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VicRoads Grab for Cash – Mount Eliza Primary

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I raise a matter this evening for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety.

The action I am seeking from the minister is that he provide approval as the landholding minister to VicRoads to facilitate a low value, non commercial lease of land at the corner of Canadian Bay Road and Nepean Highway in Mount Eliza.

There has been a longstanding issue particularly with Mount Eliza Primary School but also the Peninsula School, which is adjacent, Mount Eliza Secondary College and to a lesser extent St Thomas More Primary School.

Mount Eliza Primary School is bounded by Nepean Highway on one side and Wooralla Drive on its main front side. Nepean Highway is self evidently a very busy road; Wooralla Drive is now the main access from Mount Eliza to Peninsula Link, and it is becoming very busy as well.

There have been longstanding issues in terms of parent drop off and pick up of kids. A number of us have been working for some time to try to find a solution to that.

During the course of the last federal election the then candidate for Dunkley, now the member, Chris Crewther, made a commitment of $280 000 to fund safety improvements in Mount Eliza and to improve parking around Mount Eliza Primary School, and in particular to fund an improved parking area to be created at the corner of Canadian Bay Road and Nepean Highway, upgrading the existing gravel car park and providing additional spaces and a safe pick up area.

The area, as I indicated, would serve not just Mount Eliza Primary School but three other schools in the area and also take some congestion out of the Wooralla Drive Nepean Highway intersection, a VicRoads intersection.

Unfortunately VicRoads have indicated — because it is VicRoads land that would be utilised — that they believe that this should be a commercial lease, and they have come back and said, ‘Yes, we’ll lease you the land, but we will charge you’ — ‘you’ being the shire — ‘$21 746 a year for occupancy of the site’.

This is a publicly funded project. The principal beneficiaries would be students of a government school and other schools in the area. There is also, as I mentioned, the benefit of reducing traffic in the Wooralla Drive Nepean Highway intersection, which is congested at the best of times, and that is a VicRoads intersection.

To suggest that this is a commercial proposition absolutely beggars belief.

I seek the assistance of the minister in using the policy that was put in place in 2016. There is an escape clause in there that will allow the landholding minister to lease the property on the basis of the peppercorn price that would have applied prior to the introduction of this policy.

I urge the minister to exercise his power so that we can get this much needed facility built.