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DANDENONG GROUPS RECEIVE FURTHER SUPPORT TO PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY

Community sporting organisations across the state will benefit from further funding to help level the playing field for women and girls, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Change Our Game initiative. 86 community sport and recreation organisations from across Victoria have been successful in receiving a Change Our Game Community Activation Grant, funding more than $430,000 worth of grants. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, announced that locally two Dandenong organisations would receive funding to increase women and girl’s participation in sport. The Association of Hazaras in Victoria Inc will receive $5,000, to work in partnership with the Victorian Afghan Associations Network (VAAN) and with support of the Dari language school, to run a volleyball program and tournament. The Fatemiya Cultural Centre will also receive $4,460 for a walking and exercise program for Afghan women. The program scheduled to start in August will run twice a week and incorporate walking, light exercise and outdoor games. Applications for this round broke Change Our Game records with more than $1.1milion worth of submissions registered, reinforcing the demand in providing programs that celebrate and showcase women and girls in all levels of sport and recreation. This round offered three streams of funding to support clubs in driving participation, providing organisational training and development, and to showcase women and girls’ achievements. Successful grants in this round range from come-and-try days and leadership workshops, through to gala dinners and awards nights, all designed to inspire the next generation of leaders in sport and active recreation. Since 2017, more than 380 Change Our Game grants have been awarded and this work will continue following the recent 2021-22 Victorian State budget announcement of $11.6 million to fund the continuation of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. For more information about the Change Our Game programs, visit www.changeourgame.vic.gov.au   Quote attributable to Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence “Community sport plays a vital role in uniting our communities and driving positive social change. The Change Our Game initiative is providing opportunities for Victorian women and girls to lead on and off the field.” Quotes attributable to Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Sarah Styles “The record-breaking demand for the Change Our Game Community Activation Grants is some of the strongest evidence yet of the wholesale support for gender equality in community sport across Victoria.”  Quote attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “ Sport is an important vehicle for cultural change – it can break down gender stereotypes, change the way girls see themselves, and the way others see them. This is why this funding is so important.”

DANDENONG GROUPS RECEIVE FURTHER SUPPORT TO PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY

Community sporting organisations across the state will benefit from further funding to help level the playing field for women and girls, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Change Our Game initiative. 86 community sport and recreation organisations from across Victoria have been successful in receiving a Change Our Game Community Activation Grant, funding more than $430,000 worth of grants. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, announced that locally two Dandenong organisations would receive funding to increase women and girl’s participation in sport. The Association of Hazaras in Victoria Inc will receive $5,000, to work in partnership with the Victorian Afghan Associations Network (VAAN) and with support of the Dari language school, to run a volleyball program and tournament. The Fatemiya Cultural Centre will also receive $4,460 for a walking and exercise program for Afghan women. The program scheduled to start in August will run twice a week and incorporate walking, light exercise and outdoor games. Applications for this round broke Change Our Game records with more than $1.1milion worth of submissions registered, reinforcing the demand in providing programs that celebrate and showcase women and girls in all levels of sport and recreation. This round offered three streams of funding to support clubs in driving participation, providing organisational training and development, and to showcase women and girls’ achievements. Successful grants in this round range from come-and-try days and leadership workshops, through to gala dinners and awards nights, all designed to inspire the next generation of leaders in sport and active recreation. Since 2017, more than 380 Change Our Game grants have been awarded and this work will continue following the recent 2021-22 Victorian State budget announcement of $11.6 million to fund the continuation of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. For more information about the Change Our Game programs, visit www.changeourgame.vic.gov.au   Quote attributable to Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence “Community sport plays a vital role in uniting our communities and driving positive social change. The Change Our Game initiative is providing opportunities for Victorian women and girls to lead on and off the field.” Quotes attributable to Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Sarah Styles “The record-breaking demand for the Change Our Game Community Activation Grants is some of the strongest evidence yet of the wholesale support for gender equality in community sport across Victoria.”  Quote attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “ Sport is an important vehicle for cultural change – it can break down gender stereotypes, change the way girls see themselves, and the way others see them. This is why this funding is so important.”

