Mayor Briefs State Election Candidates
MEDIA RELEASE: 7 September 2006
City of Casey Mayor Cr Kevin Bradford has hosted a briefing for interested local candidates of the upcoming State Government election on key issues facing the municipality.
The briefing was attended by:
Ms Tammy Lobato MP – Gembrook Electorate
The Hon Gordon Rich-Phillips MP – South East Metropolitan Electorate
The Hon Ken Smith MP – Bass Electorate
The Hon Adem Somyurek MP – South East Metropolitan Electorate
Ms Inga Pevlich – South East Metropolitan Electorate
Mr Luke Donnellan MP – Narre Warren North Electorate
Ms Judith Graley – Narre Warren South Electorate
Mr Mick Morland – Narre Warren North Electorate
Mr Gary Anderton – Lyndhurst Electorate
Mr John Anderson – Bass Electorate
Mr Johan Scheffer – Eastern Victoria Electorate
Mr Michael Shepherdson – Narre Warren South Electorate
Mr Simon Wildes – Gembrook Electorate
Cr Bradford was pleased that these candidates took the time in their busy schedules to hear more about the issues that Council is seeking State Government support on. He said that addressing the challenges of Casey’s enormous growth coupled with delivering in excess of 100 different services to the community every day meant the Council relied heavily on strong partnerships and funding support from both the state and federal governments.
“More than $36 million of Casey’s $155 million 2006-07 budget is government grants so it is vitally important that we continue to develop strong and productive relationships with other levels of government to ensure we provide adequate people and infrastructure services to the city’s 225,000 residents’, said Cr Bradford.
‘I am very pleased that Casey has recently enjoyed the fruits of its lobbying efforts with some much-need State Government funding announcements and the opening of new facilities.
‘In the past few weeks, the Premier opened the new Cranbourne Police Station, announced a new bus service to Casey Hospital, committed $1.2 million towards a new facility for families and children in Casey, and 90 new car parking spaces at Cranbourne Railway Station.
‘The City of Casey is very appreciative of this support by the government, but as a growth Council, we are constantly grappling with the increasing demands of our growing population.
Casey’s roads and transport priorities continue to be key issues for Council.
While much of Casey has reasonable bus route coverage, many of the routes do not provide weekend or evening services. At a minimum, all suburban routes within Casey should be upgraded to the standard proposed in the State Government’s Transport and Liveability Statement being:
• Services from at least 6am to 9 pm weekdays
• Services from at least 8am to 9pm on Saturdays
• Services from at least 9am to 9pm on Sundays
Lynbrook Railway Station
Since the initial planning for the Lynbrook and Lyndhurst suburbs in the 1980s, the provision of a rail station on the existing Cranbourne to Dandenong line has been a crucial element. Although the State Government has committed to building the Lynbrook Railway Station, Council is seeking that its construction be expedited, and not commenced beyond 2011 as stated in the Transport and Liveability Statement.
Cranbourne East Railway Station
The extension of the metropolitan rail network beyond Cranbourne Station and provision of a Cranbourne East Station has been a State Government commitment since 1999. The Council-adopted Cranbourne East Development Plan has been proposed on the basis of the station proceeding, and includes a minor commercial centre and increased density of housing.
As such it is a major concern that the Cranbourne East Railway Station is not included in the Transport and Liveability Statement. Melbourne 2030 planning principles reinforce planning outcomes in the vicinity of railway stations, and Council has been applying these principles in accordance with State Government policy.
Funding of Bus Stops
As part of its responsibility for public transport, Council believes that the State Government must take responsibility for the delivery and maintenance of bus stops. However, Council has been installing bus shelters, indented bus bays, and path connections for a number of years with minimal financial support from the State Government.
Construction of the Cranbourne Bypass remains the top main road diversion priority for the City of Casey. VicRoads’ own 1999 Cranbourne Township Bypass Study indicated that, without the Cranbourne Bypass, traffic volumes in High Street Cranbourne would still be at a higher level in the future even if the Berwick Cranbourne Road (Clyde Road) was upgraded.
