Taxi parking at Narre Warren Railway Station

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South)— My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Roads, and it concerns the removal of taxi parking facilities at Narre Warren railway station. The action I seek is that the minister commit to reinstating the provision for taxi parking at the station as a matter of urgency.

Narre Warren railway station is located in the heart of my electorate and the city of Casey,
which is Victoria’s largest municipality and one of the fastest growing. Indeed 120 people move into Casey each week, which is the equivalent of 2275 households a year, which is putting substantial pressure on our roads and public transport services.

The Baillieu government’s first budget allocated $600 000 for increased parking at Merinda Park and Narre Warren railway stations, following in the footsteps of the previous Labor government, which provided major expansions to car parks at Berwick, Beaconsfield, Hallam and Merinda Park railways stations.

Five hundred parking spaces were promised for Narre Warren and Merinda Park; however, this promise was soon extended to Beaconsfield, which received 139 of the previously allocated 500 spaces.

Local residents were forced to wait until the end of last year — 18 months after the money was first allocated in the budget –before works were completed at Narre Warren railway station. They also soon discovered that the upgrade removed all of the taxi facilities.

Previously there were five spaces for taxis to pick up and drop off passengers and four
spaces for a taxi rank. Those spaces have now become disabled parking spaces. We need some disabled parking spaces, but we also need spaces for the taxis to park. Indeed many disabled people need to access taxis.

Paul Smith, the manager of Dandenong Taxis, wrote to me about the impact of these changes. He said:

These bays are never fully utilised, and it has left our drivers with no places to drop off or pick up passengers safely without pulling up on a disabled parking bay or having to pull up in the through lane.

He further added:

Analysis of our dispatch records up to yesterday show that for this month alone we have had approximately 310 bookings made for pick-ups at Narre Warren railway station.

Taxi drivers are now being fined and abused, while passengers are forced to wait alone for taxis late at night. This is most disconcerting. How could it have happened with the new upgrade? Does this government truly believe that removing taxi facilities from such a busy railway station is an upgrade? Does it understand the impact its poor choices and
failure to plan have on local residents and their families?

I would like the minister to fix the mistake that has been made at Narre Warren railway station and provide adequate and safe facilities for local taxis and residents.

I ask the minister to commit to reinstating taxi parking facilities at Narre Warren
railway station.