Column for the Town Crier
Standing up for the North
Since my last column the Victorian Budget has been released and it is a bonanza Budget for Melbourne’s north! I am so proud to have worked with so many active community minded residents across the Yan Yean electorate to deliver positive outcomes for the area.
Better Roads, Rail and Bus services
Tackling congestion and getting from A to B in our suburbs is the number one issue raised by residents to me directly and I am happy to say that we are working hard to make that easier with the biggest investments ever seen in roads and public transport in northern Melbourne in years if not ever.
Mernda Rail – $588 million will fully fund and complete the Mernda Rail extension. Construction will begin next year and be completed in 2018/19. A new Premium Station will be built in Mernda, a second will be built near Marymede Catholic College, and bidders have been asked to price a third station near Hawkstowe Parade. Construction work will start next year.
Hurstbridge Line duplication – $141 million will duplicate the notorious section of the Hurstbridge line between Heidelberg and Rosanna stations. There will be power upgrades and better signalling to deliver faster, more frequent and more reliable train service in Melbourne’s north.
Upgraded carparks in Wallan and Donnybrook stations – with a $2 million investment the Donnybrook station car park will be sealed and lighting improved, Wallan station will get 150 extra carparking spaces.
Better Buses – Doreen, Mernda, Yarrambat and Diamond Creek now have better bus services on new Route 381. This new
service runs from South Morang to Diamond Creek via Doreen and Yarrambat, 7 days a week. It has been introduced ahead of 4 other new bus routes serving the whole growth corridor from South Morang to Whittlesea. New routes include:
- Route 382 Whittlesea, South Morang & Northland
- Route 386 Mernda West to Bundoora via South Morang
- Route 387 Mernda North to Bundoora via South Morang
Yan Yean Rd – $131 million is allocated to duplicate Yan Yean Rd and expand it from two to four lanes, between Diamond Creek Road and Kurrak Road. This includes upgrades to River Avenue, Kurrak Road and Diamond Creek Road intersections and a bus priority lane at Diamond Creek Rd. The northern section of Yan Yean Road, between Kurrak Road and Bridge Inn Road, along with Bridge Inn Road, between Yan Yean Road and Plenty Road, have recently become declared arterial roads and will be managed and future planned by VicRoads, not local councils. Construction will start in 2017.
Plenty Rd upgrades – Up to $139 million will upgrade Plenty Rd, between McKimmies Rd and Bridge Inn Rd. Plenty Road will be widened from 4 to 6 lanes between McKimmies Road, Mill Park and Riverdale Boulevard, Mernda, and from 2 to 4 lanes between Riverdale Blvd and Bridge Inn Rd. Design will start soon with the contract to be awarded in early 2017.
Better schools for our kids
Education is the No.1 priority for families and I am delighted to say that our second Budget continues to invest in our young people across the North. We are building and upgrading primary, secondary and Tech schools across the north.
This year I am so pleased that with the support of students and staff at Diamond Valley College we were able to secure $2million to upgrade and modernise buildings and facilities at this great state school.
Also Yarrambat Primary School in Doreen is one step closer with funding provided for the purchase of land next to the Ashley Park Children’s centre funded in last year’s budget and opening in 2017
Overall we are building new schools and upgrading school buildings at St Helena Secondary College, Greensborough College, Montmorency Secondary College, Hazel Glen College, Wallan Secondary College, Whittlesea Secondary College and Wattle Glen Primary School.
Of course our new schools in Mernda are being built – Mernda Central Prep-12 College and the Mernda South Primary School will open next year and include Community Hub facilities including basketball and Netball courts and meeting rooms for local community use.
In addition, Mernda Central Prep-Year 12 school will also include a theatre, rehearsal space, commercial kitchen and a much needed 20m learn to swim pool all open to the community.
Construction is underway on the Mernda South Integrated Early Learning Centre, co-located next to the Mernda South Primary School. The new centre will bring together a range of programs including kinder and maternal and child health under one roof to support local families. It will be operational and taking kinder students in early 2017
Wallan Wins Big
I can report that construction has commenced on the site of the Wallan Integrated Children’s Centre. The brand-new development, to be built next to Wallan Primary School, will provide 132 licensed places in its four-year-old kindergarten program and 40 licensed places in its three-year-old kindergarten program, helping to meet local demand.
By co-locating early learning centres and schools, there is a smooth transition for children as they move between kindergarten and prep.
On the sporting front, Wallan Bowls Club will receive $100,000 to install a new synthetic green, reducing water usage and running costs. Greenhills Reserve, Wallan will receive $421,000 to upgrade the pavilion with new change rooms, new umpires rooms and much needed timekeeping, first aid and kiosk facilities.
Work has also begun on Hadfield Park, Wallan to deliver a high quality adventure-style play ground that includes a splash pad and water play area.