Federal election candidates for McEwen are being urged to commit to a national infrastructure fund to help ‘‘future proof’’ outer suburbs such as Sunbury as they deal with the pitfalls of rapid population growth.
The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA), which includes Hume council, says residents are sick of dealing with congested roads, poor public transport and inadequate access to health facilities.
NGAA chairman Glenn Docherty said a national dedicated infrastructure fund would address the infrastructure backlog in fast- growing outer suburbs and future proof them as they continued to grow.
‘‘This would lead to a reduced cost of living, less stress and better quality of life,’’ he said.
More than 40,000 emails have been sent to current federal MPs as part of the alliance’s Fund Our Future campaign, with a recent report showing $5 billion would be needed every year over the next 15 years to meet the infrastructure needs of Australian growth areas.
Hume mayor Helen Patsikatheodorou called on Labor MP Rob Mitchell and Liberal candidate
to pledge support for a proposed global learning centre (GLC) in Macedon Street, Sunbury, on land recently bought by the council for $1.8 million.
She said the major project would be hard to deliver without federal funding.
‘‘The Hume global learning centre … will help people of all ages learn and develop great skills,’’ Cr Patsikatheodorou said.
The centre will include a state-of-the-art library, high-tech resources and function areas for seminars and community organisations.
Mr Mitchell said there had not been enough investment into the electorate’s growing communities.
“Labor supports the objective of the Fund Our Future campaign, which is to deliver better infrastructure and services to fast-growing communities,” he said. “This is exactly why Labor has made infrastructure, health and education priorities this election.”
Mr Mitchell said the proposed GLC was ‘‘an incredibly important project’’ for Sunbury.
‘‘We’ve already seen how the GLCs in Broadmeadows and Craigieburn have transformed local learning,’’ he said.
“We will continue to work with the states, local councils and the National Growth Area Alliance.”
Mr Jermyn said the federal government was already making a significant investment in “our growing community”.
‘‘A debate about the infrastructure McEwen requires needs action, not just talk, and the Turnbull government is already delivering,” he said.
“I’ve met with the mayor and representatives from Hume council to discuss priorities across Sunbury and Craigieburn.”