CREATING JOBS AND CARING FOR DANDENONG

The Andrews Labor Government is creating jobs and caring for the people of Dandenong.   The Victorian Budget 2021/22 will support an average of 38,000 jobs every year over the next four years, while also investing in the care and services our community needs.   Dandenong North Primary School is one of 52 Victorian schools that will be upgraded in this year's Budget. This $6 million investment will deliver works to construct a new competition grade gymnasium and modernise Block E. Not only will this give our students new classrooms and learning spaces, it'll create good jobs for Victorians. Across the state, our investment in more and better schools is expected to support 3,500 jobs.   The Andrews Labor Government is also rolling out three-year-old kinder across the Dandenong electorate from next year. That means every child in Dandenong will have access to at least five hours of funded kinder per week, increasing to 15 hours by 2029. It's not just great news for kids – families will save $1150 on average, while an extra 6,000 roles for qualified early childhood teachers and educators will also be created.   Victim-survivors of family violence will receive improved support, with the expansion of our network of specialist family violence courts, to include Dandenong. These courts are specially designed to make attending court a less daunting experience for victim-survivors, including separate entrances and exits, safe waiting areas and dedicated space for children.   With this Budget, the Labor Government will also help more Victorian families experience the joys of parenthood, helping to cover the costs of in‑vitro fertilisation (IVF). IVF can help people who want to become parents achieve their dreams. But for many Victorians, it's unaffordable and out of reach. This Budget delivers $70 million to establish public IVF services – which will be free for up to 4,000 people every year.   This Budget also includes a once in a generation investment to build our mental health system from the ground up, $3.8 billion will transform the way mental health support is offered in Victoria, with early intervention, a dedicated stream of care for our kids, and the recruitment of thousands of new workers.   Young Victorians are at the heart of our reform, with $842 million in mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people. This investment will see two separate streams of care created – one devoted to infants and children and one devoted to young people. This investment will deliver more early intervention, more intensive support for those who need acute care, and more help for families.   To help support young local people in need, this Budget includes upgrades to Dandenong's Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) unit, as part of a $141 million investment. YPARCs deliver care for people who need support transitioning out of acute care, or to avoid hospitalization, and delivers support specifically tailored to the needs of our young people.   Recognising the key role of schools in supporting the wellbeing of our students, this Budget also invests in a new School Mental Health Fund. This investment will allow schools to choose and implement mental health and wellbeing programs that best meet the needs of their students. The Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will also be expanded to include 90 government schools and 10 non-government schools.   An investment of $954 million will deliver 22 reformed area mental health and wellbeing services to replace current services. These services will have more capacity to treat and support Victorians experiencing severe and complex mental health challenges, in their own communities.   Not only are we delivering the mental health system Victoria needs – we’re also supporting around 3,000 new jobs. From doctors to nurses, support staff to peer workers, this investment is creating new opportunities for thousands of Victorians. To train and recruit this critical workforce we’re also funding new scholarships, job placements and continuing our Free TAFE courses.   With this Budget, we’re creating new jobs and caring for Victorians.   Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams      “Every child deserves a great classroom. I’m proud that this Budget will deliver the upgrade the school community at Dandenong North Primary School has been calling for.”  “This Budget invests in our schools, hospitals and our mental health system, while creating jobs for Victorians.” 

