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Correspondence with Prime Minister (and others) May 17 2023

From President CAG to Prime Minister Albanese May 2023

Calder Freeway a National Road of Importance in Australia

Wednesday, 17 May, 2023 – 09:33

Dear Prime Minister

The Federal Governments Budget for 2023/24 has come and gone with no major funding announcement  for Calder Park Drive/Calder Freeway Overpass Big Build Project in Victoria.

The Calder Action Group Inc, Calder Highway Improvement Committee, Brimbank City Council, Melton Council, Hume Council and communities beyond have all been advocating for this long awaited infrastructure for over the last 10 years.

Over this period the Calder Freeway has been the subject of community concern and was named as one of states top 10 deadliest roads in 2021, with Brimbank council launching a ‘Fix the Calder Campaign” the same year.

As you are aware former prime ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard have over time developed a strategic direction to duplicate the Calder Freeway from Melbourne to Bendigo which resulted in significant outcomes for the Northern Regions of Victoria.  Additionally the Calder Highway is a strategic link in Victoria’s rural highway network, carrying high volumes of freight transport, business travel, and personal travel between Melbourne and the major provincial centre of Bendigo, and moderate volumes of traffic between Bendigo, Mildura and New South Wales.

Coupled with the above we now have extensive housing development and the flow on population increases in Brimbank, Melton, Sunbury, Gisborne and communities beyond using the Calder Freeway’s inadequate infrastructure for those areas in their daily travels to and from work.  In today’s term it is called infrastructure lagging.

Australian Automobile Association media release on the 14th May 2023 Road safety strategy off-track, action needed

Rising road toll

Since the current Strategy began in January 2021, annual road deaths have risen by 9.8 per cent. In the 12 months to 31 March 2023, in five of Australia’s eight states and territories road deaths were more than 9 per cent higher when compared to the previous corresponding period. Every state and territory – except NSW – fell short of agreed
road safety targets.’ End Quote.

We urge you and the Federal Government to address the funding requirement for the Calder Park Drive/Calder Freeway Overpass Big Build Project as a high priority for Victorians living and using the Calder Freeway.

It begs the question what lasting legacy will you and your government be leaving the citizens of Northern Region Victoria on the Calder Freeway as a National Road of Importance during your term in office?

Russell S Mowatt
Calder Action Group Inc
cc Catherine King, Daniel Andrews, Jacinta Allan, Secretary CAG