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State Liberal leader visits Wallan

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

State Liberal leader John Pesutto stopped in Wallan earlier this month to talk with Mitchell Shire Council representatives and residents about key concerns in the area.

Organised by Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Evan Mulholland, the Wallan visit was the last in a series of three stops on the day – with Mr Pesutto also visiting Yea and Seymour to discuss flooding issues with affected businesses and residents.

In Wallan, while issues relating to the January deluge of rain were raised, the focus was also placed on broader areas of concern that will affect the area’s growing population in coming years.

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Mr Pesutto said hearing from the community was of the ‘utmost importance’ as the area continued to grow.

“[For] the future of our state, the way we accommodate a growing population in Victoria, we have to have a government that’s actually looking at the patterns of growth across our state and, particularly in the outer suburbs and growth corridors, where we’re seeing growth exploding but infrastructure spending contracting,” he said.

“Unless we invest here, we’re going to see communities abandoned. They’ll continue to grow, people will still come here, but there will be no infrastructure to support them.”

Mitchell Shire Mayor Louise Bannister raised multiple points of concern to Mr Pesutto, including the Watson Street and Camerons Lane interchanges with the Hume Freeway, timing of secondary schools for towns like Kilmore, Seymour Community Wellbeing Hub, inflation, and the proposed Wallan South quarry.

Mr Pesutto’s visit came after similar events involving Premier Jacinta Allan, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Housing Richard Riordan, and Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland following the flooding in Seymour.

Cr Bannister said the visits to the shire had been valuable for both council and the community.

“The discussions during their visit highlighted the imperative for state consideration of betterment funding, given the extensive re-impacts to recently repaired infrastructure from the October 2022 floods, also that mitigation was not just a council issue but a state and federal matter,” she said.

Mr Pesutto said there were multiple factors the State Government could be considering and acting on in relation to flooding and issues in Melbourne’s growth areas.

“We’ll certainly be telling local communities that we are there to be a strong voice for you, we get the challenges you face and in government, we want to reorient the budget and our approach to infrastructure spending and community development,” he said.

“You’re [Mitchell Shire] among the fastest-growing municipalities in terms of population and you need to get the support that matches that. We’re going to be a strong voice for locals.”

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