2021 is going to be a big year.
As a community we are bouncing back from the pandemic and life is finally starting to get back to normal.
Importantly, there are several local road and community infrastructure projects that will be getting underway across Knox – projects I committed to at the last election to address congestion and safety and improve our life as a community.
While I have had the full funding secured for some time, we have had to wait for the State Government or Knox Council to begin construction of these projects.
One of the first that will be starting early this year is the installation of traffic lights at the Lewis Rd and Boronia Rd intersection.
As many of you would know, this is a very dangerous intersection and has needed attention for a long time.
Other local road improvements that will begin construction early this year are the traffic lights at the Kelletts/Henderson Rd intersection and slip lanes at Ferntree Gully/Henderson Rd intersection.
One of the big developments of 2019 was opening the Henderson Rd Bridge in Rowville and although it provides better access between Ferntree Gully Rd and Kelletts Rd, it has increased traffic using these intersections every day. These upgrades will really help manage this extra traffic and increase safety for drivers.
As for community infrastructure, in March this year I expect to see construction begin on one of our largest community projects – the new Knox Regional Netball Centre.
During peak times the centre hosts over 6,000 people every week and is a huge part of our community’s life. When complete, the centre will have twice as many indoor courts, seating for 300 spectators, 180 extra car parks and a considerable facelift.
The upgrades will especially help the netball association to expand its programs and transform the complex into a true regional centre for netball, right here in Knox.
$4 million of federal funding has been secured for these much-needed upgrades and Knox Council and the state government has agreed to provide the rest, with the council managing the construction.
At the same time as all this construction, important planning and preparation work will continue on the Dorset Rd extension and the Napoleon Rd duplication. $130 million of federal funding is locked in for these and I expect construction to begin early next year.
Planning is also underway on extra parking at Ferntree Gully Station and Boronia Station but we still haven’t settled on a design for these so there is a bit to go.
As for the Rowville Rail, $475 million of federal funding remains on the table and I will continue to work to convince the state government, who own the rail network, about this important project. We will find a solution.
Overall, it’s exciting to see infrastructure that our community has needed for so many years now being built.
As usual I will keep you updated on all our local projects through Facebook, email and letterbox.
Thanks for your patience and support as we get these local projects done.