire Dandenong rail line —
the line I just talked about that they were privatising —
which included removing nine level crossings and rebuilding both Carnegie and Murrumbeena stations. Work was to begin this year in 2015 —
this was May 2015, when our level crossing removal project was fully announced. Everybody knew about it. She said to my community:
I am deeply concerned that the state Labor government has now scrapped this vital $2.5 billion project. Instead of starting this year, Labor can’t say exactly what they will do, how their new plan will be funded and aren’t sure when it will start let alone finish.
That is outrageous. Given that there will be 37 underway by the time we go to the polls next time — —
Mr Nardella interjected.
Mr DIMOPOULOS — She is absolutely a Liberal. And of course she has not lifted one finger and not made one public comment to argue for Victoria to get its fair share of the asset recycling initiative. Yet she is happy to criticise the same project that initiative is going to fund. She is happy to criticise that. She has not lifted one finger, but you do not expect too much more from her. That seems to be her form. She is also the Minister for Revenue or something to do with the Treasury portfolio, so surely she could secure some funds for Victoria. As the Treasurer said, those funds are not a gift from the commonwealth. That is money that is appropriately due to us for recycling an asset that converts what we were getting as a dividend as a state agency to a profit-making enterprise and so collecting corporate income tax for the federal government.
I am proud of what Labor is achieving with level crossing removals in my community, and I am proud of what we will deliver through the port of Melbourne lease. Thank you.
Parliament – Crossings a problem since 1887
MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — I rise to speak about the issue of the dangerous time-wasting level crossings in my community. Lest there be any doubt about how big a problem these level crossings are, I would like to raise a matter on behalf of a resident who wrote to a major Melbourne newspaper:
I would like to call the attention of the railway authorities to the railway crossing …
The crossing the writer refers to is at Carnegie, and the writer went on to state:
This gate has been a great source of annoyance and trouble to the people of the district …
Although the council secured some assurances from authorities, the writer stated:
Although it is now three or four months since this promise was made to the council, it is just as difficult to get through this gate as ever it was.
Unfortunately I am unable to communicate with the writer and tell them how the Andrews government is finally fixing the problem. I cannot communicate with the writer, because this letter was written on 6 September 1887. Yes, the level crossings in my community have been an issue for the last 129 years. Melbourne was in its infancy, yet people were already complaining about the level crossings.
Ms Edwards — How many horses were delayed?
Mr DIMOPOULOS — That’s right: how many horses were delayed? It has taken until now for this issue to be addressed, 129 years after this complaint. After this being ignored by numerous governments and many hollow promises being made, including by the last coalition government, it is the Andrews Labor government that is getting on with the job of removing this crossing at Carnegie and another eight in the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor.
Parliament – Request for escalators at new train stations
MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — I wish to raise a matter for the Minister for Public Transport. The action that I seek is for the minister to assist my community and others by providing additional options for accessibility, specifically escalators, at the proposed new train stations on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line. These escalators would be in addition to the lifts already provided for in the plans. I am glad to see the minister is in the chamber; I appreciate her time.
The plan to remove nine dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong is long overdue. This government is getting on with the job that was promised in 2014 — that is, to remove 50 level crossings. Some of the first crossings to go are in my community, which makes sense as they have been consistently rated as the worst in Melbourne. Removing the crossings continues to be the no. 1 priority for my community. I have appreciated looking in detail at the plans released in February. These plans have been made available to the community during local consultations, and numerous suggestions have been made about the project.
As the minister is aware, in conjunction with my discussions with my community I have developed a range of ideas which I believe will help make this great project even better. I ask the minister to assist in providing escalators at each of the new train stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park. These new stations will be utilised to allow for the major increase in capacity expected when the 37 new trains arrive on this line. Of the 37 new trains, 50 per cent are to be manufactured in Victoria, which I think is fantastic. That is an extra 11 000 passengers during the morning peak.
I think it is vitally important that when we are building state-of-the-art infrastructure we make it the best it can be. I know that commuters in my community would very much appreciate escalators as well as stairs at all access points to the station platforms. I thank the minister for her commitment to removing the crossings and appreciate her working very hard with me and my community to get the absolute best outcome, because I know she believes in this project.
Latest News from Steve Dimopoulos
Newsletter Link: Steve Dimopoulos Level Crossing Update
Consultation and Timeline Update
The latest information about the removal projects from Caulfield to Dandenong and consultation update.
Download the document here:
Community Consultation Report
The Level Crossing removal authority has released a document which gives an overview on the consultation that has occurred in recent months regarding the removal of level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong.
