MILLSWOOD station will not reopen on July 1 as promised by the State Government before the March election.
The government says it will keep its promise for a trial reopening, but it has jettisoned the pledge for it to start next month.
Leading up to the election, then transport services minister Chloe Fox issued a statement saying “Belair rail services will return to Millswood Station from 1 July for a 12-month trial”.
But Transport Department spokeswoman Melissa Martin told the Eastern Courier Messenger last week it had “no record of the station opening on July 1”.
After the Eastern Courier Messenger sent her a copy of Ms Fox’s statement, Ms Martin issued a statement saying “significant” work needed to be done before the station reopened.
“Planning is continuing for Belair rail services to return to Millswood station,” Ms Martin said.
“Extensive work includes providing disability access, ensuring it is safe for commuters, signalling alterations, fencing, new lighting, platform repairs and new shelter and seating.
“Further announcements in relation to timetables, work schedules and other information will be released once all planning is complete.”
Ms Martin assured Millswood residents the government would deliver on its commitment to a trial.
The station reopening was a central issue in the Ashford election and the government’s promise might have helped Labor’s Steph Key hold the seat.
Reopen Millswood Station Residents Group member John Gasper wanted the government to recommit to its election promise.
But Mr Gasper was happy to wait as long as the station did eventually reopen.
“I don’t mind waiting a few months longer,” Mr Gasper, of Clarence Park, said.
The station was closed in 1995 by the then Liberal government because of poor patronage.
The reopening is expected to cost about $400,000 and so will need to be included in the state budget when it is announced tomorrow (June 19).