Call for Whittlesea commitment

IN the lead up to the November state election, the City of Whittlesea is calling on local politicians to give residents the same access to services and infrastructure as those living in the city.

Council has launched ‘A Liveable Whittlesea’ in the lead up to the election asking political parties to commit to making the municipality more liveable by investing in roads, housing, schools and public transport and making simple gambling reforms.

Mayor Kris Pavlidis said growth is causing community needs in the area to be stretched.

“People move to the City of Whittlesea with the hope of creating a better life for themselves and their family,” she said.

“But we have more than 8000 new residents each year and the essential services and infrastructure our community needs are stretched and unable to keep up with this unprecedented level of growth.

“Our residents have the right to fair policies for population growth and development that enable our new and established communities to thrive.”

‘A Liveable Whittlesea’ is calling on political commitments in four areas.

Road improvements to bring the struggling road network up to pace with the growing community, including duplications and upgrades to Craigieburn Road East and Findon Road and extended upgrades to Bridge Inn Road and Epping Road.

Liveability improvements to give residents access to essential services, infrastructure, affordable housing and local jobs. Key local projects include building Edgars Creek Primary School by 2022, affordable housing in the Plenty Valley Activity Centre, and a Mernda health and wellbeing hub that will place essential community services and local jobs in the heart of Mernda Town Centre.

Public transport improvements, connecting communities with projects, including a ten minute premium bus service from Lalor station to Craigieburn Town Centre via Epping North and Wollert, extending the metropolitan train line from Lalor to Wollert within 10 years and extending Tram Route 86.

Council is also calling for simple changes to poker machine regulation to reduce the horrendous poker machine losses that local residents suffer, including $1 maximum bets, fewer machines (revoking the recent increase allowed in poker machine numbers) , reducing operating hours and redesigning poker machines to reduce their harmful, deceptive and addictive nature.

“Working together, all levels of government can make the City of Whittlesea a place where people and their families are connected, businesses prosper and our natural landscape is cherished,” Cr Pavlidis said.