CREATING JOBS AND CARING FOR DANDENONG

The Andrews Labor Government is creating jobs and caring for the people of Dandenong.   The Victorian Budget 2021/22 will support an average of 38,000 jobs every year over the next four years, while also investing in the care and services our community needs.   Dandenong North Primary School is one of 52 Victorian schools that will be upgraded in this year's Budget. This $6 million investment will deliver works to construct a new competition grade gymnasium and modernise Block E. Not only will this give our students new classrooms and learning spaces, it'll create good jobs for Victorians. Across the state, our investment in more and better schools is expected to support 3,500 jobs.   The Andrews Labor Government is also rolling out three-year-old kinder across the Dandenong electorate from next year. That means every child in Dandenong will have access to at least five hours of funded kinder per week, increasing to 15 hours by 2029. It's not just great news for kids – families will save $1150 on average, while an extra 6,000 roles for qualified early childhood teachers and educators will also be created.   Victim-survivors of family violence will receive improved support, with the expansion of our network of specialist family violence courts, to include Dandenong. These courts are specially designed to make attending court a less daunting experience for victim-survivors, including separate entrances and exits, safe waiting areas and dedicated space for children.   With this Budget, the Labor Government will also help more Victorian families experience the joys of parenthood, helping to cover the costs of in‑vitro fertilisation (IVF). IVF can help people who want to become parents achieve their dreams. But for many Victorians, it's unaffordable and out of reach. This Budget delivers $70 million to establish public IVF services – which will be free for up to 4,000 people every year.   This Budget also includes a once in a generation investment to build our mental health system from the ground up, $3.8 billion will transform the way mental health support is offered in Victoria, with early intervention, a dedicated stream of care for our kids, and the recruitment of thousands of new workers.   Young Victorians are at the heart of our reform, with $842 million in mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people. This investment will see two separate streams of care created – one devoted to infants and children and one devoted to young people. This investment will deliver more early intervention, more intensive support for those who need acute care, and more help for families.   To help support young local people in need, this Budget includes upgrades to Dandenong's Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) unit, as part of a $141 million investment. YPARCs deliver care for people who need support transitioning out of acute care, or to avoid hospitalization, and delivers support specifically tailored to the needs of our young people.   Recognising the key role of schools in supporting the wellbeing of our students, this Budget also invests in a new School Mental Health Fund. This investment will allow schools to choose and implement mental health and wellbeing programs that best meet the needs of their students. The Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will also be expanded to include 90 government schools and 10 non-government schools.   An investment of $954 million will deliver 22 reformed area mental health and wellbeing services to replace current services. These services will have more capacity to treat and support Victorians experiencing severe and complex mental health challenges, in their own communities.   Not only are we delivering the mental health system Victoria needs – we’re also supporting around 3,000 new jobs. From doctors to nurses, support staff to peer workers, this investment is creating new opportunities for thousands of Victorians. To train and recruit this critical workforce we’re also funding new scholarships, job placements and continuing our Free TAFE courses.   With this Budget, we’re creating new jobs and caring for Victorians.   Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams      “Every child deserves a great classroom. I’m proud that this Budget will deliver the upgrade the school community at Dandenong North Primary School has been calling for.”  “This Budget invests in our schools, hospitals and our mental health system, while creating jobs for Victorians.” 

SUPPORTING DANDENONG FAMILIES IN FINANCIAL STRESS

The Andrews Labor Government is helping families experiencing financial stress in Dandenong with the expansion of the Good Money program, which delivers no-interest loans and financial advice – providing a safe alternative to dodgy payday lenders and loan sharks. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced the Victorian Budget 2021/22 invests $14.6 million in the Good Money program, including an expansion into phone-based and digital services, giving Dandenong residents even better access to this vital financial wellbeing service. Good Money is delivered through a unique partnership between the Government, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and National Australia Bank, with retail shopfronts in Collingwood, Geelong, Dandenong and Morwell. The expansion into phone-based and digital services will provide another point of access to this vital financial wellbeing service. Good Money delivers responsible and sustainable financial services including no-interest and low interest loans, low-cost insurance and budgeting advice for Victorians experiencing significant financial stress. That includes providing an alternative to predatory pay-day lenders who target vulnerable consumers, putting even more pressure on their finances – sometimes permanently. Good Money provides no-interest loans that have no hidden costs – giving clients access to safe, affordable and fair credit – ensuring they can manage unexpected bills while maintaining their financial security. The funding will also continue support for financial wellbeing initiatives in bushfire-affected communities, including Good Money pop-up stores, for a further 12 months. The enhanced Good Money service is expected to deliver 11,500 no-interest loans over four years, helping around 25,000 Victorians with a low-income. Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “The financial support offered by Good Money is more important than ever for people in Dandenong doing it tough, given the challenges presented by COVID-19.” “Now that these support services will be available in person, online and over the phone, Dandenong residents in financial stress can more easily access the support they need.”  

