Plans hit political roadblock

Daniel Parasiliti, Troy Buswell and Alyssa Hayden talk to truck drivers about the Lloyd Street extension. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d396667
Daniel Parasiliti, Troy Buswell and Alyssa Hayden talk to truck drivers about the Lloyd Street extension. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d396667

Representatives of both major political parties visited the Hazelmere Industrial Estate last week but failed to provide any rock-solid commitments.

But chamber chief executive Sandra Wallis said the fight was far from finished and plans had already been formulated to talk with local politicians after Saturday’s State election.

Liberal and Labor party members met last week with frustrated businesses owners to discuss extending Lloyd Street from the Great Eastern Highway bypass to Bushmead Road.

Armed with anecdotes about congested traffic and constant transport fees, the businessmen pleaded their case to Transport Minister Troy Buswell and East Metropolitan Region MLC Alyssa Hayden on February 27, but could not evoke a promise to have it done.

‘I understand it would be a $20 million to $30 million project but I am unable to write you a cheque today,’ Mr Buswell said.

‘I have no problem with the arguments raised; we will continue to work on it and get back to you when we have more details from the engineers.’

A meeting with Opposition transport spokesman Ken Travers and Midland MLA Michelle Roberts the next day went along similar lines.

While Mr Travers sympathised with the businessmen, he said he was not in a position to make any definitive promise.

‘If elected, I will work on this issue,’ he said.

‘I am confident we could come up with a proposal to save you money.

‘Next year’s budget is pretty tight and we can only work with the expenditure committed, but if I could bring this extension forward, there would be good economic outcomes.’

Ms Wallis said that despite not winning any pledges for immediate action, she was pleased with the way the meetings went.

‘We are so glad Troy, Alyssa, Ken and Michelle came out to meet with these men and hear their stories,’ she said.

‘They could have easily said ‘yes we know the problem, we are working on it’ and not bothered to come but they did, so we are happy about that.’

Chamber president Joe Natoli said local business had been lobbying governments for 16 years to ease the traffic in Hazelmere and he hoped it would not take another 16 before anything was done about it.