Council leaders have made a final pitch to candidates and parties in Saturday’s federal election to ‘not leave the City of Whittlesea behind’.

Candidates have pledged little or no direct funding to City of Whittlesea in the lead-up to the election.

Liberal candidate Richard Welch announced in March the coalition’s $1.9 billion commitment to build a Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal, BIFT, and a Hume Freeway interchange at Camerons Lane Beveridge, funded in this year’s federal budget.

The project, forecast to create 20,000 jobs, will benefit both the City of Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire.

Labor has also made a election pledge for the Camerons Lane interchange, commiting $150 million for the project.

Mr Mitchell has criticised the coalition’s allocation of money in the budget to the BIFT, and questioned its estimated finishing time of 2027.

However Mr Welch said there would be $60 million in the 2022-23 budget, with the remainder in forward estimates.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said council relied on both federal and state government funding to deliver important community projects.

“Councils have a limited source of revenue to deliver a large range of projects which impact on the daily life of people in our municipalities,” she said.

“We need investment from other levels of government to be able to bring projects to life.

“That’s why we’re calling on all local candidates to show their commitment to their local community by supporting important local projects.”

Ms Wilson and fellow administrators Chris Eddy and Peita Duncan said the City of Whittlesea was campaigning for support for projects that delivered more local jobs, improved health and wellbeing and better roads, transport and connectivity.

“We are hoping between now and the election that we might hear some good news on promises to commit to these important projects for our community,” Ms Wilson said.

Council is asking the government to:

  • Invest in a state-of-the-art Regional Sports and Aquatic Facility in Mernda.
  • Expedite delivery of the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal.
  • Fund and deliver a purpose-built Aboriginal Gathering Place for the north.
  • Provide a full headspace centre in the north of the municipality to support adolescent mental health needs.
  • Reinstate recurrent funding for the YFlex program to support the mental health needs of young people in the City of Whittlesea.
  • Commit to ongoing funding of $230,000 per year for local prevention of violence against women programs and family violence initiatives.
  • Undertake a business case for the future E6 Freeway, for delivery by 2035.

People can visit whittlesea.vic.gov.au/advocacy for a full list of council’s advocacy priorities.

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