SUPPORTING DANDENONG FAMILIES IN FINANCIAL STRESS

The Andrews Labor Government is helping families experiencing financial stress in Dandenong with the expansion of the Good Money program, which delivers no-interest loans and financial advice – providing a safe alternative to dodgy payday lenders and loan sharks. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced the Victorian Budget 2021/22 invests $14.6 million in the Good Money program, including an expansion into phone-based and digital services, giving Dandenong residents even better access to this vital financial wellbeing service. Good Money is delivered through a unique partnership between the Government, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and National Australia Bank, with retail shopfronts in Collingwood, Geelong, Dandenong and Morwell. The expansion into phone-based and digital services will provide another point of access to this vital financial wellbeing service. Good Money delivers responsible and sustainable financial services including no-interest and low interest loans, low-cost insurance and budgeting advice for Victorians experiencing significant financial stress. That includes providing an alternative to predatory pay-day lenders who target vulnerable consumers, putting even more pressure on their finances – sometimes permanently. Good Money provides no-interest loans that have no hidden costs – giving clients access to safe, affordable and fair credit – ensuring they can manage unexpected bills while maintaining their financial security. The funding will also continue support for financial wellbeing initiatives in bushfire-affected communities, including Good Money pop-up stores, for a further 12 months. The enhanced Good Money service is expected to deliver 11,500 no-interest loans over four years, helping around 25,000 Victorians with a low-income. Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “The financial support offered by Good Money is more important than ever for people in Dandenong doing it tough, given the challenges presented by COVID-19.” “Now that these support services will be available in person, online and over the phone, Dandenong residents in financial stress can more easily access the support they need.”  

DOGGIE DELIGHT AS UPGRADED PARK RE-OPENS IN DANDENONG

Tirhatuan Dog Park in Dandenong North has reopened following major upgrades funded by the Andrews Labor Government. The Labor Government provided $153,500 to the City of Greater Dandenong to carry out upgrades, which have delivered a new dedicated small dog area, agility equipment, and shelters and picnic tables. The investment was funded through the $2.7 billion Building Works program, which is funding hundreds of shovel-ready projects across the state to create jobs and drive Victoria’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It complements the $154 million Suburban Parks Program – which will create or upgrade 6,500 hectares of public open space, including parkland and new trails, plus pocket parks and off-leash dog parks across Melbourne. Redleap Reserve in Mill Park, East Street Dog Park in Kilmore and Don Jackson Reserve Dog Park in Pakenham have also re-opened following upgrades in the past six months. More than 30 dog parks are also planned soon, including Carrum Downs, Eynesbury, Belgrave and Altona – and in the regional centres of Ararat, Buninyong, Yarragon, Portland, Belmont, Shepparton, Mildura, Swan Hill and Warracknabeal. For information about the off-leash dog parks being delivered and the Suburban Parks Program, visit environment.vic.gov.au/suburban-parks.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio “We promised to invest in dog parks for families and their pets to enjoy – and we’re delivering.” “The investment in open space – such as parks and dog parks – is an important investment that is creating local jobs, making life better for families and building on our reputation as one of the world's most liveable cities. Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “Recreational spaces enhance the liveability of our local area. Dog parks allow safe spaces for local families to exercise their pets and socialise with other pet owners. This is another great community asset that will be well-utilised by locals – two and four legged!”

DOGGIE DELIGHT AS UPGRADED PARK RE-OPENS IN DANDENONG

Tirhatuan Dog Park in Dandenong North has reopened following major upgrades funded by the Andrews Labor Government. The Labor Government provided $153,500 to the City of Greater Dandenong to carry out upgrades, which have delivered a new dedicated small dog area, agility equipment, and shelters and picnic tables. The investment was funded through the $2.7 billion Building Works program, which is funding hundreds of shovel-ready projects across the state to create jobs and drive Victoria’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It complements the $154 million Suburban Parks Program – which will create or upgrade 6,500 hectares of public open space, including parkland and new trails, plus pocket parks and off-leash dog parks across Melbourne. Redleap Reserve in Mill Park, East Street Dog Park in Kilmore and Don Jackson Reserve Dog Park in Pakenham have also re-opened following upgrades in the past six months. More than 30 dog parks are also planned soon, including Carrum Downs, Eynesbury, Belgrave and Altona – and in the regional centres of Ararat, Buninyong, Yarragon, Portland, Belmont, Shepparton, Mildura, Swan Hill and Warracknabeal. For information about the off-leash dog parks being delivered and the Suburban Parks Program, visit environment.vic.gov.au/suburban-parks.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio “We promised to invest in dog parks for families and their pets to enjoy – and we’re delivering.” “The investment in open space – such as parks and dog parks – is an important investment that is creating local jobs, making life better for families and building on our reputation as one of the world's most liveable cities. Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “Recreational spaces enhance the liveability of our local area. Dog parks allow safe spaces for local families to exercise their pets and socialise with other pet owners. This is another great community asset that will be well-utilised by locals – two and four legged!”

