The road race is on: Frankston City Council has 15 months to implement $4.2 million from the Federal Government to boost recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant, from the Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, was part of the “use it or lose it” funding announced in the Budget on Tuesday night by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Frankston’s funding was confirmed yesterday by Victorian Liberal Senator David Van, “patron” of Dunkley electorate.
Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking said it was fantastic news for the city. “I understand the council gets to decide how to spend the grant within the program’s guidelines, which include footpaths, community space, streetlights, walking tracks, bike paths and even barbecue facilities,” she said. “The focus is on ‘the local council, employing local people, to drive local COVID recovery’. However, the projects under this Budget stimulus program must be completed by the end of 2021.”
Ms Hosking said the federal grant – combined with the State Government’s recently announced Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package for summer – would enable Frankston’s soon-to-be-elected councillors to fast-track redevelopment of Nepean Highway, the city’s northern gateway, and create COVID-safe outdoor dining areas to help revive the Frankston economy.
“Nepean Highway renewal will enable residents and visitors to reclaim the precinct. Imagine a summer’s day with the family at the nearby beach and then strolling up to get an ice cream or a snack, and later going out for dinner,” she said. “It’s time to revamp our gateway and show the rest of Melbourne the advantages of our bayside city.”
The committee has been vigorously advocating for revitalisation of Nepean Highway, and has sought feedback from residents, community groups, property owners and VicRoads for several months.