The Berwick Cranbourne Road (Clyde Road) upgrade is expected to divert traffic with a destination to the north west that may benefit from using the Monash Freeway. However, traffic heading to or from the industrial areas of Dandenong and Braeside would still be expected to continue along the most direct route, being through Cranbourne.
No 1 Main Road Duplication
Clyde Road, Berwick (Kangan Drive to High Street)
This section of road needs duplication because:
• It suffers high levels of congestion, about 23,000 vehicles a day.
• Services Berwick Village shopping centre and the Enterprise Avenue industrial estate.
• Provides vital access to Casey Hospital, Chisholm Institute of TAFE, Monash University and a number of schools.
• It has regular delays due to the rail crossing and activity associated with Berwick Railway Station, which adversely affects the CFA’s emergency response capability.
• It is the scene of 21 casualty accidents from July 1999 to June 2004.
No 1. Main Road Intersection Upgrade
Hallam Road / Ormond Road intersection, Hampton Park
This intersection also suffers severe congestion and has a high number of large trucks accessing the commercial waste centre. In the future it will provide a new road link via Lynbrook Boulevard and provide Hallam Road traffic with access to the South Gippsland Highway.
Since 2002 the City of Casey has achieved outstanding success with its zero-tolerance Graffiti Management Program. However, Council is concerned that the State Government does not have the same commitment to removing graffiti from its own property.
A further issue of concern relates to Council’s Local Law, banning the sale of aerosol cans. Whilst this ban is in force in the City of Casey and Council acknowledges the excellent support received from retailers in complying with the Local Law, most other municipalities do not have such a local law in force, meaning that young people can purchase aerosol spray cans in other municipalities to undertake their graffiti vandalism in Casey. Council is keen to see such a ban in force across all municipalities (through a state-wide law) in order to reduce access to such materials by graffiti vandals.
Neighbourhood House Coordination Costs
The Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Candy Broad, MLC has announced an additional $27.8 million over four years to boost the operation of Neighbourhood Houses funded under the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP). This funding includes an additional 1,870 hours of coordination per week to be allocated state-wide to neighbourhood houses that are funded through the NHCP.
Council is urging the State Government to consider the needs of Casey as a growth municipality. To this end, Council is seeking support from the State Government to ensure that Casey’s 10 neighbourhood houses are fully funded and not disadvantaged by receiving the same level of additional funding as already established neighbourhood houses in other areas of the state will receive.
Land at Timbarra
At its meeting on 16 May 2006 Council resolved to continue to pursue State and Federal Government assistance to acquire the balance of land considered surplus to the Department of Education requirements at Timbarra. This additional land is sought by Council for the purpose of the development of passive and active recreation facilities in the future.
The expectations of the local community, through the Timbarra Residents Association, have clearly identified that if the land is not developed as a secondary school, as was originally promised, then it should be used as a community asset rather being sold to a private developer. Council concurs with this view and is urging the State Government to support the land becoming a community asset.
Sport and Recreation Victoria Grants Provision
Due to Casey’s rapid and continuous population growth, Council faces a constant challenge to meet the growing demand for sporting infrastructure. As such, Casey needs a greater level of government funding for recreation infrastructure than other, more slowly growing, municipalities.
Currently each Local Government Area (LGA) is limited to the number of grants that they can receive for each year in the SRV Community Facilities Funding Program (CFFP). This means that Casey can only apply for the same number of grants as other councils which are considerably smaller in size and population. This places the City of Casey at a distinct disadvantage as its facility development requirement needs are substantially greater than other smaller municipalities.
Establishment of State Government Functions
Council is seeking the establishment of State Government regional offices and functions in Casey to help meet local employment needs and service the large Casey-Cardinia and Gippsland regions.
Currently about 80 per cent of Casey’s working population travel outside the municipality for work, with the majority travelling to the Ringwood-Frankston corridor. Whilst the future opening of Eastlink will vastly improve access to these suburbs, it is also vitally important that more employment opportunities continue to be created locally for Casey’s growing workforce.
For media information call Ros Britz on 9705 5328 or 0409 969 785.