By Violet Li
Casey Council has advocated for the upgrade and extension of the Thompsons Road in its endorsed submission to the Officer South Employment Precinct Structure Plan (PSP).
According to Victorian Planning Authority (VPA), the new PSP will deliver a regionally significant commercial area and state significant industrial area with approximately 22,000 jobs and 1600 new homes.
Casey Council has long considered the full extension of Thompsons Road from Berwick-Cranbourne Road, Clyde North to Kooweerup Road, Pakenham as one of the region’s highest priorities.
It includes a road bridge over Cardinia Creek, which was “integral” to the precinct’s success, the council stated.
In a commissioned Thompsons Road assessment by Casey and Cardinia Shire Council, it was found that the extension would create up to 140,000 jobs and increase economic output by more than $58b.
The report also found that the project would deliver $4.4 benefit for every dollar spent and $90b net benefit over 30 years.
Casey Council opposed the State Government’s design for a shared pedestrian and cyclist bridge over Cardinia Creek into the Minta Farm precinct proposed in the Officer South Employment Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP).
The design, namely a 412-metre long bridge with 14 piers would expose council to a “significant unfunded liability” of $10.9m, with no means of cost recovery identified by the VPA.
Council stated it would make further representation on this item to the VPA Standing Advisory Committee proceedings if needed.
However, Casey Council stated it did not believe the vision and purpose of this PSP would unfold as intended.
“The lack of a connected east-west primary freight network will compromise the development of the precinct.
“The Thompsons Road bridge is integral to the successful development of the precinct and the funding and delivery of this infrastructure should be prioritised.”