State money a missing link for projects


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has officially welcomed federal government promises to increase infrastructure spending despite having no guarantee that any projects planned for the peninsula will get off the ground.

Although the shire has $320 million worth of “shovel ready projects” and the federal government has offered $80m towards three of nine on the list, they all depend on the state government providing more money.

None of the major projects are likely to be started unless co-funding arrangements are agreed by the state and federal governments.

Shire CEO John Baker said adding $1 billion to the $500 million local roads and community infrastructure program in the federal budget had “the potential to make a real difference to the peninsula community”.

“The shire has a $320 million package of shovel ready projects ready to go,” Mr Baker said. “These projects respond to genuine needs within our community and will help soften the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are keen to work with the federal member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, as well as the state government, on furthering as many of these projects as possible.”

Mr Baker said the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 were forecast to be greater for the peninsula than for Australia overall, with a predicted 21 per cent fall in gross regional product – much worse than the 6.9 per cent drop forecast for Australia as a whole, he said.

An estimated 5900 jobs are also forecast to be lost due to the pandemic, with a reduction in employment opportunities of 11 per cent.

The shire’s package of shovel ready projects includes:

Peninsula Bay Trail: $15 million, which includes the Mornington to Moorooduc trail ($6.5m), Somerville to Baxter trail ($4m), and Southern Peninsula Bay Trail ($4.5m).

Community facilities: $17.825m.

The Briars: $10.6 m.

Pavilions: $18.5m.

Road safety: $130 m. Stage 1 to start 2020/21. The total of $40 million includes roundabouts ($15m), Rye Township Plan – Point Nepean Road ($15m), Forest and Uralla Drive intersections ($10m); Mornington Peninsula Freeway/Jetty Road Overpass ($65m) and sound barriers ($25m). Recycled water: $27.3 million – for Homelessness: $2.5m for design and construction of two social housing developments in Mornington; a group home for adults with intellectual disability in Balnarring; Housing Access Point service in Hastings; Salvation Army intensive case management..

Better buses: $10 million.

Technology park on a site identified by the shire at Hastings.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 27 October 2020


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