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Time to fund Mornington Safe Link

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (14:08): The Mornington Safe Link project is a plan to construct a shared footway for cycling and walking along the old railway reserve between Mount Eliza and Mornington.

The existing Peninsula Link trail terminates at Moorooduc station, Mount Eliza. The Mornington tourist rail runs along the rail reserve from Moorooduc, and a shared pathway along the route has been discussed for more than a decade.

The Mornington Peninsula shire considers this to be a near shovel-ready project and have described it as priority one for the bay trail. The council has shown its commitment to the project by committing $300 000 as part of the coming financial year’s budget.

Of course $300 000 is a lot of money, but it is only the first step in the project.

The remaining cost, as I understand it, is $6 million, and that is beyond the budgetary scope of any individual council. But in any case this is a project that will have considerable appeal to bike riders and walkers from right across Melbourne and indeed right across Victoria. It is not a project that should be left to the ratepayers of the Mornington shire.

I have raised this issue in the Parliament on a number of occasions. In November 2014 the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change responded to an adjournment request, noting that any future funding for the project would be the subject of normal budgetary processes.

As we are now close to being back to normal budgetary processes, and we are very close to the 2021–22 budget, I again call on the minister to fund this important project.