WITH improving public transport on the agenda in the lead up to the November state election, independent candidate for Hastings Robert Whitehill says there is no better time to remind voters that the current politicians have had their chance and done little.
While the Liberal Party is promising to electrify the Frankston rail line to Baxter if it wins the election, including electrifying and duplicating the line and building new stations at Langwarrin and Frankston East, Whitehill says he has been talking about the issue for more than a decade.
He has drawn up a plan for a train line connecting Frankston to Rosebud, including upgrading Stony Point, and improving rail and bus transport services across the peninsula. Whitehill says he wants all candidates to have the same opportunities to represent constituents as those candidates with deep pockets.
Whitehill, who has a bachelor with honours in urban planning, believes the peninsula could be better linked by buses and trains, and eventually be linked to the Melbourne CBD using the Frankston and Cranbourne rail links.
He says he has presented his ideas to numerous politicians from all sides and levels of politics and “piqued the interest of many”.
“I am running on five issues, with public transport at the top, but there are other ideas I have that will make the peninsula a better place for everyone, including sustainability, making the peninsula peri-regional, economically independent and equality for neurodivergent people.”
Whitehill says society also has a lot to learn from “neurodivergent” people and wants to see more acceptance of people whose brain develops or works differently, for example, people on the autism spectrum.
“When the anti-vaxxers say vaccines cause autism, they don’t realise the damage they are doing when they go down that path,” he said.