Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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Adjournment Speech: Deakin Infrastructure Update



As the member for Deakin I see it as a very important role that I improve the local infrastructure for my area. I want to update the House and update my electorate on some of the progress we have made in relation to projects that I announced prior to the election. The first will be interesting to you, Mr Speaker, given it is on our border, and that is the upgrade to the Dorset Road-Maroondah Highway intersection. The Turnbull government has committed $8 million as part of our urban infrastructure fund to improve that intersection. I want to update my electorate and let them know that I recently met with representatives from VicRoads. The planning and consultation is underway. It is a very exciting project. We will also look to put the project out to tender very shortly. The most exciting thing about the briefing I received from VicRoads was the fact that, based on their modelling, for the average road user travelling along Maroondah Highway through peak hour, rather than potentially being stuck for up to 12 minutes at that intersection this upgrade will reduce that to two minutes. From 12 minutes to two minutes—that has even exceeded my expectations. I pay tribute to you, Mr Speaker, in helping me gain that $8 million of funding.

I also want to update my electorate on the upgrade of Canterbury Road at Heathmont Village. This is a $1.2 million commitment to improve safety in accessing Heathmont Village. We have done a lot of work with the Heathmont Village Traders Association. That planning is completed, as is consultation with the traders, and in a sense that project is really ready to go and will go out to tender early next year. I want to thank Maroondah City Council, who have largely driven that project, having undertaken a lot of the planning. Work on that project will commence next year, which is very exciting. They are two very significant road projects. We are not wasting any time—we want to get them done; we want to improve safety and we want to improve the flow of traffic in our suburbs.

Another project in Heathmont is the Melbourne East Netball Association netball stadium—a $10.5 million commitment from the Turnbull government. This is progressing very well. It is an exciting project. We have many thousands of young girls who at the moment play netball in the rain—the rain, the wind, the cold—while there are many young boys just up the road playing basketball in a warm stadium. That will change—we will now have our netballers able to play rain, hail or shine. I want to thank Kylie Spears, the president of the Melbourne East Netball Association, for being the champion of that project and enabling the planning to be undertaken so quickly. I am also very pleased to acknowledge that she will now be able to take that passion as the president of the Melbourne East Netball Association onto Maroondah City Council as she was recently elected onto council. She will be able to assist me in overseeing that project. We do not want to waste any time; we want that to commence as soon as possible and funding agreements are being negotiated as we speak.

Again in Heathmont we have made a $500,000 commitment to upgrade the pavilion at HE Parker Reserve. Again, we are working very closely with Maroondah City Council and I am pleased to say that it looks very likely that the Maroondah City Council will support this project with matching funding to make this redevelopment even bigger and better. I want to commend and thank the new mayor, Tony Dib, who along with me is a good friend to the Heathmont Jets Football Club and is ensuring that Maroondah is getting on board with the federal government to deliver this exciting project.

I want to quickly mention the Blackburn and Mitcham football clubs. We have made a $500,000 commitment to Blackburn and a $400,000 commitment to Mitcham for Morton Park and Walker Park respectively. We are progressing those plans. I thank the committees of both of those clubs, and of course Whitehorse City Council. We want to make these redevelopments as big as possible because these are two huge clubs, and I look forward to delivering both of those projects for these very important community clubs.

Finally, we have a $1.2 million commitment to help Norwood Secondary College fund a new basketball stadium—the first time that the whole Norwood Secondary College will be able to meet under one roof. We are negotiating those agreements, and we want to make sure that that happens as soon as possible. We are progressing all of these projects. We have got a big agenda but we will make it happen as quickly as we can.

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