Level crossing removals FAQs

Who do I contact if I have questions on the level crossing removal projects?

Where are the level crossing removals?

What is Council’s role in the level crossing removal projects?

How is Council helping traders and residents?

What role does Council play in issuing permits for works relating to the project?

Does Council issue permits for works relating to the project on Council land?

What is Council doing to protect trees and vegetation?

What is Council’s position on the elevated rail?

Does this project need an environmental effects statement?

What is Council doing to protect Carnegie Station and Murrumbeena Station buildings?

What is Council doing to help residents that are affected?

What can Council do to help with parking in my area?

What help is available for businesses?

Is a new road being built between Arden St and Hobart Road under the elevated rail line in Murrumbeena?


Who do I contact if I have questions on the level crossing removal projects?

These are State Government projects. All enquiries relating to design and construction are best directed to the Level Crossing Removal Authority’s 24 hour number 1800 762 667.

Information on current disruptions is available at http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions

Council is not the decision-maker, however it is advocating and influencing where we can to get better outcomes for our community.

Council may be able to help with:

  • any recycling and waste services issues;
  • refining parking arrangements to manage local needs during construction;
  • assistance or information for local businesses disrupted by construction of the State Government’s level crossing removal projects; and
  • help for businesses in hardship, which may be able to apply for penalty interest to be waived on rates and charges.


Where are the level crossing removals?

The State Government is removing seven level crossings in the City of Glen Eira. 

  • Three are on the Frankston Line at Ormond Station (North Road), McKinnon Station (McKinnon Road) and Bentleigh Station (Centre Road). These are expected to be completed by the end 2016.    
  • Four are on the Pakenham Cranbourne Line at Hughesdale Station (Poath Road), Carnegie Station (Koornang Road), Murrumbeena Station (Murrumbeena Road) and Grange Road. The State Government is constructing an elevated rail (skyrail) on this line.

These projects will bring significant changes for these areas, such as new open spaces and less congestion, however they will also bring about other changes such as the loss of trees and disruption during construction. Council is not the decision-maker, however it is advocating and influencing where it can to get better outcomes for our community.


What is Council’s role in the level crossing removal projects?

These are State Government projects. Council is trying to influence parts of the project where we can to get better outcomes for the local community, but Council is not the decision-maker. 

Council is advocating for the protection of trees and heritage as much as possible, for better design, for disruption to be minimised and for support for businesses and residents.


How is Council helping traders and residents?

Council is helping where it can by:

  • refining parking arrangements to manage local needs during construction;
  • calling for the project to keep workers’ vehicles out of shopping centres;
  • imposing conditions when possible to protect trees and vegetation;
  • helping businesses in hardship, which may be able to apply for penalty interest to be waived on rates and charges;
  • calling for the State Government to extend its offer to voluntarily purchase highly impacted residential properties; and 
  • campaigning to encourage locals and visitors to shop locally.

Council is advocating for the protection of trees and heritage as much as possible, for better design, for disruption to be minimised and for support for businesses and residents.


What role does Council play in issuing permits for works relating to the project?

The Minister for Planning in State Government is authorised to make all the planning decisions on these projects.

This is a State Government project and Council is not the decision-maker. Council is however trying to influence where it can to get better outcomes for the community.

Council does have some powers under other Acts (such as the Road Management Act) that gives us a chance in some cases to impose conditions on the permits we are required to issue, that can protect trees and infrastructure. For example, Council has imposed conditions including making sure that two large trees that are more than 200 years old are protected during construction of the elevated rail project. This includes ‘Rosie’, the much loved river red gum in Carnegie and a large river red gum in the car park near Boyd Park.

Other conditions imposed by Council on tree removals require that the same numbers of trees are planted at the end of the project and that at least seven days’ notice be given of proposed removals.

Council is bound by the intent and purpose of the Road Management Act when assessing permits. If Council does not assess applications for permits within 20 working days, they are issued by default and with no conditions imposed.

Council has received advice on whether it could refuse to issue a permit and found that this would most likely achieve a worse outcome for the community, as the works would still ultimately proceed. Refusing to issue permits is not expected to stop the State Government’s level crossing removal project team removing trees, and it may extend disruption in local areas. In assessing and issuing permits, Council has a chance to impose valuable conditions that achieve a better outcome.  


Does Council issue permits for works relating to the project on Council land?

Yes, under the Road Management Act, Council is bound to reasonably assess and issue permits for works on Council managed land and roads. If Council does not assess applications for permits within 20 working days, they are issued by default and with no conditions imposed.

Even on Council owned land, advice received on whether Council could refuse to issue a permit found that this would most likely result in a worse outcome for the community, as the works would still ultimately proceed. Refusing to issue permits is not expected to stop the State Government’s level crossing removal  project team removing trees, and it may extend disruption in local areas. In assessing and issuing permits, Council has a chance to impose valuable conditions that achieve a better outcome.  


What is Council doing to protect trees and vegetation?

Council’s arborist and Park Services have reviewed in detail the State Government’s level crossing removal project team’s plans to remove trees on road ways and have been working hard to make sure that as many trees as possible are protected.

Council has no authority in the rail corridor itself, but Council can impose conditions in some cases to protect some trees in roads and parks. For example, Council has imposed conditions to make sure that two large trees that are more than 200 years old are protected during the construction of the elevated rail project. This includes ‘Rosie’, the much loved river red gum in Carnegie and a large river red gum in the car park near Boyd Park.

As this is a State Government project, Council is not the decision-maker. Council is however advocating and trying to influence where it can to achieve better outcomes for the community.

