On 22nd August’13 Senator Penny Wong was in Deakin, she visited the Healesville Freeway Reserve along with Federal member Mike Symon and met with several councillors, members from Whitehorse Cyclists, the principal of Parkmore Primary and Friends of the HFR.
At the meeting Minister Wong announced a commitment from Federal Labor if they are returned, to provide $650,000 towards the cost of the shared biolink for cyclists, pedestrians and local animals. This is a valuable piece of infrastructure and we welcome the funding assurance.
We now need the State Government to show similar support for the community and provide certainty about the land being retained as Open space. Incidentally there has been no information about the release of the Vision document that was to outline the three options for the land use. This was originally to come out in March and has been pushed out several times. It is six months later now and we the community still have no idea when it will be released and why it has been delayed so long.
It is incumbent on the State Government to offer the community the courtesy of an update, with a firm date for the release and the reasons why it has been delayed so long.
The concern is that if the Vision document is released close to Christmas and the consultation rushed through soon after, the community will not be able to effectively engage, participate fully in the process and express their opinions due to family and Christmas related commitments.