Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Trams: East Malvern extension
Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Public Transport. The action I seek is that the minister examine the feasibility and cost of the extension of the no. 3 tram route from its current terminus at Darling Road in East Malvern through to East Malvern railway station and preferably on to Chadstone shopping centre and/or Warrigal Road.
At present no trams connect with the East Malvern railway station, despite the station being one of the largest in my electorate. Clearly this is an oversight and is a matter of great inconvenience for a lot of people in my electorate who wish to access trains. The railway station is less than 1 kilometre from the current terminus of the no. 3 tram if you travel east along Waverley Road until the road meets Malvern Road and the East Malvern station.
However, for many elderly residents and members of young families with children and who use prams, that 1-kilometre distance between the end of the tramline and the closest railway station is a major inconvenience. For example, Weeroona Senior Citizens facility is located in that part of Waverley Road that is caught between the train station and the tram stop and is therefore serviced by neither. Because of their advanced age many residents of Weeroona do not have the capacity to walk to either the tram or the train.
It seems ridiculous that the end of the tramline and East Malvern station have never been drawn together given the length of road between them. From my research I know that the current terminus of the tramline at Darling Road was constructed in the early 1900s. It appears that as long ago as 1923 there were plans to extend the tramline down Waverley Road and through to Warrigal Road.
While an extension to Warrigal Road would be welcome, as would an extension to Chadstone shopping centre for that matter, I think many local residents would be delighted if they could at least see an extension of the tramline of that 1 kilometre from Darling Road down to East Malvern station. It is one of the missing links of public transport in the Malvern Area.
There are some other missing links. If the minister is so minded while she is getting out her cheque book to fund feasibility studies, she could also look at the extension of the no. 5 tram route to Malvern Road and Darling railway station. When you consider how much money has been frittered away by this government on cost overruns in the transport portfolio -- noting the construction of the M1, the myki ticketing project and the so-called regional fast rail project -- it is hardly an outrageous request that a feasibility study be conducted into what is a much-needed and relatively modest tram extension that would be of great benefit to the citizens of Malvern.