Adjournment matter: South Yarra railway station

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport, and as this is the last sitting week before this year's budget is handed down in May, the action I am seeking from the minister is to finally fund an upgrade to South Yarra station in this year's budget. After over a decade of rapid population growth in the area and inaction from successive governments, with barely a cent being spent on the station — under the previous government there was a proposal to expand the front foyer that was rejected, and the previous government cut South Yarra station from the Metro rail project, which again has been continued by this government — we are making some progress. I have over 1300 signatures on my petition to upgrade South Yarra station and almost 1000 submissions to a commuter survey which show that commuter priorities are an interchange with Melbourne Metro, a second entrance with a platform overpass, an expanded front entrance, that the heritage character be maintained and a safer pedestrian crossing at Yarra Street.

The government has now committed $2 million to start planning for an upgrade to the station, and I understand that the South Yarra station planning study is underway. I would urge the government to make that a transparent process that engages with the community so that the station gets the upgrades it needs. However, it is now time for significant investment in the station in this year's budget so improvements can get underway as soon as possible. The government has also committed to building Metro in a way that does not preclude a future station, and I would urge the government to honour that commitment and ensure that, if they are not going to build the interchange the community wants, the provision is made within the alignment of the tunnel and the portal so that a future interchange station can be built with as little disruption as possible. South Yarra station is bursting at the seams, and I would urge the government to fund an upgrade in this year's state budget.