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Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Page: 5385

Mr TUDGE (Aston) (16:22): I would like to update the House on the Rowville rail link proposal. As many members of the House will know, this is something I have been promoting for some time. Rowville is in the bottom section of the Aston electorate. Last Sunday, there was an announcement by the state government that the feasibility study for the Rowville rail would be going ahead. This is very welcome news. This is a $2 million feasibility study that will be done in two stages and will be completed by mid-2013.

A significant part of the feasibility study will be community consultation, and a conceptual alignment drawing will be released to kick off the consultation process very soon. The most likely route for the link will involve the construction of a 12-kilometre double-track railway from Rowville to Huntingdale, with the potential for new stations at Rowville, Waverley Park, Springvale Road and, importantly, Monash University. Sinclair Knight Merz will be leading this effort, which will be headed up by William McDougall, who has more than 35 years experience in transport planning.

As I mentioned this is a two-phase feasibility study. Phase 1 will examine the construction, operational land use and environmental considerations, and it will be completed most likely by the end of 2012. This is a very important study for my community and for the broader outer eastern community in Melbourne. The initial scoping study done by the Knox Council some five or six years ago said that the Rowville rail link would take the equivalent of a full lane of traffic off the Monash Freeway. Those who travel the Monash Freeway know that it is at capacity already, so the link will make a real difference. Also, if it does link up with Monash University, it would link up Australia's largest university campus to a rail link, which I think is very much overdue. I am delighted that the state government, the Baillieu government, has announced that this feasibility study will go ahead. I will be watching this feasibility study closely. If it turns out to be a positive outcome, and I imagine that it will, then I will be pressing very, very hard that not only is there some state contribution but there is a federal contribution which goes towards the full construction of this particular rail link.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for Aston may have noted my excitement because Monash University, of course, is in my seat.