 

MORE OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE OPTIONS FOR DANDENONG FAMILIES

Another Dandenong school will soon establish outside school hours care services, to further facilitate workforce participation while ensuring our children are cared for, thanks to the Victorian Government. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced that Rosewood Downs Primary School in Dandenong will be among 53 across the state to share in more than $4.1 million in grants to establish a new outside school hours care service from Term 3 this year. Rosewood Downs Primary School will receive $224,700 over the next four years for their outside school hours care service. The funding will help establish new services, and provide support for costs including resources or equipment, setup and administration, facility upgrades, small service viability and transport. The number of schools providing access to outside school hours care services through these grants will increase by 2 per cent in Melbourne and 22 per cent in regional Victoria, with an overall increase of nearly 8 per cent. This is the first round of grants to be awarded under the $81.6 million initiative announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to establish up to 400 new outside school hours care services at government schools. There will be another three application rounds between this year and 2023. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “By creating more outside school hours care services, we are helping parents and carers to get back to work, study, training or re-enter the workforce as part of Victoria’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.” “These services will ensure our kids are cared for, before and after school hours.” Quotes attributable to the Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “This investment will go a long way to making the daily juggle of work, school and kinder just that little bit easier."

MORE OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE OPTIONS FOR DANDENONG FAMILIES

Another Dandenong school will soon establish outside school hours care services, to further facilitate workforce participation while ensuring our children are cared for, thanks to the Victorian Government. Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced that Rosewood Downs Primary School in Dandenong will be among 53 across the state to share in more than $4.1 million in grants to establish a new outside school hours care service from Term 3 this year. Rosewood Downs Primary School will receive $224,700 over the next four years for their outside school hours care service. The funding will help establish new services, and provide support for costs including resources or equipment, setup and administration, facility upgrades, small service viability and transport. The number of schools providing access to outside school hours care services through these grants will increase by 2 per cent in Melbourne and 22 per cent in regional Victoria, with an overall increase of nearly 8 per cent. This is the first round of grants to be awarded under the $81.6 million initiative announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to establish up to 400 new outside school hours care services at government schools. There will be another three application rounds between this year and 2023. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education.   Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “By creating more outside school hours care services, we are helping parents and carers to get back to work, study, training or re-enter the workforce as part of Victoria’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.” “These services will ensure our kids are cared for, before and after school hours.” Quotes attributable to the Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams “This investment will go a long way to making the daily juggle of work, school and kinder just that little bit easier."

BOOST FOR INVESTMENT IN CENTRAL DANDENONG

The Victorian Government is stimulating investment in Central Dandenong.

DANDENONG SCHOOLS SHARE IN MAINTENANCE BOOST

Students in Dandenong will benefit from a $1.98 million essential maintenance boost, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

