WHITTLESEA

Combined force for roads


Whittlesea and Hume councils unite to lobby government

WHITTLESEA and Hume councils have joined forces to lobby the State Government to build “desperately” needed road upgrades in Melbourne’s north.

In a first, the councils have made a joint submission to State Treasurer Tim Pallas seeking a northern Outer Suburban Arterial Roads (OSAR) package in the upcoming 2018/19 State Budget, which includes the notorious Craigieburn Rd.

The joint push comes following years of lobbying by Whittlesea Council with help from the Whittlesea Leader for better roads and transport infrastructure through the Access Denied and Fund Our Future campaigns.

Whittlesea mayor Kris Pavlidis said both Hume and Whittlesea were unable to meet the demands of increasing volumes of traffic.

“Existing infrastructure is not coping with significant residential and industrial growth; creating costly delays,” she said.

Hume mayor Geoff Porter said the upgrades were desperately needed improvements that would cut travel times, improve road safety and better connect communities.

Yuroke state Labor MP Ros Spence said she was “happy” to be working with both councils to advocate for a northern roads package.

“The upgrade of our major roads is important to our community and I will continue to stress this importance to the Minister for Roads and the Treasurer,” she said.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the government was investing more than $400 million to upgrade key arterial roads throughout Melbourne’s north.

“Major upgrades to Yan Yean Rd, Plenty Rd and O’Herns Rd are already underway to boost safety and slash congestion and we’re investing in vital planning projects to guide future investment,” Mr Donnellan said.

The O’Herns Road upgrade is a joint $81 million Victorian and Australian Government project.