In Parliament

Adjournment - Dendy Street, Brighton, Pedestrian Rail Crossing



Tuesday, 2 February 2021.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:18):

My Adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport. The action I seek is for the Minister to immediately invest in the Dendy Street pedestrian rail crossing in Brighton and enhance safety at the site.

Many pedestrian crossings are dangerous. In fact, they can be killers. My community knows how dangerous these crossings are. In April 2019 grandmother Gloria Holmes was tragically killed at the Grenville Street crossing in Hampton.

The tragic death came after Public Transport Victoria confirmed that the crossing is one of the worst in the state, but the Government refused to invest in upgrading its safety.

It was only after Gloria’s passing, the outpouring of grief that followed and strong advocacy from our community that Labor finally agreed to the crossing update.

Many in my community now fear that the Dendy Street pedestrian rail crossing at the New Street roundabout crossing in Brighton is even more dangerous. It lacks any safety features. There are no barriers to stop pedestrians from walking onto the tracks.

Disturbingly the Brighton crossing is a busy thoroughfare for two nearby primary schools, St Joan of Arc and Brighton Beach primary schools. Hundreds of young children cross there each and every day.

Molly, a young student of St Joan of Arc has written to me pleading, and I quote:

“It’s a massive concern to me because I want people to live. I cross quite a lot with my brother, and I usually talk to him and sometimes I don’t hear the bells and my brother yells at me to get out of the way. I get really scared, so please put in some gates.”

And young Lily has written to me, and again I quote:

“It’s highly dangerous when the crossing is so close to a school. Little kids could trip and fall onto the track while a train is coming.”

Despite the danger, the safety upgrade in Brighton remains unfunded.

My community knows that Labor treats investment politically. We know it is political, because the McIndoe Parade–Elm Grove rail crossing in Parkdale has already been tentatively flagged for an upgrade before the community has even asked for it!

In fact, residents tell me that Steve Michelson, the former adviser to the Federal Labor Party Opposition Leader and organiser of the Labor front group Kingston Action Team is running a local political campaign on the issue.

Not only is Labor playing politics with safety, but they are also data harvesting at the same time.

Minister, my community is calling on Labor to invest in the Brighton crossing before it is too late.