FIRST STEP FOR SECOND TRACK AS CRANBOURNE WORKS GATHER PACE

Trains every ten minutes from Cranbourne are one step closer, with the first section of a second track installed as part of a $1 billion project to duplicate the line and remove the last four level crossings. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today announced the first of two new platforms at Merinda Park Station has opened, paving the way for services every ten minutes on the Cranbourne line. Eight kilometres of track will be created to fully duplicate the line between Cranbourne and Dandenong, boosting capacity for 121,000 extra peak passengers each week once trains start running through the Metro Tunnel. Supporting local jobs, the project is using ballast from Pakenham, more than 16,000 rail sleepers from Geelong and more than 22 kilometres of Australian steel rail welded in Sunshine. Around 500 metres worth of brand new track was laid last week. At Merinda Park Station in Lyndhurst, stage one of construction is now complete, with passengers now using the first of two new platforms, along with a new station entrance. An old platform was demolished last week with work on the second new platform is already underway. Meanwhile, at Dandenong South, another major Cranbourne Line Upgrade milestone has been reached with every bridge beam now lifted into place for a new rail bridge that will remove the congested Greens Road level crossing. More than 60 massive concrete bridge beams – weighing a combined 7000 tonnes and manufactured at a Melbourne factory – were installed in recent weeks. The crossing delays more than 23,000 vehicles each day in one of Melbourne’s busiest freight, logistics and manufacturing areas. Making the most of rail crews working on the line, the Level Crossing Removal Project will also now deliver an additional package of track works through Dandenong. These works, separate to the duplication, will untangle tracks around the junction between the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, removing ‘speed limits’ for trains and making it easier for them to run to the timetable. The first part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Cranbourne Line Upgrade was completed in October last year when the Evans Road level crossing was removed – reconnecting the communities of Lyndhurst, Lynbrook, and Cranbourne West. Working to open the second track by 2023, crews have already duplicated a mammoth amount of power and signalling including 250 overhead structures and hundreds of kilometres’ worth of cables.  Across Melbourne, 46 level crossings have already been removed – and the Cranbourne line will be the first to be level crossing-free. Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “Trains every 10 minutes are on the way for Cranbourne Line passengers – we’ve started laying the tracks on the Cranbourne Line Duplication to deliver more frequent, reliable services for Melbourne’s fastest-growing area.” Quote attributable to Member for Cranbourne Pauline Richards This massive project is creating capacity for 121,000 extra passengers a week on the Cranbourne Line – and with 12 level crossings already gone between Cranbourne and the city, we’re freeing up busy roads in the south-east too.” Quote attributable to Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams “We’re not just supporting local jobs in construction – this duplication project is using ballast from Pakenham, rail sleepers from Geelong and Australian steel rail welded in Sunshine, delivering opportunities for businesses and communities right across Victoria.”

FIRST STEP FOR SECOND TRACK AS CRANBOURNE WORKS GATHER PACE

Trains every ten minutes from Cranbourne are one step closer, with the first section of a second track installed as part of a $1 billion project to duplicate the line and remove the last four level crossings. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today announced the first of two new platforms at Merinda Park Station has opened, paving the way for services every ten minutes on the Cranbourne line. Eight kilometres of track will be created to fully duplicate the line between Cranbourne and Dandenong, boosting capacity for 121,000 extra peak passengers each week once trains start running through the Metro Tunnel. Supporting local jobs, the project is using ballast from Pakenham, more than 16,000 rail sleepers from Geelong and more than 22 kilometres of Australian steel rail welded in Sunshine. Around 500 metres worth of brand new track was laid last week. At Merinda Park Station in Lyndhurst, stage one of construction is now complete, with passengers now using the first of two new platforms, along with a new station entrance. An old platform was demolished last week with work on the second new platform is already underway. Meanwhile, at Dandenong South, another major Cranbourne Line Upgrade milestone has been reached with every bridge beam now lifted into place for a new rail bridge that will remove the congested Greens Road level crossing. More than 60 massive concrete bridge beams – weighing a combined 7000 tonnes and manufactured at a Melbourne factory – were installed in recent weeks. The crossing delays more than 23,000 vehicles each day in one of Melbourne’s busiest freight, logistics and manufacturing areas. Making the most of rail crews working on the line, the Level Crossing Removal Project will also now deliver an additional package of track works through Dandenong. These works, separate to the duplication, will untangle tracks around the junction between the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, removing ‘speed limits’ for trains and making it easier for them to run to the timetable. The first part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Cranbourne Line Upgrade was completed in October last year when the Evans Road level crossing was removed – reconnecting the communities of Lyndhurst, Lynbrook, and Cranbourne West. Working to open the second track by 2023, crews have already duplicated a mammoth amount of power and signalling including 250 overhead structures and hundreds of kilometres’ worth of cables.  Across Melbourne, 46 level crossings have already been removed – and the Cranbourne line will be the first to be level crossing-free. Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan “Trains every 10 minutes are on the way for Cranbourne Line passengers – we’ve started laying the tracks on the Cranbourne Line Duplication to deliver more frequent, reliable services for Melbourne’s fastest-growing area.” Quote attributable to Member for Cranbourne Pauline Richards This massive project is creating capacity for 121,000 extra passengers a week on the Cranbourne Line – and with 12 level crossings already gone between Cranbourne and the city, we’re freeing up busy roads in the south-east too.” Quote attributable to Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams “We’re not just supporting local jobs in construction – this duplication project is using ballast from Pakenham, rail sleepers from Geelong and Australian steel rail welded in Sunshine, delivering opportunities for businesses and communities right across Victoria.”