15th November 2023 09:57
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan) (09:57): 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time with the lovely residents of Mount Atkinson. Mount Atkinson is one of three adjoining Stockland subdivisions about 20 kilometres west of the CBD.

There are currently around 5000 residents, growing to 40,000 over the next decade. For these residents there are no shops, no schools and no doctors or other essentials. If you simply need a litre of milk, the closest shop is at Aintree or Caroline Springs, 9 kilometres away.

The nearest public transport is the bus stop at Neale Road, a 50-minute walk with little or no footpaths, mainly along the rural-grade Hopkins Road. Unfortunately, that rural-grade road carries 27,000 cars and trucks a day, so it is a walk that ranges from the hair-raising to the suicidal. But that bus stop is the only access to public transport.

There is no train station; there is not even a school bus service. So if you are a couple with kids and you do not have two cars, you are effectively trapped in your own suburb. If you do have two cars, you are effectively trapped with the cost of maintaining two vehicles in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

Right across the western suburbs there are way, way, way too many Mount Atkinsons. Why cannot this government at the very least and at minimal cost ensure that communities like Mount Atkinson have access to safe, regular bus services?


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