Making News
26/05/2021
Frankston scores State Budget cash for hospital parking, school, renewal
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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The 11-storey twin tower Frankston Hospital expansion received an extra $43 million in the Budget, including for a multi-deck carpark.

The State Government continued its support of Frankston’s health and education sector in last Thursday’s Budget. Big-ticket items included an extra $43 million for Frankston Hospital’s expansion and $15.13 million for new Frankston High School classrooms. There is $2 million for “suburban revitalisation” projects in Frankston and a social enterprise hub for at-risk young people to operate from Chisholm Frankston TAFE.

A multi-deck carpark was the major item added to the expanded hospital project, now costing $605 million. An 11-storey twin tower on the old tennis club land will be completed in late 2024 and include 120 beds, operating theatres, and mental health, oncology, maternity and pediatric facilities.

Frankston’s iconic pier will come alive at night with a $220,000 creative lighting project from the State Government and Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Committee for Greater Frankston CEO Ginevra Hosking said government support for the health and education sector was crucial to economic growth of Frankston, the wider southeast and Mornington Peninsula. “We are already leading research in mental health, social disadvantage and addiction,” Ms Hosking said. “Frankston is where the next generation of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals will be trained. The State Government and (Frankston state Labor) MP Paul Edbrooke are to be congratulated for seeing the light and revising original hospital plans to now include enough carparking to accommodate future demand.

“Too many central Frankston developments over too many years have had insufficient affordable parking, which has created congestion and eroded our CBD’s capacity for growth and diversification. Since 2015, Frankston’s four major CBD developments constructed with insufficient parking – South East Water’s tower, PARC swim centre, Frankston station replacement and Chisholm TAFE expansion – have come at a high economic cost. A recently approved fifth project also will negatively impact CBD parking – the Bayside Centre eight-storey Balmoral tower will have just 85 new carparks for 1470 workers.

“It is reassuring to finally see Frankston’s transport needs being considered and then designed into a big project before construction. This should be the mantra for how we build in the future – projects must always have adequate affordable carparking. This basic requirement is especially important at a time when the State Government steadfastly refuses to address our region’s inadequate public transport and its main effect – Frankston CBD’s over-dependence on cars.”

In the Budget was money to build local mental health services statewide, one of the Mental Health Royal Commission recommendations. Frankston will be among the first six sites created in 2022. The ‘front door to care’ program will provide early intervention and pathways to more acute treatment. The Government said there would be a focus on young people. Controversially, the full mental health package costing $3.8 billion will be paid for by a new levy on businesses with annual payrolls over $10 million.

Frankston High School was allocated $15.13 million for new classrooms and learning spaces. Mr Edbrooke said the investment “will modernise and upgrade Frankston High . . . and create local jobs”. Ms Hosking said the school had a deserved reputation for high-quality education and the Budget boost followed the recent decision to include Frankston’s CBD as part of the school’s zone, “which is expected to have a positive impact on new and proposed residential developments in the city centre”.

Revitalisation of Frankston’s CBD will continue with $1.8 million in the Budget for seven projects. Leading the way is $475,000 from the Government and $75,000 from Frankston City Council to ‘reactivate’ Frankston’s northern gateway – the Nepean Highway. The project includes artistic tree lighting, minor roadworks, and landscaping to improve the median strip between Davey and Beach streets. Allied projects are:

• Outdoor dining extended to four new high-profile locations (state contribution $135,000, council co-funding $25,000);
• South East Water headquarters’ Indigenous mural (state $70,000, South East Water $30,000); and,
• Creative lighting of Frankston Pier (state $187,000, Victorian Fisheries Authority $33,000).

Ms Hosking said Frankston Revitalisation Board’s “ongoing urban renewal strategy to improve the city’s public spaces is proving extremely successful and bringing vibrancy to central Frankston”. “Renewal of Nepean Highway is one of our committee’s key objectives. It’s the gateway for people coming down from Melbourne. How it looks defines us.” The funds would “kick-start the creation of a main street of which residents can be proud”.

Community plazas will be created in Frankston’s centre thanks to two projects – Stiebel Place revitalisation and City Park. Stiebel Place will become an ‘open-air gallery’ lane off Shannon Street mall with $275,000 from the Government and $75,000 from the council. Each will also tip in $35,000 to develop a concept for City Park on the disused Young St rail yards. Other revitalisation items include a 1200m ‘green link’ pathway for pedestrians and cyclists between Frankston station and Monash University’s Peninsula campus; and landscaping and lighting for Fletcher Rd underpass.

However, Ms Hosking said one glaring omission in the Budget was money to extend the metropolitan train line beyond Frankston. “The federal Budget on May 11 retained $225 million for the rail extension – and an additional $19 million for Frankston station carparking – but the Victorian Budget was silent on how to address public transport connectivity to and through Frankston, an Infrastructure Australia-listed problem of national significance.” She said the community had been waiting decades for the extension with its new station near Monash Peninsula campus and a purpose-built Langwarrin park and ride for commuters. “The State Government has again failed to acknowledge the dire state of parking congestion on our city streets and act on the rail extension, one of Victoria’s six most overdue infrastructure projects.”

Map showing four outdoor dining areas in the Nepean Highway precinct, part of the State Government’s
$2 million for Frankston in last week’s Budget.

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