Dollars flow as works begin

12 Dec 2017 North Central Review (Kilmore), Melbourne (General News) by Ian Blyth THE first stage of the $4.1 million Wallan Town Heart revitalisation will begin this week with works commencing to improve car parking and vehicle access near the Public Hall. There will also be 25 new car parks created near the Adventure Playground in Bentinck Street. Plans have also been finalised for other parts of the revitalisation with some changes made following community consultation in September. Of note is the fact the War Memorial will stay in its current location, with the addition of a Circle of Remembrance. Mitchell Shire Deputy Mayor David Lowe said at last weeks sod turning ceremony that it was exciting to see the start of the project after many years of planning. He described better pedestrian and vehicle access and changes to the High Street service lane entry near the pedestrian crossing that has been moved further south to improve traffic flow. This project is not just about creating new public spaces its about creating local jobs, connecting communities and giving people an extra reason to be proud of where they live, Cr Lowe said. Were currently preparing for our population to reach 210,000, with much of that in Wallan and to our south. Were already seeing Wallan change as a result of this growth and weve seen how important it is to have good community facilities to bring people together. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes welcomed the start of works on the Town Centre Project. This transformational project is possible through an investment of $3.7 million. When complete the new town centre will create up to 60 jobs in retail and hospitality and improve the central shopping precinct for the growing community, Ms Symes said. The redevelopment is another positive step for the town. The Government is making a series of key investments in Wallan, supporting economic development and improving liveability. The revitalisation includes a new outdoor plaza, forecourt improvements near the War Memorial, a new pedestrian crossing, new car parks, landscaping and traffic improvements to the High Street service road entry and Wellington Street. During his speech, Cr Lowe joked that he should have taken the opportunity to ask Ms Symes if there were funds left over in the Government coffers at the years end. Ms Symes responded that Cr Lowe should have asked as there were indeed funds available. She then announced additional funding for two more Wallan projects beyond the work on transforming the Town Centre. The Victorian Government will provide $895,000 and council will provide $115,000 for the projects which will improve health, wellbeing and connectivity for the growing Wallan community. The $710,000 Wallan Neighbourhood Off-Road Connection project will include a shared trail along Watson Street to improve access to the town centre and reserves along Taylors Creek. The project has been funded by the Growing Suburbs Fund ($670,000) and Mitchell Shire Council ($40,000). Meanwhile, the $300,000 Connecting Neighbourhood Families project will create a new play space in Coffey Drive, and upgrade playground facilities in Lisa Place and Roulston Way. The project has been funded by the Growing Suburbs Fund ($225,000) and Mitchell Shire Council ($75,000). Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the projects would help build on Wallans sense of community, as well as encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. These projects will play a significant role in keeping our community connected and encouraging our residents to be healthy, physically active and connected with their communities, Cr Sanderson said. Wallan is one of our shires fastest growing areas and the Connecting Neighbourhood Families project will provide local play space opportunities for children within walking distance from their homes, as well as social meeting spaces for all. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.