Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (17:32:04): The matter I raise tonight is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan. I ask the minister to review the proposed stage 1 of the Suburban Rail Loop and extend stage 1 to include Doncaster.
Since 1890 rail to Doncaster has been considered and proposed by state governments in numerous state transport plans. In 2011 a government study on Doncaster rail deemed the project necessary and viable. Yet after 128 years Doncaster is still waiting.
Of all the metropolitan municipalities the City of Manningham is the only one that functions on bus services alone, and its student and worker populations are desperately under-serviced. For students who attend or seek to attend Monash, Latrobe or Swinburne universities, public transport is a frustrating experience. They are forced to take multiple public transport services, which take double the average drive time to reach their destinations. This is unacceptable and is letting Victorian students down.
I understand that the Suburban Rail Loop will be an extensive and long-running project, but I feel that extending stage 1 to include Doncaster is not an unreasonable request. I believe finishing stage 1 of the project at Box Hill should be re-evaluated.
Box Hill station does not have the infrastructure for the influx of patrons from the north-east suburbs who will require parking and satisfactory drop-off and pick-up areas when stage 1 opens to the public. And, if initial reports are true and the geography from Box Hill to Doncaster is the most challenging part of the project, I would suggest putting priority on completing this part of the Suburban Rail Loop first.
As Mark Twain once said: If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.
So I ask the minister to re-evaluate stage 1 and extend the first stage of the Suburban Rail Loop to include Doncaster and ensure that Victorians are better connected as quickly and as effectively as possible.
I asked the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to re-evaluate stage 1 of the Suburban Rail Loop project and extend the first stage to include Doncaster and ensure that Victorians are better connected as quickly and as effectively as possible.