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Transport, Housing crucial to Dunkley win

First published 1 February 2024 - Herald Sun.

EXCLUSIVE - Jade Gailberger

More affordable housing for healthcare workers and better public transport access are the top priorities in Dunkley ahead of the by-election, the Committee for Frankston and Mornington Peninsula says.

The advocacy body is calling for upgrades to the Stony Point rail line, after Labor axed $225m in funding for works that Anthony Albanese pledged between Frankston and Baxter.

But Treasurer Jim Chalmers, who visited the electorate on Wednesday, defended the project cancellation saying the government needed to get “value for money” from investments.

Committee CEO Josh Sinclair said Dunkley was a great place to live and work, but “ongoing challenges” were impacting liveability, health outcomes, and education opportunities.

Mr Sinclair urged both major parties to work with local and state government to encourage young doctors, nurses and healthcare workers to live in affordable accommodation in Frankston.

“A Key Worker Housing initiative in Dunkley would ensure the soon to be redeveloped Frankston Hospital and other health services have the staff we need,” he said. “A lack of supply and gentrification of many parts of Dunkley mean many long-term locals are being priced out of the area. That’s not what Frankston is about.”

Mr Sinclair said the committee was disappointed when $225m for the Frankston to Baxter rail project was scrapped because residents wanted better rail.

Labor holds the seat on a 6.3 per cent margin.

The by-election will be held on March 2.