You can download the document here:
25 November 2015
Parliament Statement – Level Crossings and First Year of Government
MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — I am proud to stand here as we approach the one-year anniversary of this government. This is a government that was elected on a platform of transforming Victoria after four years of inertia from those opposite. A key element of that platform was the removal of level crossings. For four long years those opposite sat on their hands regarding crossing removals in my electorate. Not one level crossing in my area was removed, despite their often repeated promises.
I am also proud of the community. This is their victory, the community’s victory. The investment in level crossings, the investment in TAFEs, the investment in the Monash Children’s hospital, the investment in the heart hospital — they are the community’s victory. This is what the community called for in public meetings and in doorknocking all over the state, and this is their victory. I am proud that we are meeting their aspirations.
We all recall the hollow Liberal promise in 2010 to remove just one level crossing in Murrumbeena in my electorate. When the election came around in 2014 we were still waiting. To misquote Banjo Patterson, under the Liberals there was absolutely no movement at the stations.
To take credit you actually have to do something. The Andrews government has moved swiftly. Level crossing removals at North Road in Ormond, McKinnon Road in McKinnon, Centre Road in Bentleigh and Burke Road in Glen Iris are all underway. Contracts will soon be issued for the removal of crossings at Grange Road, Koornang Road, Murrumbeena Road, Poath Road, Clayton Road and Centre Road and three others on the same line. We have got four station rebuilds and 37 new trains coming to increase passenger capacity. This government gets on with the job.
I congratulate the Premier on delivering real change for Victoria by removing these dangerous and time-consuming level crossings.
10 November 2015
Statement on Level Crossings in Parliament
MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — You have to wonder about those opposite who were silent for four years but now presume to lecture us about government. I refer to the member for Caulfield, who during the last government mentioned level crossings in this place only a paltry seven times — seven times in four years. How many times has he spoken about level crossings in this place in just the last eight months? Eleven times! And today makes 12. He has found a voice again — mostly to throw cheap shots about us consulting with the community. Oh, the horror of consulting! So were members of the last government silent achievers? How many level crossings did they remove in my local community? None — not a single one.
Let me list some of Labor’s crossing removals under construction or starting soon: Grange Road; Koornang Road; Murrumbeena Road; Poath Road; Centre and Clayton roads; North Road; McKinnon Road; Centre Road, Bentleigh; and Burke Road. That is 10 around our local area versus none under the Liberal government. We might take the member for Caulfield more seriously if he actually did something while he was in power, irrespective of what electorate the level crossings are in. But let me finish on this: I am proud to be a part of a government that delivers on its promises. We do not just talk like those opposite do; we deliver. And that is something worth campaigning on.
3 November 2015
29 October 2015
Works Underway at North Road Ormond
(From the Level Crossing Removal Authority)
Major construction has started on the level crossing removal at North Road in Ormond, the first of eleven level crossings on the Frankston line to be removed.
The North Road project is being delivered at the same time as the level crossing removals at McKinnon Road, McKinnon and Centre Road, Bentleigh, to minimise disruptions to road and rail users.
Thanks to careful project planning, the amount of time to construct the projects has been shortened, with major road and rail closures brought forward six months to June/July 2016. This will see the project completed earlier than originally planned. The shorter construction schedule will also minimise disruption for residents and businesses.
In addition to the shorter construction schedule, following extensive community feedback and detailed design investigations, the Dorothy Avenue underpass will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles at the end of the level crossing removal works.
Monday 3 August 2015
Level Crossing Removals – Interactive Community Sessions
Over the next 2 weeks, the Level Crossing Removal Authority will be conducting interactive community sessions around our local area. Come along to have your voice heard on what is important to our local community.
Tuesday 7 July 2015
The Andrews Labor Government’s plan to nearly double capacity on Melbourne’s busiest rail line has taken another major step forward with the shortlisted bidders for the Cranbourne Pakenham package of level crossing removals announced today.
The successful bidders are: Excelerate, a consortium including John Holland, Kellogg Brown and Root, McConnell Dowell Constructors and Jacobs; and another consortium which includes Lend Lease Engineering, Leighton Contractors, Aurecon Australia and Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia.
The package will remove all nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong, rebuild four stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Clayton and Hughesdale, and roll out significant power and signalling upgrades.
It’s part of the Labor Government’s multi-billion dollar Level Crossing Removal Project, which will eliminate 50 of Victoria’s worst level crossings, reducing road congestion, improving safety and creating space to run more trains.
Acting Premier, James Merlino, Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan and Member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos visited Hughesdale Station to make the announcement and talk to locals at a pop-up information session – one of many being held along the corridor to provide information about the level crossing removals and what they mean for residents and commuters.
