Constituency Questions No 1139
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 29 April 2021


MR O'DONOHUE — To ask the Minister for Employment (for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure): I raise a matter for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, and it relates to the location of the proposed Pakenham East railway station. Minister Allan has identified the location of this new railway station—outside the precinct structure plan area which has been undertaken for Pakenham East—in a low-density residential area. It has come as an enormous shock to the local residents, most of whom live in that area for that exact reason: it is a low-traffic, low-density urban interface area. I have raised this issue with the minister previously, unfortunately with no response. The question I have for the minister is: will she meet with concerned local residents to hear their concerns firsthand about the impact the location of this new railway station will have on the enjoyment of their properties and on their lives?
Answered: 13 May 2021

Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop):

I thank the Member for Eastern Victoria Region for his question.

The Andrews Labor Government is removing 17 dangerous and congested level crossings as part of a $15 billion investment to upgrade the Pakenham Line that will improve safety, reduce congestion, and allow more trains to run, more often.

I understand the compulsory acquisition requirements of the project are a source of significant distress for the impacted landowners. The decision to acquire homes is never taken lightly and only made once all other options have been ruled out.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to build a new Pakenham East Station without some property acquisition. The project team have worked hard to minimise acquisition while still being cognisant of future requirements. The new Pakenham East Station cannot be in the precinct structure plan because the train line does not go through the precinct structure plan.

I can advise that the Level Crossing Removal Project have met with impacted residents and will continue to do so regularly as the project progresses.

Further extensive community consultation will be taking place in the coming weeks.