Mr MORRIS (Mornington) — Tonight I raise a matter for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The action I seek is that the minister direct VicRoads to abandon consideration of any plans to extend Bay Road at Mount Martha from its current intersection with Uralla Road along the existing undeveloped road reserve to an intersection with Nepean Highway.
I have raised this issue of two dangerous intersections on Nepean Highway in Mount Martha — Uralla Road and Hopetoun Avenue — on a number of occasions in this Parliament.
In February last year I made it clear that the former Minister for Roads, Mr Mulder, had taken a close interest in this matter and that some preliminary planning had been done.
Having received no response, I again raised the issue in June of this year by way of the adjournment debate, and the minister responded and indicated that VicRoads and the shire acknowledged the challenges encountered by the Mount Martha community with those intersections and also flagged that consultative forums would be held in August or September 2016. Those forums have now occurred, and in fact I think they were probably a little bit late, but they have occurred.
Unfortunately it appears that some VicRoads staff may have been a little mischievous — and that is the kindest interpretation I can place on their reported remarks — because they suggested that perhaps the best way to deal with the issue was to extend Bay Road past Balcombe Preschool along the existing but undeveloped road reserve and past Balcombe Grammar School to an intersection with Nepean Highway.
Yes, the road easement does exist on the maps, although it is unclear precisely what the ownership is. It is certainly not reserved for public purposes or zoned for use as a road; indeed it is all zoned residential, partly general residential zone 1 and partly low-density residential zone.
To my knowledge — and it is now almost 30 years since I was first elected to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council — there have never been any serious plans to develop this roadway.
Certainly when the former Balcombe army camp was developed and the adjoining streets of Silkhorn Crescent and Barnett Way were constructed — and indeed Greenfield Way on the other side of the easement — there was absolutely no expectation that a road would be constructed. I understand that the council does not have any plans to extend, or indeed any intention of extending, Bay Road.
This proposal came entirely out of the blue, and it has come directly from VicRoads.
It seems to me that this is simply a red herring to distract from the government’s inaction on these two extremely dangerous intersections that are both well and truly overdue for some attention. So I urge the government, and in particular the minister, to immediately direct VicRoads to rule out this entirely inappropriate alternative and to get to work on getting those dangerous intersections fixed once and for all.
Legislative Assembly 6 December 2016