As part of the process, each proponent will be required to demonstrate adherence to significant local content targets, including the use of local steel, and a workforce comprising of 10 per cent apprentice-based employees.
Last week, the Labor Government invited expressions of interest for the design, construction and maintenance of 37 next generation high-capacity trains for the Cranbourne Pakenham line.
Together with the level crossing removals, the new trains will boost capacity on the Cranbourne Pakenham line by up to 42 per cent every day – accommodating an extra 11,000 passengers in the morning peak.
The works are also critical to the Victorian economy and local jobs, improving access to some of Victoria’s most important economic centres in Melbourne’s south east and supporting thousands of local jobs.
The Request for Proposal for the Cranbourne Pakenham package of level crossing removals is expected in coming weeks. Construction will begin in 2016, and all nine level crossing removals will be completed by 2018.
Tuesday 30 June 2015
Acting Premier James Merlino and Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos today inspected geotechnical investigations at Koornang Road level crossing in Carnegie – Victoria’s most congested level crossing – as work ramps up to remove these congested death-traps.
The boom gates at the Koornang Road crossing are down for up to 87 minutes between 7:00am and 9:00am – nearly three-quarters of the morning peak.
This dangerous congestion hotspot is one of 50 that will be removed by the Andrews Labor Government under the Level Crossing Removal Project.
Other level crossings set to be removed, including Clayton and Centre Road in Clayton, Corrigan and Heatherton Road in Noble Park and Murrumbeena Road in Murrumbeena have boom gates down during the morning peak for more than 70 minutes.
Astonishingly, the Liberals and Greens teamed up in Parliament last week to vote against legislation that helps remove these congested death-traps.
Mr Merlino reassured the community that the Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promise to remove Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings.
Despite opposition from the Liberals and Greens, work on the Level Crossing Removal Project is ramping up.
On top of geotechnical investigations kicking off on all nine level crossings between Dandenong and Caulfield, including Koornang Road, the contract for the first package of level crossing removals has been awarded and the preferred contractor for the second package has been identified.
All of these level crossings will be removed in the first term of the Andrews Labor Government, with more to be announced in the coming months as planning on all 50 level crossing removals progresses.
Watch the Video HERE
Monday 29 June 2015
High Capacity Trains Out to Market
The Andrews Labor Government today called for expressions of interest for the design, construction and maintenance of a next generation, high-capacity train for Melbourne, which will be built in Victoria.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said the release of the Expression of Interest (EOI) invitation was a significant milestone in the future of public transport in Victoria. The Minister was at the Grange Road level crossing in Carnegie to make the announcement and was joined by Steve Dimopoulos, the Member for Oakleigh.
The Labor Government’s $1.3 billion investment in 37 high-capacity trains is the largest investment in new rolling stock in Victorian history. The new trains will be longer than existing trains – able to carry more people with every journey – and will use the latest technology, making them safer, more reliable and more comfortable for passengers.
The high-capacity trains will run on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, Melbourne’s busiest. Together with signalling upgrades and the removal of every level crossing between Dandenong and the city, the new trains will boost capacity on the Dandenong corridor by 42 per cent, to carry 11,000 extra passengers every morning peak.
On top of this boost to train services, the EOI for a High Capacity Metro Train (HCMT) represents a new way of procuring major transport infrastructure for Victoria, one that grows local investment and creates local jobs.
The Labor Government has mandated that at least 50 per cent of the construction must take place locally and companies will be required to demonstrate how they will boost local employment, training and investment through the delivery of new trains for Melbourne.
Minister for Industry, Lily D’Ambrosio said the unprecedented focus on local content would drive growth in the local supply chain, and support high-skill, high-value manufacturing in Victoria.
The 37 new trains are part of the Labor Government’s rolling stock strategy, Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025, which outlines a ten year plan for 100 new trains, 100 new trams and a massive boost to the regional train fleet.
The plan supports thousands of jobs in Victoria’s train and tram building industry, which employs 10,000 people.
More information is available on Public Transport Victoria’s tender website www.tenderlink.com/ptv and an industry briefing will be held on 6 July 2015. The EOI will close in August 2015.
Thursday 25 June 2015
CEO of Level Crossing Removal Authority Inspects Murrumbeena
The CEO of the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Mr Kevin Devlin visited Murrumbeena recently to meet with Steve Dimopoulos, the Member for Oakleigh and inspect the site of the level crossing removal.
They were joined at the crossing by Sue Foley and Dennis Tarrant from the Murrumbeena Traders and Bendigo Community Bank and Shaun Leane MP, the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport.
