Rail: Hallam station (toilet facilities)
My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Public Transport, whom I am pleased to see in the house tonight, and concerns commuter facilities at the Hallam railway station, including the lack of toilets. The action I seek is that the minister immediately reinstate the premium station upgrades scrapped by the Baillieu government last year so that Hallam commuters can at least have access to a toilet.
In the 2010 state budget the former Labor government allocated funding for 20 premium station upgrades, including an upgrade of the Hallam station. This upgrade would include staffing from first train to last train each day, better ticketing facilities, improved disability access and toilets.
Despite the funding for the premium station upgrades being included in the 2010 budget, the Baillieu government decided that the upgrade of the Hallam station was not needed because eventually there will be two protective services officers (PSOs) at Hallam station after dark. Our local community clearly does not agree because two PSOs will not provide the customer service that staffing of the station would provide and nor will they provide improved disability access at the station. Two PSOs would also not provide commuters with toilet facilities. We have been led to believe the toilet facilities would be built at Hallam station when the PSOs eventually arrive; however, they will not be open to the public. Meanwhile local commuters have been telling our local papers that they are finding it difficult using Hallam station without a toilet.
The Cranbourne Leader reported in November last year that a pregnant woman got stuck with a broken-down car in the Hallam station car park and needed to go to the toilet but was unable to do so.
She experienced severe kidney pains and later presented to the emergency department of Casey Hospital. We know from the statistics that 13 per cent of Australian men and 37 per cent of Australian women experience urinary incontinence — not to mention the toddlers, those with disabilities, the elderly, the women who just do not get enough of those pelvic floor exercises happening and men suffering from prostate cancer. Another commuter, so exasperated by the Baillieu government’s inaction, went to the extraordinary length of making a sign which read, ‘Mr Baillieu — all I want for Christmas is a toilet at my station!’ and putting it up at the station.
Perhaps that sign needs to be relocated to the office of local upper house Liberal MP Inga Peulich, a member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region, as she is yet to be convinced of the need for toilets at Hallam station. We all know what happened to the toilets in her personal office.
It was not that long ago that Mrs Peulich wasted taxpayers money removing a toilet from her office only to be required to reinstate it. She was willing to waste public money on her personal toilets but will not go into bat for Hallam residents. As Derryn Hinch said today, this is a do-nothing government, and we have a dithering Premier who just sleepwalked into the chamber and sleepwalked out. The least those opposite could do is give Hallam commuters a toilet. I say to the minister, who is in the house, surely that is not too much to ask.