Education and health services in Frankston were big winners in Tuesday’s State Budget, but commuters have again missed the train. Chisholm Institute of TAFE’s Frankston campus will get $67.6 million for the second stage of its development; $16 million was earmarked to continue planning of the $562 million Frankston Hospital redevelopment; and four schools received money for upgrades: Karingal Primary School $4 million, Carrum Downs Secondary College $2.75 million, Frankston Special Developmental School $12.6 million, and Nepean Special School $2.8 million.
Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking said: “When complete, Frankston’s Chisholm campus will be Victoria’s largest technical training institute and will continue to provide significant social and equity benefits, with 40 per cent of TAFE students coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds.”
Ms Hosking said the 11-storey tower scheduled to be completed at Frankston Hospital in 2024 would be the cornerstone of Frankston’s growing health care, medical research and education precinct, providing “cutting-edge, next-generation health care as well as enabling the training of the next generation of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals . . . so badly needed in our region”.
The ongoing renewal of the Frankston CBD received $1.7 million for Frankston Revitalisation Board initiatives, and Ms Hosking said top of the list was the city’s northern gateway, the Nepean Highway. “The highway precinct had been in decline for many years. It is now strongly impacting on how people see the city’s commercial centre and is scaring off investors.”
Ms Hosking applauded the spending on ‘big rail’ – $5 billion to match the Federal Government’s commitment for the Melbourne airport rail link, as well as $2.2 billion towards a suburban rail loop, $2 billion for Geelong’s fast rail, $660 million for Shepparton and Warrnambool line upgrades, $276 million for the Dandenong rail corridor and $5.5 million for track work at Caulfield. However, she was disappointed the State Government had again failed to commit to a Frankston line extension, which was vitally important “so Frankston and Mornington Peninsula residents can board trains at stations near where they live instead of driving into Frankston’s CBD just to park and further restricting the suburban centre’s growth and development”.
“We need the basics – actually getting people on the train, without commuter parking and traffic clogging Frankston’s CBD. Visionary rail projects like the airport link and suburban loop are of little direct benefit if we can’t get more people on a train at their local station.”