In March, the Andrews Government announced the removal of 9 level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong, including Grange Road, Koornang Road, Murrumbeena Road and Poath Road.
Up to $2.4 billion was allocated in the State Budget towards the level crossing removal program. The proposed works on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line were released to the market calling for expressions of interest on 27 May.
The work on the removal of crossings on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line is due to commence next year, with a scheduled finish date of 2018. The works will also include upgraded stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena and Hughesdale.
Contracts for other local level crossings on the Frankston Line at North Road, McKinnon Road and Centre Road were awarded in May.
“The Premier and Transport Minister have both been to Carnegie to announce the crossing removals, funds have been provided in the budget and the contracts are out for market interest. We are on track to commence works next year,” Steve Dimopoulos said.
“It was fantastic to have the head of the Level Crossing Removal Authority come to Murrumbeena. This is one of the worst traffic spots in Melbourne. The visit of the CEO highlights our commitment to remove these crossings.”
Preliminary works on the level crossings will begin shortly, and community consultation will take place in the coming months. Major construction is expected to begin early next year.
Monday 22 June 2015
Level Crossings Removals Timeline
Wednesday 27 May 2015
9 MORE LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS RELEASED TO MARKET
The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with removing Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings, releasing the Expression of Interest for the Caulfield to Dandenong package today.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said on top of removing nine of Melbourne’s worst level crossings, the package would rebuild four stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Clayton and Hughesdale and roll out power and signalling upgrades.
The Cranbourne-Pakenham line is Melbourne’s busiest, serving some of Victoria’s most important economic centres, the Gippsland rail corridor, and thousands of homes in Melbourne’s booming south east.
These level crossings are also some of Melbourne’s worst, with boom gates down for up to 87 minutes across the two hour peak.
Removing every level crossing between Dandenong and Caulfield and buying 37 new high-capacity trains will boost capacity by 42 per cent, creating space for an extra 11,000 passengers in peak hour.
Delivering the works as a single package will allow works to be coordinated, saving money, reducing disruption and removing the crossings sooner.
An industry briefing will be held next week to provide more information and support the release of the Expression of Interest.
The EOI will close in late June 2015. The Level Crossing Removal Authority will then evaluate the submissions and shortlist two bidders to continue through the process.
Work on the removal of these level crossings is expected to commence in 2016, and all nine level crossing removals will be completed by 2018.
The Labor Government has provided $2.4 billion in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget for the removal of at least 20 of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings in its first term, creating thousands of jobs.
Tuesday 31 March 2015
SIX LEVEL CROSSING REMOVALS, FOUR REBUILT STATIONS
AND 37 NEW TRAINS FOR OUR COMMUNITY
The Andrews Labor Government will remove six level crossings in our local area (nine in total on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line), rebuild four local stations and purchase 37 new, high capacity trains as part of a multi-billion dollar package of works that will ease congestion, reduce travel times and improve public transport for local residents.
Labor’s unprecedented investment will see Murrumbeena Road in Murrumbeena, Poath Road in Hughesdale, Grange Road and Koornang Road in Carnegie and Clayton Road and Centre Road in Clayton level crossings removed in the next four years.
Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale and Clayton Stations will be rebuilt and serviced by new, high-capacity trains that operate exclusively on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
Labor Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos said that this announcement is an incredible win for our local community. “Locally we have been waiting many years for these crossings to be removed. Labor’s announcement means these time wasting and dangerous crossings will now be removed in full, resulting in a massive reduction in congestion, better safety and increased passenger capacity.”
Premier Daniel Andrews today announced Labor’s plan to transform transport in Melbourne’s south east, including:
• The purchase of 37 next generation, high capacity trains, built at least 50 per cent here in Australia
• The removal of all nine level crossings between Dandenong and Caulfield
• Four rebuilt stations at Clayton, Carnegie, Murrumbeena and Hughesdale
• New and upgraded rail infrastructure in the corridor including power and signaling upgrades
• A new train depot and maintenance facility in Pakenham
The works will boost capacity by up to 42 per cent on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line every day – accommodating an extra 11,000 passengers in the morning peak – and boost capacity across the network by freeing up existing trains.
The Labor Government will get straight to work. Expressions of Interest for the level crossing removals and the next generation trains are expected to be released to the market within months. The trains will be at least 50 per cent locally made, supporting Victorian jobs.
Instead of proceeding with the problem-riddled unsolicited bid, the Labor Government will purchase detailed planning, design and engineering work from the consortium, and use it and the funding to fast-track a bigger, better plan with more trains and more level crossing removals.