HOPES for a Rowville rail station are on hold with the final version of its feasibility study now more than six months overdue.
This is despite an earlier, draft report finding strong community support for the project, particularly from Monash University which sees the station as a key support for developing its Clayton campus.
The second stage of the feasibility study — to continue the planning and detailed design work for the preferred alignment — was supposed to start mid-last year. Due to be finished by mid-2013, that second stage is still unsighted.
A report to Knox Council yesterday recommended asking Premier Ted Baillieu and Transport Minister Terry Mulder, for an immediate start to the report's second stage.
The report stated it was too soon to identify how Knox could best lobby for the project. "Until the final Rowville Rail Study Stage 1 report is released, it is difficult to know what the state government's position is. It is therefore difficult to begin identifying advocacy options for council. Additionally, if the report is released and stage 2 of the study announced, there may be no need for any additional advocacy at that time."
The construction of the Rowville rail line — which would run from Huntingdale to Rowville along the Wellington Road corridor— is one of Knox Council's highest priorities. The cost is estimated at $2.89 billion of which $750 million would be spent in Knox.
One of the major findings from the Rowville Rail Study Stage Draft Report — which was open for public submissions until April 27 last year — was that there would need to be significant improvements to the Dandenong train line. It also noted it would be a complex project because of the surrounding urban environment and lack of historical protection for a route.
Councillors voted last night on whether to support the council report or make amendments. Visit knoxweekly.com.au for an update.
Are you frustrated with the time the government is taking to release the final stage of the Rowville Rail Draft Report? What do you think? Post a comment below.