WYNDHAM 2013-14 BUDGET PRIORITIES: MEETING OUR COMMUNITY’S NEEDS
The State Member for Tarneit, Tim Pallas, has called for the Napthine State Government to finally make an investment in transport infrastructure for Wyndham in the upcoming State Budget.
“Over the term of the previous State Labor Government, $189.3 million was spent on Wyndham’s roads – $25 million per year for the final four years. Including nearby road treatments such as the Kororoit Creek Road duplication and grade separation, that figure increases to approximately $215 million.
“By contrast, the last two budgets included no money for arterial road upgrades for this community. With the fastest growth rate of any municipality in Victoria, at a rate of around 8%, or over 12,000 people per year, Wyndham cannot afford another year without our increasing traffic congestion being addressed,” said Mr Pallas.
“Inevitably, growth has put pressure on our roads: Wyndham City Council reports that at least nine substantial stretches of arterial roads will reach full capacity over the next three years, and the RACV’s 2012 Growing Pains report found Wyndham has a transport infrastructure backlog of over $1 billion.
“The State is responsible for the vast majority of our roads. The Napthine Government needs to return funding to Wyndham’s roads now, to stop the gap widening even further in the future.
“The grade separation of the railway crossings at Werribee Street, Cherry Street and Hoppers Crossing are vital projects for addressing congestion and safety. All three are in the top twenty of the former Department of Transport’s priority list, but are being ignored by this Government.
“The Napthine Government’s refusal to match the previous Government’s commitment to complete the diamond interchange at Duncan’s Road despite community pressure is a further demonstration of low priority they give the people of the western suburbs.”
“There is a real and pressing need to invest in education in Wyndham. We will need 39 new schools by 2031 to keep up with current population growth, with an average
of 70 babies born every week in Wyndham – the equivalent of 3 classrooms every
week – as well as families moving into the area.
“This impact is already being felt by Wyndham’s education system. Kindergarten
enrolments reached a record 2098 this year, and the two newest schools in
Wyndham were swamped with new last minute enrolments this year – Tarneit P-9
had nearly 25 per cent more students than expected.
“To reach the minimum of their responsibilities, the Napthine Government must
commit funding to ongoing standard upgrades of existing schools. A recent Education
Department Infrastructure audit report showed $45 million needs to be spent on
western suburbs schools – 142 schools with an average maintenance requirement of
“We should expect this prioritisation of works for existing schools to include funding
for Stage 2 building works at new schools Tarneit Senior College and Tarneit P-9
College. Werribee Secondary College is still waiting for Stage 3 of the refurbishment
initiated under the previous Labor Government. Given that the completion of the
school was a pre-election commitment from now Upper House Government MP
Andrew Elsbury, we should expect to see funding for it in this budget.
“We also expect that a decision might finally be made about the empty Glen Devon
site. After two and a half years of lobbying from the community, from me and even
Mr Elsbury – who told Parliament that a community education centre on the site
would be “something that I believe will be of great benefit to the community” –
anything less would be a joke.”
“The Napthine Government appear to have finally listened to those of us who have
been advocating for further much needed mental health funding for this community,
with extra mental health beds to be delivered in 2016. Extra mental health services
will always be welcome, but this Government has a track record of not delivering on
promised hospital beds.
“The wider health system in Wyndham also needs attention from this Government,
to address growing waiting lists, ambulance shortages, as well as the ever increasing
pressure on maternity services in Wyndham. It beggars belief that instead of
investing in the Victorian health system, this State Government has ripped $616
million for essential hospital services from the system since it took power.”