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Acting PM questioned on Wallan diamond interchange

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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.

Wallan’s long-awaited Hume Freeway diamond interchange at Watson Street will not be affected by the Federal Government’s infrastructure pipeline review.

The prospect of completing the interchange was raised to acting Prime Minister Richard Marles during a visit to Wallan on Wednesday.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King announced in May a review of the government’s 10-year, $120 billion infrastructure pipeline of projects, which includes Wallan’s planned diamond interchange.

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Following the review, the government confirmed major cuts to infrastructure projects were required due to at least $33 billion of cost overruns and to help fight inflation.

Ms King also confirmed some of the 250 projects that have not begun construction would need to be cancelled or delayed as a result of the review to be released ‘shortly’.

The final report will be publicly released following consultation with states and territories.

The prospect of completing the long-awaited diamond interchange at Watson, Street Wallan was raised to acting Prime Minister Richard Marles when discussing the Federal Government’s infrastructure pipeline review at the Wallan Specialist and Medical Centre on Wednesday.

Mr Marles said the review was a focus of the government and ‘not far off’ being released.

“Firstly, the commitments that we made at the last election in regards to infrastructure will be delivered – the review does not affect them,” he said.

“But it is critically important that the pipeline that has been put in place is actually deliverable and that is why we are undertaking the review into infrastructure to make sure there is value for money contributing to the economy in a productive way and that this is rolled out in the most seamless way.

“The review is being undertaken to make sure the pipeline infrastructure is actually deliverable because what we inherited from the former government was a mess.

“What we inherited from the former government was a completely undeliverable pipeline of infrastructure projects – it needs to be brought back into order.”

The Federal Government first announced funding for the Wallan interchange in February 2019, and the State Government made a commitment in 2022.

While construction of the Wallan diamond interchange is yet to begin, Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said the review would not impact the development.

“The Wallan Diamond Interchange, which is to complete the full interchange of the Hume Highway, was an election commitment that we made and we’re delivering that,” he said.

“Where the acting Prime Minister mentioned about pipelines of projects that have no funding are what was delivered under the former government.

“The former government made a promise to the people of Wallan to deliver this but never the money aside for it.

“It’s been very clear from day one that the Wallan interchange will go ahead – in fact it’s moving along quite nicely.

“We’ve got a lot of planning works, consultation work, we’ve done the community consultation – it is happening.

“It will be delivered and there’s no doubt about that at all.”

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