Source: Stonnington Leader
WHAT price a good night's sleep in residences abutting the Monash Freeway?
Stonnington has been overlooked for a piece of the $19.3 million pie in the State Budget for noise walls.
Neighbours Boroondara have been assured $8.4 million by Burwood's Labor member, Bob Stensholt.
And Monash, in the Mt Waverley electorate of Labor's Maxine Morand, has $5.7 million put aside.
``The Government is neglecting the people of Stonnington,'' fumed Liberal Malvern MP Michael O'Brien. ``This is a perfect example of how the Brumby Government likes to play politics and will pick and choose infrastructure on political margins rather than need or merit.
``People in East Malvern, people in Kooyong, are just as badly affected by noise coming from the Monash Freeway as in Burwood or Mt Waverley.''
Stonnington facilities that did get a boost in the Budget were:
Holmesglen, Prahran and Windsor stations, to be upgraded to ``premium'' status;
Gardiner, Hawksburn and Toorak stations, to be given extra staff during morning peak services; and
The Alfred hospital, to be given $45 million for elective surgery capacity and intensive care unit expansion.
The Prahran electorate was ``a great beneficiary of the 2010 State Budget, with local residents and families soon to enjoy the benefits'' of two of the premium status stations, said Labor member Tony Lupton.
Both Prahran and Windsor stations were promised up to $3 million extra funding prior to the last state election in November 2006.
But State Government spokesman Chris Owner said the initiatives in the 2010 Budget ``aren't election promises they are fully funded and will start to be rolled out before the election''.
``In 2006, it was never promised that these stations would be upgraded to premium,'' Mr Owner said.
``There was a pledge to invest in them, but never to upgrade them to premium.''
Mr O'Brien said the State Government had failed to invest in local services by not returning the ``windfall'' of a ``boom'' in stamp duty revenue from rising local house prices.
``This Budget is another example of how our area has been neglected by 11 long years of Labor,'' he said.