Roads on top of Wood’s agenda

194298_01. Picture: BRENDAN REES

By Brendan Rees

Newly re-elected Federal member for La Trobe Jason Wood has been quick at work, declaring to roll-out his congestion package election promise “as soon as possible.”

Mr Wood called a meeting with the Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge and Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon on Monday 3 June to discuss a number of projects totalling $77.5 million, which will tackle some of the most congested intersections and roads in Casey and Cardinia.Mr Wood hopes by working with the State Government all projects can be “bundled up” and delivered at the same time.

“All we want them to do is work with us, to deliver the funding we have in the budget and get on with it,” he said.

The projects include Berwick train station upgrade which will create an extra 500 car spaces; the Clyde Road/Kangan Drive upgrade; Clyde Road/Monash Freeway interchange upgrade, and building a brand new Emergency Children’s Department at Casey Hospital.

The Federal Government also aims to consolidate the State Government’s Clyde Road level crossing removal project, and the Berwick station bus interchange project as one.

Mr Tudge said he would meet with the Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan next week to discuss each project as “it would make sense for them to be considered as one job lot.”

“These projects have to obviously fit in with their construction time frames,” he said.

“We’ve all got to work together and just lay out a plan ahead to get them done as fast as possible,” he said.

“Our money is there, it’s ready to be deployed, and we just get on with the job.”

Mr Wood said medical staff at Casey Hospital and St John of Hospital had approached him, saying the mental stress and anxiety after work was exacerbated when being stuck in traffic on Kangan Drive.

“I’m very focused on this. We need this to be done at the same time as the Clyde Road upgrade,” he said.

“For me this should all be going ahead next year.”

Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said “it couldn’t be a better plan.”