Interface Councils welcomes the economic stimulus effort led by the Victorian Planning Authority to fast track development that is urgently needed as part of the state government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The accelerated work program will create over 100, 000 jobs and almost $19 bn in economic return for the state by mid-2021. Mission critical projects targetting greenfields and urban renewal in areas such as Beveridge North West, Wallan, Craigieburn West, Lilydale, Berwick and Pakenham East will directly support Interface Councils communities.
But the group of ten Councils calls on Victoria’s decision-makers to include holistic policy measures alongside this development, such as transport infrastructure and services, so people are not left behind.
Reducing traffic congestion and maintaining the wider arterial road network are major concerns that could be capitalised on in the current COVID environment. Mickleham Road in the outer northern municipality of Hume City Council is top priority.
Hume is one of Melbourne’s ten Interface Councils, which are the most car-dependent areas in the state.
“The people of Hume deserve an upgrade to their roads. The lack of adequate roads and public transport servicing in the area is making the area less liveable for families, Interface Councils spokesperson and Chair of Administrators at the neighbouring City of Whittlesea, Lydia Wilson said.
“Hume and other Interface areas need extra lanes on their arterial roads so that people can commute to work and school safely - when they are permitted to do so again.”
Mickleham Road currently has no footpaths or bike paths. For safety reasons, students are discouraged from walking or riding to school when state government restrictions permit.
“Traffic on Mickleham Road historically increased when housing estates were built in the area north of Greenvale. Now, employment and retail centres are failing to realise their full potential and communities are becoming increasingly disadvantaged in the current environment. ”
The road also has little bus infrastructure, and when students attend school they are discouraged from walking or riding because it is unsafe.
“Thinking about this strategically is really important. More development in the growth corridors is welcome but it must go hand-in-hand with appropriate transport servicing and infrastructure.
“Now is the time to rectify outer suburban transport so people aren’t left in the lurch,” Lydia Wilson said.
Interface Councils Media Contact: Zoe Forbes via email@example.com or (03) 8317 0111