Suburban parking projects abandoned by the Morrison government
The Morrison government’s election promise to build parking lots at suburban train stations is in tatters, with more buildings completely abandoned.
The Morrison government has scrapped plans to build new parking lots at five Melbourne stations in the latest blow to its troubled 2019 election pledge.
Five projects – at Brighton Beach, Balaclava, Mitcham, Kananook and Seaford stations – worth nearly $ 50 million were abandoned, along with the $ 70 million extension of Thompsons Road to Officer South.
More than two years after the parking lot pledge, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher backed out of his commitments as he admitted there were no feasible design options for delivering the new parking lot.
The Herald Sun revealed earlier this year that thousands of pledged parking lots for 30 stations would not even be under construction until the next election, and that high-risk parks are emerging as the only option in several areas.
A parking lot planned for South Morang station had already been discreetly discarded.
Last week’s federal budget added $ 87.8 million to the government’s $ 405 million suburban parking package for Melbourne and locked in a multi-story parking lot at Frankston, Heathmont and Ringwood stations.
Only two new car parks promised in 2019 have been completed – at Beaconsfield and Hurstbridge stations – and only two more are underway at Craigieburn and Croydon.
The government’s decision to drop five projects in the south-eastern suburb of Melbourne comes as the Australian National Audit Office’s investigation into the suburban parking fund is due to be released next month.
Mr Fletcher told the Herald Sun he was aware of the audit and that the ANAO was in talks with officials in his department.
He said it was “not surprising” that some of the government’s 145 urban congestion fund projects required special attention as he has scrutinized them since the portfolio takeover late last year. .
Opposition infrastructure spokeswoman Catherine King said the suburban parking program had been “an ongoing disaster from a government that only cares about announcements, not delivery.”
“In the heat of the electoral campaign, the Morrison government has stepped forward and made these promises in a desperate attempt to win the headlines and the votes,” she said.
“Once the elections were over, so was their interest in serving these Melbourne communities.”
Mr Fletcher said the decision to abandon the parking lot improvements “largely reflects the opinion of the Victorian government or local council that either there are no suitable sites or there are no feasible design options ”.
He said Frankston City Council recently had a “change of mind” on the need for new parking at Seaford and Kananook stations, and would be prepared to consider any alternative proposals.
Mr Fletcher maintained that the $ 120 million had been reallocated to other Victorian projects, as last week’s budget included an additional $ 510 million for upgrading roads in the southeastern suburbs.