EXPANDING public transport in Frankston has been listed as a “priority initiative” by Infrastructure Australia.
Infrastructure Australia’s latest priority list shows that “optimising the existing bus network, increasing bus service frequency and coverage,” and “upgrades to rail services and infrastructure” are seen as ways of improving Frankston.
The list includes 150 “priority” or “high priority” projects and initiatives throughout Australia.
Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking described Frankston’s inclusion as “fantastic news and proof that solving the region’s lack of public transport is a state and nationally important project, one that’s vital to unleash the potential of our region”.
“Our submission detailed how the rail extension would become the backbone of a revitalised transport system to benefit 400,000 residents, a population comparable to Canberra’s,” she said.
However, Committee for Mornington Peninsula president and former Dunkley MP Bruce Billson said Infrastructure Australia needed to “lift its gaze beyond the east of Frankston in relation to transport requirements to consider the needs of the Mornington Peninsula”.
“Our region has the lowest access to public transport facilities within metropolitan Melbourne, and this raises the question again about whether policy makers and transport planners even consider the Mornington Peninsula to be part of the metropolitan Melbourne”, Mr Billson said. “This impacts our community by inhibiting access to educational services, jobs and visitor connections to the region.”
A proposal to extend the Frankston rail line to Baxter had been the subject of a business case, which was handed to the federal government in October last year.
The federal government has promised $225 million towards the project, while the state government has not announced a financial contribution.
In April 2019, Frankston Council and Mornington Peninsula Shire expressed joint support for a staged extension of the Frankston line to Hastings.
Frankston mayor Cr Sandra Mayer said on Friday that “the need for electrified rail services beyond Frankston is strengthening” as population increased across the south east Melbourne and the peninsula.
Frankston Council has called on the federal government to release the rail electrification business case, completed in late-2019 by the Victorian government.