Wednesday, 6 May 2015
I wish to raise an issue with the Minister for Public Transport. The action I seek is that she advise my office of the outcome of Metro Trains Melbourne’s expression of interest (EOI) process for shop 1–2, 60–62 Silverdale Road, Eaglemont, which is located under the Eaglemont station. I thank the minister for arranging a meeting for me with Metro Trains and the staff of the federal member for Jagajaga, Jenny Macklin. She is doing a great job.
The current lease held by the Eaglemont newsagency and post office at 68 Silverdale Road is due to expire and cannot be renewed. My concern is that if a new premise is not found, Eaglemont Village could lose a major asset in its newsagency and post office, both of which are an integral part of life of local businesses and residents. Eaglemont Village is a village, and it is a great local community. It has been well serviced by these local businesses for many years. It is critical to the local community that the post office and newsagent facilities continue. The newsagency and post office is a myki top-up venue, which is an important service for the Eaglemont Village shopping community.
At the moment Metro is conducting an expression of interest process. It will spend some $20 000 refurbishing the shops underneath the Eaglemont station, which are currently vacant, and removing asbestos. Metro will make the shops available through its EOI process to people who wish to run a business in them. At the same time we are going to lose the newsagency and post office in Eaglemont if the community interest involved here is not given serious consideration. While there are commercial considerations to deal with in the EOI process, I implore Metro to give due consideration and weight to community need and community interest when it makes its decision. The local community would expect nothing less of me than that I advocate for their needs in the local community to make sure that the local newsagency and post office facilities continue in Eaglemont Village.
There is an opportunity here for Metro to show a bit of community spirit through this EOI process. I know that the owners of that newsagent and post office have submitted an EOI. I know it will be given due consideration. I understand from Metro that it will resolve these matters during the month of May. Again I ask the Minister for Public Transport, who has arranged a number of meetings with Metro, with the office of the federal member for Jagajaga, Jenny Macklin, and with me, to make sure she informs us of the outcome of that EOI process. I certainly give that EOI process our local community’s endorsement.