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Duelling crossing removals: Coalition makes Vic vow, Labor commits to Adelaide project

With the federal election just three weeks away, the Coalition has committed to remove a level crossing in Melbourne’s south-east, while Labor has promised to upgrade a crossing in Adelaide’s inner south.

Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg on April 28 announced a re-elected Coalition Government would spend $260 million putting rail under road at the existing Glenferrie Road level crossing in his seat of Kooyong.

Flanked by the Coalition’s urban infrastructure minister Alan Tudge, and the Liberals’ candidate for Higgins Katie Allen, Frydenberg visited the crossing on Sunday to announce the planned spending.

The level crossing was listed by VicRoads in 2013 as one of 20 high priority level crossings for removal, but so far the Victorian Government has yet to commit to its removal as part of its extensive Level Crossing Removal Program.

“The 2013 VicRoads study showed that the Glenferrie level crossing was one of the worst in the area adding to significant congestion on a key arterial corridor in south east Melbourne, causing delays and frustration for the thousands of vehicles that travel through the area each day,” Frydenberg said.

With the promise made to lower the railway below the road at Glenferrie Road, Frydenberg urged the State Government to reconsider its plans to elevate the railway to eliminate the Toorak Road crossing, less than a kilometre down the Glen Waverley line.

“We think it is important that the Andrew’s Government reconsider its position on the Toorak Road level crossing and put it underground which would improve benefits to the local community,” the federal treasurer said.

Frydenberg also committed $10 million in funding for business cases for the removal of crossings at Tooronga Road and Madden Grove.

Two days after Frydenberg’s announcement, shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese announced Federal Labor would spend $105 million eliminating the Cross Road level crossing at Westbourne Park, in Adelaide’s inner south.

“A Shorten Labor Government will partner with the South Australian Government to deliver this important project as soon as possible,” Albanese said on April 30.

“After nearly six years of cuts and chaos under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, Australia needs a Shorten Labor Government to bring a renewed focus on infrastructure investment.

“The [Cross Road] level crossing is a traffic accident black spot and a cause of frustration to motorists. More than 35,000 vehicles cross the intersection of Cross Road and the Belair railway line each day.”

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