Sky Rail Parkdale

I raise a matter tonight for the attention of the Minister for Transport Infrastructure in the other place, and it relates to the announcement the government quietly dropped last Thursday that it would construct an elevated sky rail all the way from Parkdale station to Mentone station, half of which is in my electorate, half of which is in the adjoining electorate.

This has come as an unwelcome announcement to the community in Parkdale and an unwelcome announcement to businesses in Parkdale, who over the last 18 months have been subjected to impost after impost from this government. They have been subjected to multiple shutdowns which have decimated their businesses, they have been subjected this year to increased land tax, they have been subjected to increased payroll tax, and now their businesses are going to be hit even more with the imposition of a sky rail to run all the way, as a continuous elevated road, from Parkdale to Mentone.

This has been dropped without any prior notice on those communities. In fact, the Minister for Transport Infrastructure in 2016 tweeted that there would be no elevated rail on that section of line in Frankston, and that was retweeted by Mark Dreyfus, the federal member there. So the community had an expectation that there would not be sky rail along the Frankston line at Parkdale, and now they have been quietly told, in a sentence at the bottom of a press release, that they are getting sky rail.

This has had a very significant impact on that community, who have not been consulted about the best way to remove level crossings, and on those businesses, who have not been consulted and who will be very directly impacted by this announcement from the government.

So the action I seek from the Minister for Transport Infrastructure is that she meets with residents, that she meets with traders with me on site, that she undertakes the consultation in relation to those level crossing removals at Parkdale along Como Parade and in the area of Parkers Road, that she has the consultation she should have had before the government announced a massive elevated sky rail so that those local residents and those local traders can have a project that delivers on their needs in terms of level crossing removal rather than simply a project which is expedient for the government.