Adjournment: Centreway – Milleara Road, Keilor East Pedestrian Crossing

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Roads. The action I seek is that he provide an update on when the pedestrian crossing on Milleara Road at the Centreway shopping centre in Keilor East will be funded.

The Centreway shopping centre, located to the east of Milleara Road, is a major hub
for the Keilor East community with a range of small businesses and services, such as a post office, located within it, yet more than 1000 residents who live west of Milleara Road remain cut off from this complex because there is no pedestrian crossing on Milleara Road other than the crossing located at Clarks Road, hundreds of metres away. Residents are forced to choose either a long detour or a dangerous jaywalk through traffic to cross Milleara Road. The situation is made worse by the high number of elderly residents who live in this area and for whom crossing four lanes of traffic is a major concern.

This issue has garnered significant local attention. Community groups have regularly
raised the issue, including the local Neighbourhood Watch, East Keilor Sustainability Street Community Garden and the Centreway Traders Association whose members depend almost entirely on local pedestrians for business. Moonee Valley City Council is also in favour of the project.

More than 500 local residents have signed a petition calling for a crossing, while local papers have reported on the issue with headlines such as ‘East Keilor crossing delay pushes residents away’ in the Moonee Valley Weekly of 10 March 2012 and ‘Resident  groups double‑crossed’ in the same publication on 7 June 2011. A further article entitled ‘A cross to bear for residents’ was published in the Moonee Valley Leader of 14 November

Given the importance of this crossing to the amenity and safety of the Keilor East community, I call on the minister to seriously consider bringing funding forward for this project and for it to be built as soon as possible. I appreciate the minister’s attention to this request. I have spoken to him on several occasions and he has also written to my predecessor on this matter.

Finally, I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to the minister to come and inspect the site and meet with the many concerned residents, traders and community groups in Keilor East. Time is of the essence; we cannot wait any longer. This project is greatly needed in the Keilor East community.

 Mr MULDER (Roads Minister) — The member for Niddrie raised an issue with me in relation to a pedestrian crossing for Milleara Road in Keilor East. The member has raised this issue with me on a couple of occasions in the past. VicRoads has developed a pedestrian program proposal to install pedestrian‑operated signals at this location. It is expensive — the estimated cost is something in the order of $410 000. The west side of Milleara Road is densely populated, with a high proportion of elderly residents. On the east side of Milleara Road is Centreway shopping centre, which includes a medical centre and a recreational area. The shopping precinct is in close proximity to Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School. Bus stops are located on either side of the road near the proposed pedestrian‑operated signals. There is no pedestrian facility at the subject site at this point in time. It is a very busy undivided arterial road with 60 kilometre‑an‑hour speed limits and four lanes. The nearest crossing is 500 metres to the south at Clarks Road. Residents on the west side who depend on walking as a primary means of travel are separated from nearby essential services.

I can tell the member for Niddrie that VicRoads will consider this project as part of its pedestrian program for potential funding in the 2015–16 budget. As I said, this has been raised with me a couple of times in the past, and VicRoads has done the work to develop the pedestrian program proposal to install pedestrian‑operated signals at this location. Work is underway, planning has been undertaken, we know the cost of the project and it will be considered in future budgets.