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Okay, stay with me here folks, because this is going to be a long post, and it's going to be a big deal.

07 February 2016

Okay, stay with me here folks, because this is going to be a long post, and it's going to be a big deal.

Today, I announced our plan to transform Melbourne's south eastern suburbs - our plan to remove dangerous and congested level crossings (like we promised), improve the public transport system and make our suburbs better places to live.

And mark my words, this whole thing will be COMPLETED by the end of 2018.

Here's the plan:

- Every single level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong will be removed. Gone. Into the bin.

- Three sections of modern elevated rail and five modern stations will be built along the rail corridor.

- 225 square kilometres of public open space will be created. To put that into perspective, that's the size of 11 MCGs.

- The number of passengers that Melbourne's busiest train line can carry will increase by 42 per cent.

- This whole community, split in two parts by an ugly rail line, and frustrated by unsafe and crowded level crossings, can finally come together.

- Jobs, jobs, jobs. 2000 of them. Plus all the economic benefits that come with slashing congestion.

And in the most consultative process ever undertaken in Victoria, locals will get to decide what these massive public open spaces will be used for.

There's room for parks, playgrounds, community facilities, netball courts, running tracks, car parks - whatever you can come up with. You use it, so you'll get to choose it.

Couple of other points: train noise from the elevated rail will be quieter at street level, and building it this way means the trains keep running and roads stay open while two new rail lines are pieced together in the sky above. Wave to the future, kids.

I'm quite excited about all this.

I live in the South East. This cold and ugly train line runs straight through the heart of our local community, and I think I speak for every local when I say that it's time has come.

This project won't just be a local facelift: it will build some new green lungs for the suburbs and a proud new icon for our city.

By the time it's finished, my eldest boy will be on his L-plates, and I want to teach him how to drive in the big, new car park of the brand new Noble Park Station. And we'll get there without waiting at one single level crossing.

There's so much more to learn about this project, and you can check it out at http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/crossings/caulfield-to-dandenongExternal Link

I know it's a big change, so we'll be in touch with locals and work with them every step of the way to bring this incredible new concept to life.

Can't wait.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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