Victoria's Inclusionary Housing Pilot one step closer, works to extend Cranbourne and Pakenham platforms kick off

The Victorian Government has announced planning changes in order to move forward with its Inclusionary Housing Pilot that will deliver 100 new social housing dwellings and works to update ageing rail infrastructure in Melbourne's south-east will throw up another round of train replacements.

Victorian Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, announced amendments to local planning schemes for four different sites in Boronia, Broadmeadows, Parkville and Wodonga that move pilot sites forward and the government anticipates adding up to 100 new social housing dwellings as part of its programme.

"We need to build and invest in liveable communities and make the most of the land we already have, and this pilot will create up to 100 new social housing homes to support our most vulnerable," the Planning Minister said.

The amendments relate to the introduction of new zones, overlays that will preserve vegetation, ensure adequate traffic and parking management, provide public open space and ensure the proposed developments respond to local neighbourhood character.

In Broadmeadows, a 7,500 square metre park will be created for the local community's use and in Boronia there will be planning scheme protection for significant trees and local habitats.

The development of the new social housing dwellings will be pursued with community housing providers. 

Despite the shutdown, Steamrail excursions will still run - hooray! Image: wikipedia

In August another round of train replacements for the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines will occur because work will begin on updating old railway infrastructure that will enable the new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains to run on the rail line.

On the 4th and 5th of August, buses will replace trains between Dandenong and Cranbourne and between the 4th and 12th of August, buses will replace trains between Dandenong and Pakenham.

On the 13th and 14th of August, buses will replace trains between Westall and Cranbourne and Westall and Pakenham.  All Gippsland V/Line services will be replaced by coaches for the entire journey between the 6th and 14th of August.

Despite the shutdown, the Steamrail Snow Train excursion, as it won't require overhead electricity, will still run as scheduled on the 5th of August.

Platform works at Dandenong, Officer, Cranbourne and Hallam will continue during the train replacement periods.  The other 9 stations beyond Dandenong already have platform lengths that will comply with the longer HCMTs that will soon be introduced.

Overhead wires and stanchions and signaling are the primary corridor-wide upgrades happening in the area with the government describing the infrastructure as 'decades-old'.  

The Cranbourne line has two level crossing removal projects underway at present with multiple between Dandenong and Pakenham still in the early planning phase.

Each new 7-car HCMT train will have passenger carrying capacity of 1100 people and the first train is set to begin operations from mid-2019.

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