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TRAINS are the priority for Rowville, rather than trams, the State Opposition has promised.
In an election pledge announced at a packed public forum on Friday night, Rowville state Liberal MP Kim Wells said the opposition would place a planning overlay on public land between Huntingdale and Rowville to ensure it was used as a rail corridor.
About 300 people attended the Rowville Rail forum at St Simons Parish Hall on Friday, August 10.Mr Wells said 90 per cent of the land required for the rail link between Huntingdale and Rowville was publicly owned, but that it had no specific planning provisions preventing it from being converted to roads or other uses.
“If elected we will make sure in the first 100 days it (the public land) will have an overlay that it can only be used for public transport,” he said.
In terms of timing, Mr Wells said once the airport rail link was built, Rowville should be next cab off the rank.
Rowville Rail feasibility study author William McDougall addressing the forum.About 300 people attended the forum at St Simons Parish Hall to hear the latest on the campaign for the long-awaited transport project.
Rowville Rail feasibility study author William McDougall told the crowd the project had been heavily politicised over the years and a lack of foresight meant light rail may be the only viable option, albeit an “inferior” option.
Forum organiser Mick Van de Vreede (left) was the MC of the event.The State Government has allocated $3 million for design work on a light rail route linking Caulfield railway station to Monash University’s Clayton campus, with stage two extending to Rowville.
Mr Wells said he was against that idea. “I will do whatever it takes to make sure we get heavy rail to Rowville,” he said.
Aston federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge, likewise, said he was lobbying for heavy rail.
He said the Federal Government’s commitment of $475 million for Rowville Rail gave it a good bargaining chip.
“At the end of the day the decision will be made by the State Government who own the transport network,” he said.
“But at a federal level we’ll have a bit of leverage by virtue of the fact we’re providing a big bucket load of money.”
Hayley Bester, spokeswoman for state Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan, said the State Government was continuing work on its detailed plans for a tram route connecting Caulfield to Rowville.
In a statement, she said that included looking at alignment options, park and ride options, stop locations and cost and time travel benefits.
She added: “Constructive discussions are continuing with the Commonwealth”.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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