Pound Road crossing

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads, and it concerns the construction of a pedestrian crossing on Pound Road, Hampton Park. The action I seek is that the minister commit to provide funding for construction of the crossing on Pound Road near the Hampton Park Senior Citizens Club. The minister
should try to cross the road for himself.

In an article titled ‘Seniors seeing red’ in the Cranbourne News of 20 March 2014, Hampton Park Seniors Club president Neil Sheppard is quoted as saying:

I invite the Premier or the roads minister to come out here and try and cross that road, particularly in a mobility scooter, and see what residents have to put up with.

The road is a serious risk to community safety, and something urgently needs to be done. As Mr Sheppard has asked me on several occasions: does someone have to get seriously injured or killed before someone does something?

The Hampton Park Senior Citizens Club and I have both written to VicRoads. VicRoads responded on 18 October 2012 stating that works would not be considered in the short to medium term but that the site would continue to be considered for future funding. A later response from VicRoads dated 25 October 2013 stated that a proposal to install pedestrian-operated signals will be considered for future funding in the context of statewide proprieties — in other words, there are no plans to do something any time soon. It is two years later, and still nothing has been done.

If the minister bothered to go to the Hampton Park Senior Citizens Club on Pound Road, Hampton Park, and have a look for himself, he would have no doubt as to the necessity for the crossing. Tens of thousands of cars drive along Pound Road every day. The minister should think about those in the community who are trying to cross this busy intersection in Hampton Park.

The area in question is serviced by large volumes of pedestrian traffic, with bus stops on both sides of Pound Road, a tennis club, a bowls club, a retirement centre, a kindergarten and also three schools in the area. There are seniors with mobility aids and children trying to dash across the road.

I have been told that because the road’s middle refuge is so uneven and broken, those using mobility scooters are forced to travel a substantial distance on the road, wait at the vehicle turning bay and turn into Anderson Close to then enter the footpath. The amount of time that they spend on the road dramatically increases their chances of being stuck by a vehicle travelling in excess of 70 kilometres per hour.

Clearly this project has community support. A petition to the Casey City Council received 665 signatures, and a petition is currently being circulated in the community to be tabled in this place.

The Napthine government’s last budget failed to provide a single cent for road projects in Hampton Park. This neglect needs to stop. Hampton Park deserves better. There should be no more excuses and delays from the minister. The community extends the minister an invitation to visit and see for himself. The action I seek is that the minister do the right thing by these good people, provide the funding and ensure that the people of Hampton
Park can simply cross the road in safety.

Mr MULDER (Minister for Public Transport) — The member for Narre Warren South raised an issue with me on behalf of members of the Hampton Park Senior Citizens Club in relation to Pound Road in Hampton Park and a crossing there, where the member has been lobbying for traffic signals to be installed. The member said she wrote to me on 18 October 2012, two years after the Labor government lost office, and we have indicated that this particular project would be considered for funding going forward.

As the member for Narre Warren South would understand, there are a number of programs under which these upgrades can fall. The Safer Road Infrastructure program is one. It is a $1 billion fund to improve safety around various locations. This work is undertaken after a considered analysis of sites around the state, usually those that have an
accident history, and other matters are taken into consideration. However, this will be considered in terms of future funding considerations for the member for Narre Warren South.

I can also report, as the member would quite well be aware, that funding has been provided for Narre Warren South. Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road has seen $49 million committed for its duplication from Pound Road through to Thompson Road. The member would also be aware of the announcement made recently in relation to the Pakenham-Cranbourne-Dandenong rail corridor — $2 billion to $2.5 billion — which is going to be of enormous benefit to the member for Narre Warren South’s community. There will be 25 new generation trains, high-capacity signalling, grade separations and new stations along that corridor.

There was also the announcement today in relation to people from the member’s electorate who are in public transport zone 2. They will benefit enormously from our announcement today that zone 1 and 2 fares will all be capped at zone 1 prices. That will be an enormous saving for people within the member’s community.

I wish to point out, in relation to zone 2, which will stay at its current discount rate, that should there be people from the member’s community who end up getting jobs at Pakenham in that great new depot we are building there to house the new trains, they will be able to travel at the discounted daily fare of $4.96.

It is great news across the board for the member for Narre Warren South. The particular issue she raises tonight will be viewed in light of other funding considerations, but in terms of the coalition’s commitment to Narre Warren South, I would say it has never been better.