By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Dandenong railway station is one of Melbourne’s “worst” and needs an urgent overhaul, says councillor Jim Memeti.
He also said the council should pitch for a combined events centre as part of a mooted stadium to host A-League team Melbourne City.
The events facility could potentially stage concerts, filling the void left by the likely closure of Sandown Racecourse which hosts a variety of festivals.
On 26 April, Cr Memeti led a Greater Dandenong council motion to lobby the State Government to fund a business case to rebuild the station.
He said commuters have long complained about its overcrowding, steep stairs, layout, amenity, security and safety concerns.
“There’s going to be other private investors over the next five to 15 years, so we have to build infrastructure from the foundations up.
“If the government infrastructure isn’t right, how do we expect the private investment will be right?
“We need the station to be a good station for people to want to come to Dandenong.”
A business case was timely in the lead-up to the 2022 State Election, he said.
Patronage was likely to significantly grow with nearby touted projects such as the $600 million revamp of Little India, a proposed soccer stadium and events centre as well as the new Dandenong Art Gallery in Mason Street.
The duplication of the Cranbourne line and Metro Tunnel and airport rail projects is also expected to drive more rail passengers.
“The development of a business case to facilitate the multimillion-dollar investment required to complete a rebuild of the station is timely,” Cr Memeti’s motion stated.
“Preliminary work has already identified opportunities for better integration and connectivity, which when combined with the repurposing of adjacent tired industrial land uses to residential would deliver a true world class transit-oriented development precinct.”
The business case could explore if “private sector value capture” to partially offset the cost, the motion stated.
Cr Memeti said he looked forward to seeing “boots on the ground” as part of the redevelopment of Little India in Foster Street.
Development Victoria precincts group head Geoff Ward said the Foster Street redevelopment was adjacent to the Dandenong transport hub which will provide easy access to the new development.
“With the Victorian Government’s transport investments in the south-east providing turn up and go services in the future, the opportunities for Dandenong are endless.”