One of four level crossings to be removed at Pakenham, in Melbourne’s outer south-east. (ABC News: Richard Willingham)
Sky rail will be built in Pakenham to remove four level crossings in Melbourne’s outer south-east if the Victorian Government is re-elected, Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed.
- Premier says Pakenham will be free of level crossings if Labor is re-elected
- Pakenham “super station” planned with 450 car parks and a third platform
- Opposition pledges planning height controls for Melbourne’s bayside suburbs
The detail announced today is part of an election promise made in October to remove an additional 25 level crossings at a cost of $6.6 billion.
Labor had already revealed it would build new sections of sky rail on the Mernda and the Upfield lines.
Under Labor’s plan, Pakenham would get a new train “super station”, including 450 new car parks and a third platform, which Mr Andrews said would help address local congestion problems.
“63,000 vehicles pass through these level crossings everyday,” he said.
“In just a few years it will still be more than 70,000 vehicles.
“This is the investment that we need to make. This is the plan that we need to get on and deliver.”
‘Give me crossings any day’
On the same day, the Victorian Opposition has raised concerns that building elevated rail in bayside suburbs could pave the way to higher developments being approved in the area.
Joined for the first time on the campaign trail by his wife, Renae, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy went to the ultra-marginal seat of Carrum to appeal to voters opposed to sky rail in their neighbourhood.
The Opposition is promising to introduce a two-storey height limit for development in bayside suburbs.
Mr Guy said rail structures towering over 10 metres would set a precedent, allowing for higher developments in Melbourne’s south-east.
“The sky rail that the Andrews Government has approved, and in some parts built, has now set an enormous planning precedent for new height, much higher buildings than have ever been considered along Melbourne’s bayside suburbs ever,” he said.
“That’s why an elected Liberal-Nationals government will put in place mandatory height controls of eight metres, a new neighbourhood residential zone, for a large swathe of our bayside suburbs.”
The new height restrictions would apply to properties built between the Nepean Highway, the railway line and the beach in suburbs such as Carrum, Seaford, Edithvale and Aspendale.
They are critically important political seats, where a change in the local member could lead to a change in government.
Long-time Carrum resident Jane Murnane said locals wanted the Government to put the rail line below the road, rather than build sky rail.
“If it came to sky rail or not removing crossings, give me crossings, any day, not sky rail,” she said.
“It’s going to completely change the character, the laid-back beach amenity of Carrum, and that’s the reason why people live here.”