Lack of consultation on level crossing removal plans in Parkdale and Mentone derails community confidence in the program
Kingston Council has expressed its significant concern over the lack of genuine community consultation on the proposed level crossing removals at Parkers Road, Parkdale and Warrigal Road, Mentone.
Councillors voted unanimously last night (Monday 27 September) to write to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) to request the Victorian Government detail plans for meaningful consultation on the proposed level crossing removals and make public engineering reports.
Kingston Mayor Steve Staikos said an online community survey conducted by Council found the community was overwhelmingly against an elevated rail solution at Parkers Road and Warrigal Road, with more than 76% of respondents supporting a rail under road solution instead.
“We had a huge response to our survey with 1150 local Parkdale and Mentone residents having their say on what they want to see happen in their neighbourhoods, we are calling on the government to listen to that feedback and engage properly with the community, before making a final decision.” Cr Staikos said.
Como Ward Councillor Chris Hill said the government also needs to explain why the proposed level crossing removals at Parkers Road and Warrigal Road have been handled so differently to level crossing removals at other locations. “There was extensive community consultation ahead of the Balcombe Road, Charman Road and Park Road LXRP works,” Cr Hill said. “Engineering and technical analysis was also undertaken prior to announcing the chosen solution for the removal of those crossings, why hasn’t the same been done this time and if it has, make those findings public.”
Melaleuca Ward Councillor Tim Cochrane said we want to see what information the government has to support its claim that a rail bridge over the road is the best solution at Warrigal Road and Parkers Road. “Our survey shows the majority of local residents don’t want to see an elevated rail solution,” said Cr Cochrane. “The LXRP needs to explain why given the proximity of the Warrigal Road crossing to Balcombe Road where rail under road was deemed to be the best solution.
“We are urging the LXRP to thoroughly investigate the rail under road solution as an option and then make public the detailed report including indicative designs,” Mayor Staikos said.