MAYOR’S LAME BLAME GAME
Yan Yean MP Danielle Green has defended the “amazing work” of the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) in Parliament this week, after Whittlesea Mayor Ricky Kirkham blamed the authority for delaying the Mernda Town Centre.
Speaking in Parliament this week on public space opportunities stemming from the Mernda Rail Project, Ms Green said the Mayor of Whittlesea’s attacks on the LXRA were unfounded and obvious blame shifting. “He is blaming the 2 year old Level Crossing Removal Authority, for over 10 years of inaction by the City of Whittlesea to build the Mernda Town Centre,” Ms Green said.
Ms Green backed the Level Crossing Removal Authority and their management of the Mernda Rail Extension Project. Ms Green said the LXRA had managed excellent community consultation sessions throughout the design stage, worked with local residents to protect the environment and with builders John Holland are getting on with building the project quickly. “John Holland and the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) are getting on with this project. They are powering ahead at a cracking pace, but sadly not the Mernda town centre. It is sort of the Mernda mirage.” Ms Green said.
There is still no clear statement from the City of Whittlesea when the Mernda Town Centre will start construction, what the timelines are, or when it will be completed? Ms Green said that the Council must make a full disclosure public statement about the future of the Mernda Town Centre. “Whittlesea Council need to explain to residents when the town centre will begin construction, stop making excuses, stop blaming the state government, stop blaming the LXRA, get on and build the town centre and work to provide residents the multiple public space opportunities for community use.” Ms Green said.
Ms Green continued to advocate for public benefit leveraging opportunities from the Mernda Rail Extension including the use of new public spaces created by the project. “14 per cent of the 8 kilometre track will be above ground, particularly near the Mernda Park Primary School and also the areas abutting the Hawkstowe station and the Mernda station. These areas could be available for men’s sheds, youth groups, community gardens, other recreational activities and maybe a bowls club.” Ms Green said.
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