Challenges in the north

AROUND 40 local business and community leaders joined Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green, and the Treasurer, Tim Pallas at a business lunch that focussed on issues and achievements in Melbourne’s north.

Mr Pallas addressed the group outlining plans for meeting needs for infrastructure growth in the interface councils of Whittlesea, Mitchell and Hume.

The treasurer outlined the ambitious rail loop promise and the North East Link stating that both were integral to the continuing development of the area.

“The Victorian economy is the fastest growing economy in the nation. We see it creating more jobs than anywhere else with the biggest infrastructure program ever,” Mr Pallas said.

While presentations to the treasurer were planned to be delivered by Cr Lawrie Cox and Whittlesea CEO Simon Overland and the mayors of the other councils represented – the opening section of the program ran over and these had to be cancelled.

This unfortunately was a valuable opportunity for the community to provide feedback to Spring Street on exactly what was needed in a developing municipality, lost.

The presentations were to include in depth outlines on growth and infrastructure requirements in the North including, infrastructure priorities, growth management strategies, business strategies and how there could be supported by the state government.

One issue raised during the question session while the treasurer was in attendance was the lack of connectivity in the new and emerging communities with road links very much in the spotlight.

“We have real issues on Epping road and the O’Herns road project – the delays in the way this project is progressing is making it very difficult for motorists using the era and it is only going to get worse,” one questioner stated.

Environmental approvals we cited as a reason for the delays and mid 2020 was given as the estimated completion of the project.

“One thing we do need in the future and I acknowledge this, is a more mature relationship with councils and developers,” Mr Pallas said as he closed his section of the meeting.

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