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Baxter Rail Extension

I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Transport Infrastructure in the other place related to the Frankston-Baxter rail upgrade project. This is a project strongly supported by the Frankston community, who recognise the need for better transport infrastructure in and around the Young Street precinct and the need for rail services to be extended through to Baxter so that the pressure is taken off central Frankston.

This project has been strongly supported by the Committee for Greater Frankston, and that committee’s advocacy for this project has recently been recognised by Infrastructure Australia, who has now recognised the Frankston public transport connectivity project as a priority project with a near-term delivery time frame, being within the next five years.

Can I say it is a great credit to the work of the Committee for Greater Frankston and their chief executive, Ginevra Hosking, that this project has been recognised and listed by Infrastructure Australia. This is in fact the only project where the proponent is a local chamber or local committee which has been recognised and adopted by Infrastructure Australia, so it is a great credit to the Frankston committee that that work has been recognised by Infrastructure Australia, and it is now important that it is recognised by the Victorian government.

The federal government provided $3 million for feasibility work on this project, and I understand that a preliminary feasibility study has been undertaken, so the action I am now seeking is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to jointly provide that preliminary business case with the federal government to Infrastructure Australia so that development of design options can be undertaken with Infrastructure Australia. It is important that this work is undertaken and that we do get the best design options for this project to progress.

Funding, as I said, was provided—$3 million by the federal government—and I understand there is still funding remaining following the preliminary business case to be put towards a final business case. It is important that that work is undertaken and that any impediments identified in the preliminary case are addressed in subsequent work.

I would ask that the minister work with her federal colleague to ensure that that business case is provided to Infrastructure Australia so that the hard work of the Frankston committee can be advanced to outcomes for the Frankston community.

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