MP back campaign to fix the Calder

Natalie Hutchins spoke at last week's Fix the Calder' campaign launch. (Damjan Janevski) 235249_07

Tara Murray

Sydenham MP Natalie Hutchins has backed Brimbank council’s ‘Fix the Calder’ campaign.

The campaign, which was officially launched last month, is calling on the state and federal governments to fix the Calder Freeway sooner rather than later.

The council is seeking immediate and urgent upgrades along the Calder Freeway corridor between the interchanges of the Western Ring Road (M80) and Gap Road in Sunbury.

Ms Hutchins was among the speakers at the official launch of the campaign.

Ms Hutchins told Star Weekly after the event, that collective action has been long overdue.

The Calder Action Group is on board the campaign.

“Too many horrific accidents have occurred, too many preventable fatalities within black spots of these roads under immense pressure,” she said.

“In 2011, I first echoed the concerns within Parliament of constituents relating to infrastructure upgrades, funding and safety of the Calder.

“The call to action at Saturday’s rally was reminiscent of that time 10 years ago when my advocacy first began for this important road in the electorate of Sydenham.

“I am pleased that Brimbank City Council proudly encourages all to become involved in supporting fixes for the Calder.”

In 2017, Ms Hutchins called for a new overpass at Calder Park Drive to improve safety and address the area’s rapid growth.

“In Sydenham we have a lot of road projects under way, but this is one that we need to turn our focus to,” she said at the time.

Improving the Calder Park Drive intersection is just one of the council’s priorities as part of the campaign.

It is also seeking 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.

The federal government has committed $50 million to upgrading the road.

The state government recently announced an investigation into investment priorities along the freeway, but the council says “nothing more has progressed on project design or delivery timelines”, nor has there been “any additional funding commitment from the state government”.