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Published Friday 3 May 2019
Tags:General, Media Release, News Advocacy

$23 million election commitment for Wallan freeway upgrade

The Fight for Mitchell Shire advocacy campaign has attracted a $23 million Federal election commitment towards construction of a freeway diamond interchange in Wallan.

The commitment was made by incumbent Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell MP in Wallan on Thursday 2 May.

The funding will go towards an estimated $47.5 million stage 1 project to construct a full diamond interchange at Watson Street and a path linking the town centre to the train station.

The Labor election promise is the second commitment that the Fight for Mitchell Shire campaign has attracted, with the freeway and mental health concerns being made loud and clear to all candidates in Bendigo, McEwen and Nicholls electorates.

Labor has also committed a $3 million mental health service with a headspace facility in Wallan to serve the region.

Mitchell Shire Council has met with many of the candidates and, with the help of the community, more than 750 emails have been sent calling for action.

Facts and figures

  • Mitchell’s population will grow to 270,000 in the next 25-30 years
  • The areas around Wallan and Beveridge will accommodate most of this growth with 175,000 people in 25 years – that’s about two full Melbourne Cricket Ground crowds
  • The broader northern growth corridor, from Donnybrook Road in the south through to Wallan and Beveridge in the north, will accommodate about 295,000 people – that’s 10 per cent of Melbourne’s future growth.
  • More than half of this residential growth will be in Mitchell Shire around the existing townships of Wallan and Beveridge.
  • Vehicles on the Northern Highway are expected to increase from 25,000 a day to 50,000 a day.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Bill Chisholm

“The freeway funding announcement is a game changer for Wallan, for our whole municipality and for everyone who travels on the freeway north of Melbourne,” he said.

“It will unlock Wallan’s economic potential even further, it will help our community go about their lives more easily and it will help keep our national freeway moving.

“Council is doing its bit by planning for rapid population growth both in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

“It is wonderful that we have two Federal election commitments on the board so far. I would like to thank Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell for listening to our community and understanding our priorities.

“We have met with many of the candidates and look forward to any further announcements they may have in relation to these two important projects.”