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Monday, 23 May 2011
Page: 4158

Ms BURKE (Chisholm) (22:25): Tragically, I rise tonight to again talk about an ongoing concern in my electorate: the services and amenities around Huntingdale train station. Huntingdale station is located in my electorate and is used by many, many locals at the Clayton and Oakleigh end, but, more importantly, it is used by the hordes of students and staff attending Monash University. It is the end of the line. You get off at Huntingdale and then try and cram onto a bus to get to Monash. The situation has become so diabolical that many constituents, students, the Monash Student Association, the National Tertiary Education Union and even the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University have been in contact with me to plead for better services. The inadequacy of the bus services means that many people are waiting long hours in queues just to board a bus to proceed on the short journey to Clayton station.

I am on the record in this House as arguing long and hard that we need the train line to continue to Monash station and out to Rowville, as was the original plan. I will keep arguing for that till I am blue in the face. I will probably never see it, but I am going to keep arguing for it because it is the logical thing to do. Students are forced to add extra time to their travel, as are the many Monash University staff who also use the services. They are also competing with the people trying to get on the train at Huntingdale to proceed into town because it is a zone 1 station and it is heavily utilised. Monash University has actually gone to its own expense of creating additional bus services at the train station at peak hours to try to move the traffic flow.

In addition to this, the car park at the station has become a diabolical mess. Half of the parking bays are no longer marked. So many people are trying to park that poor commuters are arriving at their cars at the end of a long day to find they have been parked in. In one case, a person had to wait two hours for another commuter to arrive and move their car so they could proceed on their journey home. It has also become a dumping ground for the unwanted masses of rubbish in the area. Monash City Council is spending an exorbitant amount of money retrieving everybody's used mattresses. This situation cannot go on.

The previous Victorian state government promised to upgrade Huntingdale station and had committed $8 million towards this project. If we could at least get the station, the interchange and the buses going, we could relieve some of the situation. Tragically, the Liberal government that has come to power has not matched this pledge and has not seen fit to do anything about Huntingdale station, even though one of its commitments going into the election was that it would fix up the transport services and the train stations. Nothing is happening. Instead, $2 million in funding has been pledged to a train crossing in Brighton, where a sum total of 15 cars travel every day, to put a tunnel under an intersection that is not needed. Indeed, by order of priority it is the 222nd train intersection that the RACV has recognised in Melbourne as needing an upgrade—so that the people in Brighton travelling along Beach Road can get into New Street five minutes earlier.

Meanwhile, the students and my constituents in Huntingdale are facing massive waits. It is forcing more and more people to use their cars. We are trying to take cars off the road. The university has put in place measures to relieve this, but to no avail. We need an integrated plan. We need more buses at the train station. We need the site cleaned up. We need to ensure that the concerns of the Monash Student Association, the staff, the vice-chancellor, the local residents and traders in the area, who are all suffering greatly because of this issue, are addressed quickly and for the poor people of Huntingdale not to be ignored.

The SPEAKER: Order! It being 10.30 pm, the debate is interrupted.

House adjourned at 10.30 pm