Treasurer Tim Pallas has admitted there are “considerable” growth issues in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Speaking at a business lunch in Beveridge on Friday, Mr Pallas, said he was aware of the pressure population growth was placing on infrastructure in Whittlesea, Hume and neighbouring Mitchell.
Mr Pallas said he believed future infrastructure projects such as the state government’s proposed Suburban Rail Loop and North East Link would ease the pressures on roads in the outer north and make it easier for people to move around Melbourne.
He said the Mernda Rail Extension and duplications of Bridge Inn, Craigieburn and Sunbury roads would also help.
“I recognise there are quite considerable population growth issues in Melbourne’s north. I have a keen interest on making sure infrastructure keeps pace with growth,” Mr Pallas said.
The lunch, which was organised by Yan Yean MP Danielle Green, gave businesses from Whittlesea, Hume and Mitchell a chance to hear from Mr Pallas, Ms Green, Thomastown MP Bronwyn Halfpenny and Yuroke MP Ros Spence about the Victorian economy and infrastructure projects planned for the northern suburbs.
It was also attended by Whittlesea councillor Lawrie Cox and chief executive Simon Overland, and Hume mayor Geoff Porter and chief executive Domenic Isola.
The business lunch came as Whittlesea council launched its Liveable Whittlesea campaign, outlining its infrastructure wish list ahead of the state election.
The council is calling for all political parties to commit to duplicating Craigieburn Road East and Findon Road, constructing the E6 freeway sooner than proposed, building Edgars Creek Primary School by 2022, and funding a health and wellbeing hub in Mernda.
Mayor Kris Pavlidis said more than 8000 people moved to Whittlesea each year.
“People move to the City of Whittlesea with the hope of creating a better life for themselves and their family. But … the essential services and infrastructure our community needs are stretched and unable to keep up with this unprecedented level of growth,” she said.