Calder funding in the budget


Tara Murray

The state government has pledged $50 million to upgrade the Calder Freeway in this year’s budget.

The funding will progress planning of targeted upgrades, including improvements to safety and capacity at Calder Park Interchange, and between Gap Road in Sunbury and the M80 Ring Road.

Of the funding, $12 million has been allocated for the 2021-22 financial year.

The federal government has already committed $50 million to the project – $400,000 of which was in the 2021-22 federal budget.

Brimbank council has long campaigned for upgrades to the freeway, including the construction of a full diamond interchange at the intersection of the Calder Freeway and Calder Park Drive, the grade separation of the Sunbury train line at Calder Park Drive and the duplication of Calder Park Drive between Calder Freeway and Melton Highway.

It also wants funding allocated for the Calder Freeway between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the Melton Highway to bring it up to freeway standard, which would include additional lanes from Keilor Park Drive to Melton Highway, widening of the Maribyrnong River Bridge and reinstatement of the 100 km/h speed limit.

This year’s state budget also included $9.4 million to expand mental health and alcohol and other drug treatment services at Westside Lodge in Sunshine.

A number of schools in Brimbank and Melton will receive funding for upgrades, including Parkwood Green Primary School in Hillside ($10 million) and St Albans East Primary School ($7.9 million).

The government has pledged $78 million to establish Specialist Family Violence Courts at seven locations including Sunshine.

More to come.