Information in this post contributed to an article that appeared in Westernport News.

Nepean MP Martin Dixon says Mornington Peninsula and Frankston residents are set to benefit from this year’s state budget, released by the Napthine government last week.

“There are specific projects in there that will certainly help local communities,” Mr Dixon says.

“There are high level changes that will benefit the hip-pocket an d the way of life of the residents of the area.”

Frankston MP Geoff Shaw is also pleased with this year’s budget.

“For the first time in a long time, Frankston is getting its fair share of funding,” he says.

Premier Denis Napthine released the 2013-2014 Victorian Budget last Tuesday, which specifies government funding for the following financial year.

The Port of Hastings was highlighted as a key economic growth project to boost Victoria’s freight capacity.

“It’s going to be great for future long-term growth and employment on the Mornington Peninsula,” says Mr Dixon.

The budget allocates $20 million to the Port of Hastings Development Authority in 2013-2014, as part of a previously announced $110 million over the next four years.

Mr Dixon suggests part of that will go towards an upgrade of the Stony Point line, which has been ignored in the 2013-2014 budget despite multi-million dollar commitments to upgrades on the Frankston service line.

“There are long-term plans to upgrade Stony Point, and obviously there’s an intersection between that and the need to improve the road and rail down to the Port of Hastings.

“So those two issues have got to be put down in conjunction.”

Federal Dunkley MP Bruce Billson in March called for upgrades to the Stony Point line, with the extension of electrified rail to Baxter.

The government announced $10 million of improvements to the rail systems in the Bayside area over the next financial year, which extend as far south as Frankston.

The project is estimated to cost taxpayers a total of $100 million over four years to 2017.

Frankston MP Geoff Shaw says the government’s investment in Frankston will have huge benefits for the community.

“This represents the biggest investment in decades to our local transport infrastructure and gateway to our city,” he says.

Frankston City Council mayor Sandra Mayer says the funding boosts will contribute to the local economy in areas like job creation.

“It reinforces our position as a regional hub and will enhance our momentum to deliver progressive and much needed development.”

The funding is expected to bring station upgrades including passenger shelters, amenities, disability access, and increased passenger information.

“Frankston line passengers will also benefit from improvements to station lighting, the installation of extra CCTV cameras, the extension of station platform canopies to provide more weather protection, additional myki readers and disability access improvements,” says Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

The government has also announced infrastructure upgrades to the Frankston line, which will allow for the deployment of new X’trapolis trains on the line.

“The newer trains actually can’t run on the Frankston line because the design of signals and monitors at stations,” says Mr Dixon.

“I think people on the Frankston line will be pleased to see that they’ll then be able to get the brand new trains that other areas of Melbourne have been enjoying.”

Carrum MP Donna Bauer says local residents have long awaited rail upgrades.

“The state of the Frankston line was an important issue when I was elected and many constituents had voiced their concerns," Ms Bauer said.

“I am committed to delivering for my community and this funding will be well received,” Ms Bauer said.

The 2013-2014 budget committed a further $700,000 to the Frankston transit interchange precinct, which is part of a pre-existing revitalisation plan for the Frankston area.

The government has estimated the total cost of the revitalisation at $13.9 million over four years.

Mornington Peninsula and Frankston residents may also benefit from plans for a new train station on the Frankston line adjacent to Southland Shopping Centre.

Specific plans for the project are yet to be confirmed.

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AuthorToni Brient