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Thursday, 14 February 2008
Page: 431

Mr HUNT (9:31 AM) —Earlier this week I had the sad task of speaking with Gwen Bates. Gwen Bates is the mother of Kay Stanley, who was 32 when she met a tragic accident recently. That accident was on the railway crossing at Tyabb. This was an unmarked crossing to the extent that, whilst it had lights, there were no boom gates. That is a common practice on the Mornington Peninsula; to the best of my advice, there are seven such railway crossings which do not have boom gates. Mrs Bates asked me to raise this matter with the Premier and with the parliament. It was one of the most difficult conversations I have had since becoming a member of parliament. Her daughter, Kay, was a teacher at the local preschool. She was the light of her life and, sadly, was pregnant. That life has now been lost. After the fact, boom gates—I am told—have been added belatedly.

My request to the Premier of Victoria through this chamber is very simple. The Mornington Peninsula has seven railway crossings which have no boom gates, and this is an urbanised area. The Stony Point to Frankston line runs through Stony Point, Crib Point, Hastings, Tyabb, Somerville and Baxter. To have railway crossings with no boom gates in a highly urbanised area is an accident waiting to happen. Sadly, this is the second such fatality on these crossings in recent times. Sadly, this was foreseen and people were forewarned about it. In the best spirit, the position was put to the Victorian government that action needed to be taken.

I made the pledge to Gwen Bates that I would raise this matter here and raise it with the Victorian Premier, which I have done in writing. Much more importantly, though, she has said that she will not leave and return to England and she will not rest until there is action taken so that other mothers do not in the future have to face the same tragedy. On behalf of Gwen Bates and on behalf of her sadly lost daughter, Kay Stanley, I say with the greatest respect: all these crossings need boom gates now. They need them now, Mr Premier. (Time expired)