Council acknowledges the $225 million funding commitment to extending the electric rail service from Frankston to Baxter, but calls on the Commonwealth Government and the Victorian Government to investigate expanding the scope of the upgrade to Hastings as part of the project.
A $4 million study is underway into the electrification and duplication of the Frankston-to-Baxter section of the Stony Point railway line; making Baxter, rather than Frankston, the end of the electric rail service, as well as the location of stabling and maintenance facilities. A further $225 million has been committed by the Commonwealth Government for the upgrade following the completion of the business case (expected in early 2019). Council does not support the moving of stabling and maintenance facilities to Baxter from further up the Frankston line, or making Baxter the terminus of the railway line:
- The space required for the stabling and maintenance facilities would mean pushing-out the Urban Growth Boundary and encroaching on the Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge.
- Baxter is not a suitable ‘end of the line’; it is a small township (population 2,162), made up of over 90 per cent Green Wedge land, with highly constrained capacity for growth, and the Urban Growth Boundary should not be altered.
- Any upgrade of Baxter railway station must include improvements to road infrastructure, bus networks, and bicycle paths; whilst retaining the village-character of the township.
Council requests that the Commonwealth Government and the Victorian Government investigate extending electric rail from Frankston to Hastings (with Baxter electrification as the first stage of a larger two-staged project):
- Plan Melbourne identifies Hastings as a Major Activity Centre and the Port of Hastings Industrial Precinct as being of state-significance.
- As a focal point for services, employment, housing, public transport and social interaction, Hastings — currently connected to the Stony Point diesel service — is a far more appropriate destination for electric rail than Baxter.
- Hastings has significant capacity for population increase and industrial growth, with ready access to the services and facilities needed to cater for growth.
- Hastings railway station, and surrounds, has ample land to accommodate stabling and maintenance facilities.
Given the significant impact any changes to the current Stony Point service would have on Mornington Peninsula communities, it is imperative that the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council be recognised as a stakeholder and engaged-with on electrification of any part of the service going forward, including through participation in any relevant steering group, advisory panel, or similar.
To view the Shire's advocacy paper click here.(PDF, 2MB)