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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 13033

Mr BILLSON (Dunkley) (09:36): Last week I was proud to be involved with the launch of the Proudly Frankston Campaign. This community collaboration celebrates all that is terrific about the greater Frankston community and also identifies some key priorities for the future. Put simply: with Frankston, there is lots to love. Whenever anyone wants to have a crack at the community that runs through my veins, I just remind them there is lots to love about this great city.

It goes to some of the issues that we have achieved in recent years. We well remember the Scoresby Freeway campaign. I was pleased to be dubbed 'Mr Scoresby' by former Prime Minister Howard. I know the work we put in for years and years to try and get Labor interested in a project that I described in February 2004 as 'no other single endeavour that would support the vitality, the viability and liveability of our community'. It has proven to be true. We have got a feeway rather than a freeway, but that crucial piece of infrastructure is there.

It was almost deja vu: we had the same battle with the Frankston Bypass. Again, the state Labor government refused to engage on the crucial need to make sure that the Mornington area and the southern peninsula could connect to the infrastructure to our city, to places of work, to where we learn, and to make sure our community had livelihood opportunities reasonably within reach. It was a grand battle to get the state Labor government interested in that—$150 million needed to be put on the table by the coalition to get the state Labor government to be interested. Now that project is well advanced and will be supporting our community.

South East Water is coming to our city as their headquarters, consolidating their operations in Heatherton, Dandenong South and Lynbrook. We are seeing that vision of an Australian Technical College get moulded and shaped to Labor's liking, but still we are making progress on that issue. So there are many things going on—lots to love in our city. I thank the member for Isaacs, a notorious passenger on these issues, and you can always count on him to turn up for the glory pic when everyone else has done the hard work.

We have got more opportunities ahead of us but more challenges—the infrastructure challenges we need to continue to focus on; and extending the Frankston rail line, so we get a proper park-and-ride service in and around Baxter to work with the Frankston Bypass. The reality that a steel coil will now be imported by rail from Port Kembla into Hastings is going to put further pressure on the Frankston rail line. I think we need more sections of third rail where commuter trains can work their way around those industrial and those commercial freight trains—important in both respects—but we need to find a way to make sure it is quick and attractive to travel between the city and our satellite city.

Finally, the green army—what a crucial contribution they make to the natural attributes that are part of this 'lots to love about greater Frankston and Mornington Peninsula'. The coalition has made some commitments in that area. We can partner with the local community that loves our natural environment, and the green army will support that endeavour.