Mitchell Shire is disappointed there have been no state election funding commitments for the Wallan freeway interchange, Watson Street duplication and Northern Highway capacity improvements.
Council has raised the urgent need with all candidates following the recent Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) decision to enable a major quarry to be built in Wallan East.
The quarry will see an increase in heavy vehicle traffic and put pressure on already stretched and unsafe roads.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said time was running out for this vital investment.
“The main road network can’t cope at the moment, let alone with more growth to come and a quarry with heavy vehicles going in and out all day,” Sanderson said.
“We need a commitment now, so our community can go about their daily lives. We need certainty for the future so people can move here and know they will be able to get to work, child care, school, health care and shops as well as sporting, recreation and other community facilities.
“It’s particularly important that we get a commitment from the Victorian Government, whoever that ends up being, ahead of the upcoming Federal election. We need matching Federal funding, and this just won’t happen without Victoria coming to the table with a firm commitment now.”
Mayor Sanderson said Council had also met with VicRoads to seek an urgent update on the status of the project.
“The business case has been completed and it is understood the project has been costed and funding is needed for the works between the state and federal governments,” she said.
“We need a funding commitment ahead of the state election, so we can ensure this is recognised as a priority in the upcoming federal election.
“It’s not fair for our community to be forgotten and we can’t wait any longer. We need funding commitments locked in now, so construction is complete before the quarry begins operations.”