Dunkley stands to lose up to 200 local jobs if a State Government plan to move the train stabling yards from Carrum to Kananook, Seaford, goes ahead.
As part of the State Government’s public transport overhaul in Melbourne’s south-east, it was revealed on Monday 13 March that several local businesses would have their land compulsorily acquired by the government.
The State Government’s hit list currently includes:
• Page Bros Pty Ltd
• Sims Group Australia Holdings Ltd
• McGhie Truck and Machinery
• Melbourne’s Cheapest Caravans & Trailers
• Seaford Panels
• Charlie Diesel Services
The total land area is estimated to be worth just under $20 million.
Federal Member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther MP, said he was disappointed at the State Government’s heavy-handedness and was extremely concerned for the future success of the businesses targeted.
“This is another instance of the State Government’s secretive public transport agenda having a negative impact on my electorate of Dunkley and the ripple effect will be felt by local businesses and employees,” Mr Crewther said.
“The State Government’s behaviour and disregard for our community is beyond belief – in fact, this plan was only revealed in the media, rather than through any consultation with local businesses.
“Local business owners have confirmed that there was little or no consultation with the Level Crossings Removal Authority and some had no notification that this was going to happen.”
One of the affected local businesses, Page Bros Jayco, have said that they will be fighting the decision and that they are ‘very, very upset’.
The family business has been locally owned and operated for 50 years and has 50 full-time employees. Page Bros Jayco have engaged legal assistance in their fight to save their business.
Both Mr Crewther and Frankston City Council representatives, including the Mayor, Brian Cunial, have expressed that the preferred train stabling location would be further down the Frankston train line, ideally at Baxter.
“The land at or near Baxter is unused and already included in the business plan’s terms of reference,” Mr Crewther said.
Mr Crewther announced the funding for a business case to assess the electrification and duplication of the Metro train line to Baxter prior to the election.
“What is most telling is that if the Labor State Government bothered to ask the local community, or the local Council for that matter, about what would be good for our community, perhaps we might be seeing some serious action to utilise the $4 million in federal funds to fully investigate the option of the electrification to Baxter.
“Instead, we are still waiting for a Project Proposal Report to be submitted by the State Government and have 200 families in our community worried about their financial security.”
Mr Crewther and Frankston City Council are seeking clarification from the State Government regarding the lack of community consultation.
Businesses and families affected are encouraged to write to their local State MP – either Ms Sonya Kilkenny, Member for Carrum, or Mr Paul Edbrooke, Member for Frankston, so that the full extent of the effects of the planned move can be known.
See my speech in Parliament on this issue at – https://youtu.be/mdQmkRewZng