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The Liberal Party has sought to whip up anti-sky rail sentiment along the Frankston line into a protest vote against Bill Shorten on July 2, via a neighbourhood letterbox drop that urges voters to "Tell Labor No Sky Rail".
The leaflets, distributed on Monday, urge voters to punish Labor by putting the party last on election day, because of its "plan to build high-rise rail in your neighbourhood".
The "high-rise rail" in question is the Andrews government's plan to remove 11 level crossings on the Frankston line, although the government has said nothing yet about whether or not the project will include elevated rail.
Level crossing removals are a state project, however, the Liberals' scare campaign indicates they believe there is enough angst about elevated rail to cost Labor votes in the federal sandbelt seats of Isaacs and Dunkley.
Public transport woes on the Frankston line have influenced the outcome in recent elections, most famously when four marginal seats swung from Labor to Liberal at the 2010 state poll.
"Our neighbourhood is under threat," the leaflet states.
"Instead of underground level crossings as promised, Labor is now planning to build Sky Rail lines four stories high near you on parts of the Frankston line."
The elevated sections of rail would create "massive train noise, high rise railway eyesores dividing our communities, lower property prices", it warns.
A website, doublecrossed.com.au, and online petition has also been set up by the Victorian office of the Liberal Party.
Liberal spokesman Andrew Hudgson said it was fair enough to target federal Labor over the issue, given there is "enormous concern in these communities about how their homes and amenity will be impacted as Labor has refused to be open and honest with the community".
The Andrews government is yet to detail whether the tracks will be lowered or built on an elevated structure in a so-called sky rail, as is under way on the Dandenong line.
It insists it has not settled on a preferred design at any of the eight crossings.
Even so, Mr Hudgson insisted that "a vote for Labor at all levels is a vote for sky rail".
"Daniel Andrews needs to come clean with residents along all train lines in Melbourne about Labor's plans for sky rail before the election on July 2," he said.
"Local MPs are representatives of their areas. If Labor MPs, including Mark Dreyfus, won't stand up for their communities and demand sky rail be scrapped then they should expect to be called out on it."
Mr Dreyfus, who has a safe hold on the seat of Isaacs, has recently addressed concerns about elevated rail on his Facebook page.
"I can assure local residents that I have been speaking with state government ministers about the concerns in our community regarding this issue," he wrote on May 24," he wrote.
On Tuesday, he said the Liberal flyer contained "lies and misinformation".
"This is a case of a Liberal Party so embarrassed about the Turnbull government's record that it is reduced to spreading lies about a state government issue."
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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