Other conditions imposed by Council on tree and vegetation removals require that the same number of trees are planted  that areas are landscaped at the end of the project, and that at least seven days’ notice be given of proposed removals.


What is Council’s position on the elevated rail?

The State Government has made it clear to Council that the decision to proceed with elevated rail on the Pakenham Cranbourne Line is final.

Council is focusing on influencing the State Government’s level crossing removal project to achieve better outcomes for the community.

Council has had successes advocating for protection of trees in several areas and incorporating second entrances at Carnegie Station and Murrumbeena Station into the station designs.

Council is advocating for protection of trees and heritage, for better design, for disruption to be minimised and for more support for impacted businesses and residents.

Council is helping where it can by:

  • refining parking arrangements to manage local needs during construction;
  • calling for the project to keep workers vehicles out of shopping centres;
  • imposing conditions when possible to protect trees and vegetation;
  • helping businesses in hardship, which may be able to apply for penalty interest to be waived on rates and charges;
  • calling for the State Government to extend its offer to voluntarily purchase highly impacted residential properties; and
  • campaigning to encourage locals and visitors to shop locally.


Does this project need an environmental effects statement?

The requirement for an environmental effects statement for a project is considered during the planning process. In this case, planning permission was given by the State Government’s Minister for Planning. 

Council decisions about permits are not related in any way and have no impact on whether an environmental effects statement is needed for this project.


What is Council doing to protect Carnegie Station and Murrumbeena Station buildings?

At the 19 July 2016 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to:

  • make representations to the State Government’s Level Crossing Removal Authority to ensure these buildings and protected and preserved;
  • make representation to the National Trust to advocate for improved protection levels;
  • strongly urge that any plans for protection or repurposing be made known to the public immediately;
  • prepare and lodge an application to Heritage Victoria to nominate these buildings for inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register; and
  • write to Heritage Victoria seeking immediate interim demolition protection to be implemented.

This process is underway and the outcome is not yet known.


What is Council doing to help residents that are affected?

Council is calling for the State Government to extend its offer to purchase residential properties along the Pakenham Cranbourne Line under its Voluntary Purchase Scheme, to include houses across the street from the railway line in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

Glen Eira Mayor Cr Neil Pilling said the State Government’s level crossing removal project will be a big change for these neighbourhoods, even though the rail line is across the street. 

“Some people welcome the prospect of new open space across the road, but others do not want to be that close to elevated rail, Cr Pilling said. “The residents should be supported to move, should they wish to.”

Council is also calling for protection of heritage, improvements to the design of station precincts and more support for residents and businesses during construction. 

Council is refining parking arrangements to manage local needs during construction for residents, shop workers and customers.

Residents can also help by shopping locally and supporting local businesses.

See also:

What help is available for businesses and residents?

What can Council do to help with parking in my area?


What can Council do to help with parking in my area?

In the areas around stations, there will be more pressure on parking as some car parks will close while the State Government’s level crossing removal project team is doing construction works. The best place to get up-to-date information on the timing of closures is the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) website.

Information on current disruptions is available at: http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions

Council is regularly reviewing and refining parking arrangements as required to manage local needs during construction and ensuring there is as much space available as possible for customers, residents and shop workers. 

Council is also enforcing parking restrictions to try to make sure that construction workers’ vehicles don’t take up spaces needed for shop customers or residents. Council is asking the State Government’s level crossing removal project team to make sure that workers don’t park in shopping centres. During the Frankston Line works, many construction workers have been bussed in from car parks outside the shopping centres. This includes the Carnegie Swim Centre car park which has been leased to the LXRA for construction workers’ car parking.

During the State Government’s level crossing removal project, some roads will be directly affected by construction works. In these cases, the best contact is the LXRA in the first instance, on its 24 hour number 1800 762 667.


What help is available for businesses?

Council is:

  • refining parking arrangements to manage local needs during construction and advocating for parking in shopping centres to remain open for customers;
  • encouraging residents and workers to shop locally;
  • undertaking promotional campaigns to help local businesses; and
  • providing mentoring and business support for businesses.

For further information and initiatives from Council’s Economic Development and Business Support Unit, visit the Business section of Council’s website.

   

Is a new road being built between Arden Street and Hobart Road under the elevated rail line in Murrumbeena?

The State Government’s Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project involves construction of an elevated rail line over Murrumbeena. A proposed Ardyne Street/Hobart Road link road appears on all preliminary designs.

These designs were well publicised during consultation undertaken by the Removal Project team earlier this year and are publicly available via the LXRA website.

Council is still assessing the link road proposal. Initial assessments indicate that there may be some benefits to having this connection, but the benefits, drawbacks and options are still being worked through. Council is considering safety, potential improvements to the Neerim Road shopping strip, overall function of the local areas for pedestrians and traffic and specific questions and concerns residents have raised.                                  

Before Council makes a decision on its position, it will seek community feedback. Consultation will be after Council elections and could be either late 2016 or early 2017. 

Council is part of ongoing discussions to help optimise the link road proposal and its design, including the location of bus stops. We intend to consult the community before any decision is made.

The Removal Project team will undertake traffic modelling to better inform the design of the proposed link road.

The Removal Project’s information states that trees removed recently in the area adjacent to the Ardyne Street/Railway Parade intersection were removed to:

  • allow safe access to site for the delivery of materials and equipment; and
  • to facilitate construction of the proposed link road, however these trees would also have been potentially impacted by the Project’s underground services.

For further information, visit the LXRA website or contact the LXRA Murrumbeena Info Hub at 444 Neerim Road, Murrumbeena (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 5pm and Thursday from 9am to 12pm and 3pm to 7pm) or phone 1800 762 667 (24 hours, seven days)