A proposal for the redevelopment of Broadmeadows train station has been slammed as the “under-development of the century” by Hume council.
The Department of Transport’s business case for the proposal, recently presented to council, suggests a “base case” of improvements to Broadmeadows station.
Outraged councillors say the proposal falls well short of what is needed to revitalise the station precinct.
They say it fails to address many of the community’s concerns about the station, especially the pedestrian subway, which Cr Jack Medcraft said was dangerous and an “absolute disgrace”.
The council has written to the department to express disappointment with the proposed improvements and will write to Premier Daniel Andrews and a number of ministers urging that the scope of the project be revised.
The redevelopment of Broadmeadows station has been a contentious issue, with funding allocated to the project by the Brumby government in 2010. However, that funding was redirected in 2013 following a change of government. Hume council has been calling for the money to be reinstated ever since.
The 2018-19 state budget allocated $800,000 to the preparation of a business case for the station. The government spent $4 million to build new toilets, a new northern entrance and concourse and to paint the subway.
The council and the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board had been hoping the business case would propose similar redevelopments to those undertaken at Ringwood and Frankston stations.
Cr Naim Kurt said the business case ignored the council’s calls for renewal of the precinct and failed to consider commuter experiences at the station and the need for more carparking.
“We know that if as a council we accept the substandard design on offer, this will be all Broadmeadows gets for the next 30 years,”
Cr Kurt said.
Cr Geoff Porter said he was sick of seeing Broadmeadows shortchanged.
“This seems to me that we are being treated as a bit of a joke,” he said. “[The community] are thinking what is wrong with us? Why don’t we get the things we see in other areas?”
Auckland couple Verna and Grant, who caught a V/Line train from Broadmeadows to Wangaratta last Thursday after arriving at Melbourne Airport that morning to visit family, said the station was dirty and very run down.
“It’s about time something is done with this station. The toilets are disgraceful and the underpass is grotty – not a good first impression,” Grant said.