Northern Star Weekly
14 November 2017
A feasibility study on a Wollert transport link will begin within five years, but residents say it is not soon enough.
According to the recently released Victorian Infrastructure Plan, the state government is committed to investigating the feasibility of a high capacity transport link to connect Epping North and Wollert to the rail network, as recommended by Infrastructure Victoria last year.
The government said it would commence the study within five years.
Infrastructure Victoria believes the link, which could comprise rail and buses, will be needed in 15 to 30 years.
But the Auroa Community Association’s transport working group is calling for a study to be done within 12 months, with the link to be built within 10 years.
The group wants a rail line extension from near Lalor station to Wollert. It says the area is already home to close to 28,000 people, with the population expected to reach 96,000 by 2037.
Group member Tony Francis said waiting any longer for the link would add to the area’s traffic woes.
“The infrastructure plan for Wollert transport does not appear to be based on any understanding of the transport needs of current and future residents,” he said.
“It hugely disadvantages local residents who are in a worsening liveability situation as the result of substantial and increasing traffic congestion. There are major costs from delaying or not building a train line to Wollert with, for example, increasing unliveability reducing housing sales and causing a decline in government revenue.”
Mr Francis said a rail line was needed as residents were struggling to commute to work and carry out day-to-day activities without access to a local train station.
“Congestion costs impose great hardship on people who were basically deceived into residing in Epping North and Wollert,” he said.