By Casey Neill
Originally published by Star News Group, 17 November 2017
Drug addicts and dealers will “flood” the open space beneath the sky rail in Noble Park, says the Liberal candidate for Mulgrave.
Maree Davenport spoke out after the State Government revealed new designs for the parkland created through elevating sections of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail line on Monday 13 November.
“Other than people engaging in anti-social behaviour, who’s interested in ‘hanging out’ under the thundering, busiest railway line nine metres above?” she said.
Premier and Mulgrave MP Daniel Andrews said the project would make Noble Park a better place to live “with more trains, more often and new parks, paths and playgrounds for locals to enjoy”.
The level crossing removal project will do away with those at Heatherton, Chandler and Corrigan roads by the end of next year.
Mr Andrews said this would create new spaces for locals to socialise and exercise, a 1275 square metre fenced dog park, walking paths and 100 extra car spaces for commuters.
But Ms Davenport said claims the project would benefit the community were “outright lies”.
“Local residents have told me their concerns about the structure becoming a magnet for drug pushers and crime,” she said.
She said “drug pushers” could catch the train to sell their wares to the young people who hung out at the aquatic centre and skate park in Ross Reserve.
“People will be visiting the designated youth precinct for all the wrong reasons, deterring locals from using these great existing amenities,” she said.
“We will see an increase in local crime, robberies and assaults as addicts flood the area for their next fix.”
Ms Davenport said the “grey concrete canvas” would attract graffiti vandals and Noble Park would resemble “the old bad hoods we see overseas”.
She said new asphalt car parking spaces would “be popular with the druggies and criminals – a convenient opportunity to break in to or steal commuters’ cars”.
“And a fenced-off dog park – who’s going to be cleaning up that smelly mess?” she said.
“I’m concerned for the elderly patrons who use the RSL where I am member, and the community centre at Ross Reserve.
“The Girl Guides won’t be safe, nor will the children and young people training at the sports grounds.”