Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (17:16:55): (1483) Some weeks ago I raised an issue for the Treasurer. Knowing that a particular project that I was seeking funding for perhaps had several ministers who may have had an interest in it, I thought I would raise it with the Treasurer given that it simply required money. Then the Treasurer came back to me very promptly—and I thank him for that—and advised me that it was a matter for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.
So I raise the matter for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change— Ms Allan: This is a long run-up. Mr MORRIS: Well, it is Thursday afternoon. The action I am seeking from the minister is that she seek funding to the amount of $6 million in the 2020–21 budget to enable the construction of stage 1 of the Mornington community safe link. I spoke about this project extensively in my earlier contribution, but just briefly it is a logical extension of the Peninsula Link pathway, which currently terminates at Mount Eliza.
There is a railway reservation running from the termination of the Peninsula Link pathway through to the old railway station at Mornington, which is currently a tourist rail, but there is an opportunity there to build a shared footway for cycling and walking and connect it into the Peninsula Link trail, all the way through north. So it opens up plenty of opportunities.
There are opportunities obviously for tourism, and there are opportunities obviously for recreation. The Mornington Peninsula shire have produced a document that suggests there is a direct economic benefit from the construction of $4.5 million and a similar indirect benefit, so it would appear that the community would in fact be significantly in front in the first year—and obviously there are decades of opportunity to utilise the facility from there.
So I do ask the minister to take this plan seriously. It has tremendous local support from right across the community—from the railway preservation society, which runs the rail, to local schools. In fact the project is a community-generated project, although the shire certainly have been advocating for a similar facility in this space for a number of years, to my knowledge. So I do urge the minister to, in her considerations for the 2020–21 budget, make the application to the expenditure review committee and hopefully come up with the goods in next year’s budget.