Road relief promised in Federal Budget

The City of Whittlesea welcomes the Australian Government’s funding announcement for several local projects in the Federal Budget for 2021/22.

The Federal Government announced $2 billion for initial investment into a new intermodal freight terminal that will provide a vital link between Victoria’s two largest ports and the rest of Australia. One of the two preferred sites for the terminal is on the edge of the City of Whittlesea at Beveridge which would bring 20,000 jobs to the local area.

The budget also promised a further $24.2 million of funding for O’Herns Rd/Hume Freeway Interchange to complete the project and $10 million for a detailed business base into the E6 Freeway.

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson thanked the Australian Government and said the funding was a win for City of Whittlesea residents.

“Council is very pleased to hear that funding has been committed for projects that will improve the lives of people who live, work and study in the City of Whittlesea including the creation of local jobs.”

“We know traffic has been a continued pain point for people living in our City, and Council has been working with both Federal and State government to find solutions to ease congestion and make the City of Whittlesea easier to move around,” Ms Wilson said.

Ms Wilson said the E6 Freeway, O’Herns Road interchange and the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT) were projects Council had been advocating to the Australian and Victorian governments on behalf of residents and businesses for many years.

The E6 will significantly relieve congestion on Whittlesea’s road network and provide an essential north-south road connection for residents in the Northern Growth Corridor.

The BIFT will bring with it an enormous increase in local employment opportunities in an area which will be home to nearly a third of Melbourne’s future residential growth.

“We also welcome the Australian Government’s significant commitment to mental health services and four-year-old kinder, which we will work hard to ensure will benefit our community,” Ms Wilson said.

Other budget highlights include:

  • $2 billion for ongoing funding for four-year-old kindergarten
  • $278.6 million over four years to expand and enhance headspace and youth mental health services
  • $112 million over four years for psychosocial support services
  • $28.2 million over two years for the Stronger Communities Program which provides funding of up to $20,000 for small projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.
  • $1 billion (additional) to extend the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

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