Yan Yean MP, Danielle Green has condemned the City of Whittlesea’s failure to develop the Mernda Town Centre over the last decade, in the Victorian Parliament last week.   Ms Green said the Whittlesea Council and Mayor Ricky Kirkham should stop trying to continuously delay the Mernda Rail Project and get on and do their day jobs.  “Where is the Mernda Town Centre?  Is a question I hear from Mernda locals all the time.  The town centre is currently the mirage of Melbourne’s north” Ms Green said.

Ms Green raised the issue in Parliament saying the Victorian Government was delivering everything and more towards the Mernda Town Centre, including Mernda rail and new bus services, the new Mernda Central College, Mernda police station and upgrades to Plenty Road. “The Andrews Government is investing over $1 billion in and around the City of Whittlesea.  We have started, are soon completing and have finished infrastructure projects to support the Mernda Town Centre.  The City of Whittlesea is responsible for developing the commercial/retail site and it’s still a paddock”.  Ms Green said.

The Victorian Government’s Level Crossings Removal Authority (LXRA) is building the Mernda rail extension, including 8kms of track, three train stations, 2000 car parking spots, walking and cycling trails and creating over 3000 local jobs. The LXRA will have to “future proof” the Mernda Town Centre site because Mernda rail project will be completed before the town centre ever gets off the ground.  “What is the Mayor of Whittlesea doing? Attending mock sod turns for projects that have not received one dollar of local government money. Is the Mayor actually turning a sod on anything that they have fully funded, developed or built?”  Ms Green said.

The Mernda Town Centre site has a long and troubled history and has failed to be developed by the Council into a commercial, residential and community focussed precinct. Over the years the population of Mernda has sky-rocketed and still the centre of Mernda remains a large paddock surrounded by around 50,000 residents. Ms Green said that the City of Whittlesea had been talking about this project for 10 years and they have done nothing.  “I am seriously concerned that the Mernda Town Centre will not happen. The Council spends a lot time trying to delay and take credit for the Mernda Rail Project but are not delivering to ratepayers the town centre” Ms Green said.

“ It seems the Mernda Town Centre will need to be re-designed to accommodate hover-boards and driverless cars as it’s still Council’s long term vision or as Denis Dennuto famously said in the movie The Castle, it’s the vibe” Ms Green said.

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