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Commitment to diamond interchange for Wallan questioned

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has questioned the State Government’s commitment to the Watson Street – Hume Freeway diamond interchange project in Wallan.

In a constituency question to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan in Parliament, Ms Lovell acknowledged the project was briefly mentioned in the 2023-24 State Budget but said there was no indication of the amount allocated to the project or when it would be completed.

Ms Lovell said the diamond interchange had been a priority project for Mitchell Shire Council for many years.

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“I have long advocated on behalf of Mitchell Shire Council and the Wallan community for the construction of a diamond interchange at the intersection of Watson Street and the Hume Freeway,” she said.

Ms Lovell said the lack of detail in the Budget regarding funding or timelines raised concerns the government may have only allocated funding for planning and the construction could be years away.

“It is concerning there is absolutely no detail in [May’s] State Budget on funding or completion timelines for the diamond interchange and I call on the minister to provide this information immediately,” she said.

Ms Lovell said the minister needed to provide clarity regarding how much funding was allocated to the interchange in the Budget, the breakdown of the funding over the coming years and an estimated date of completion.

Member for Kalkallo Ros Spence said timeframes would be determined once planning is complete.

“Prior to the election we made a commitment to deliver a full diamond interchange at Watson Street,” she said.

“In our first Budget we have announced that funding is provided to deliver that commitment.

“Planning is already underway and that will determine further timeframes.

“Others can keep trying to scare the community and run the project down, we will just get on and deliver it.”

Ms Allan did not provide comment to the Review despite several requests.

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  1. I remember standing in a wind blown paddock over 30 years ago when the sitting member promised the diamond interchange. Add this one to the list of broken promises. It sits second to the Kilmore bypass at this stage. And how many more into the future?

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