TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Public
Transport, Martin Pakula. Can the minister update the house on the progress of
the Laverton rail upgrade?
M. P. PAKULA (Minister for Public Transport) — I thank Ms Tierney for her
question, because this is a project which will benefit not just the commuters in
and around Laverton but commuters all the way down that western corridor to her
electorate as well. On 9 February I was pleased to officially open the new
footbridge at Laverton station. I was joined on that day by the now member for
Altona in the Assembly, Jill Hennessy.
Mr Finn — Why did you take the ramp away?
Hon. M. P. PAKULA — You know what, Mr Finn; I will come to
that, because I heard your incoherent ramblings on this matter last night.
The opening of this footbridge was a significant milestone in
the $92.6 million Laverton rail upgrade project. When it is completed the
upgrade will provide the capacity for additional services to run during peak
periods, but importantly — like the Westall upgrade — it will enable the
introduction of services that start and finish at Laverton. It will also remove
a major bottleneck between the Altona loop and Laverton station, which will
enhance the reliability of the service. The newly opened footbridge and the
newly opened elevator that was not there before — —
Mr Finn — How many people can you fit in the
elevator when they cannot get down the stairs?
Hon. M. P. PAKULA — I have been in the elevator. It will
improve access for all passengers and for the local community. The old
footbridge was inadequate, and the replacement of it is just one part of the
rejuvenation of the station.
The upgrade also includes the construction of a new platform
and the installation of additional tracks, and both of those are well under way.
We will also be installing bike cages with a total capacity of 40 bikes. That
will provide commuters with a number of options to connect to the station. In
addition to that, significant amounts of signalling works have already been
While we were at the station Jill Hennessy and I announced that
an additional 100 parking spaces will be built at Laverton station. That is in
addition to the 300 extra parking spaces which have already been announced, so
that is a total of 400 new parking spaces.
Mr Finn — Full by half past six!
Hon. M. P. PAKULA — Mr Finn raises an interesting point. The
point he makes is that the 400 new parking spaces are needed — and they are.
But Mr Finn was in here last night suggesting that we should — —
Mr Finn interjected.
Hon. M. P. PAKULA — Mr Finn should listen. He was in here last
night suggesting that we should have replaced the ramp.
The old ramp was not disability compliant.
Mrs Peulich — And stairs are?
Hon. M. P. PAKULA — No, but the elevator is, Mrs Peulich. For
any new ramp to be disability compliant it would have had to be considerably
longer with a shallower gradient, which would have meant that we could not
provide the extra parking spaces. Mr Finn, you have a choice: you can have the
new parking spaces with the elevator or you can have a new ramp. You cannot have
All aspects of this project deliver on the government’s
commitment to boost transport services in Melbourne’s west. It is just one more
example of this government’s plan to provide better services on public transport
through the Victorian transport plan.