Last week was a good news week for Lake Macquarie, with several announcements that will help to boost growth and confidence in our city. Top of the list was the announcement by the Federal Government that it will allocate $2.2 million to the Munibung Road extension (pictured). The decision will allow Lake Macquarie City Council to proceed with the construction of this important link road between Cardiff and Boolaroo.
The federal grant was the result of a successful application by Council to the Building Better Regions Fund and will supplement a further $2.9million already committed to the project by council.
The 700-metre extension of Munibung Road will carve minutes off the current road journey and bypass several bottlenecks.
The project is also an important part of the wider vision for the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange (LMTI). Combined with the proposed Pennant Street Bridge, it is the key to unlocking vast areas of land for residential and commercial development.
The $2.2 million grant signals a growing confidence among governments at all levels in the LMTI and its potential to drive economic growth in the region. It follows the $1.7 million allocated by the State Government in June to fund a strategic business case for the LMTI.
I was also pleased to hear last week that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) had finalised arrangements for local disposal of lead-contaminated soil from properties affected by the former Pasminco smelter at Boolaroo.
The EPA has licensed the Summerhill Waste Management Centre to receive the soil and waived the Waste Levy for these property owners, meaning they will not have to pay any extra fees due to the contaminated nature of the soil. This is a positive step and I hope it will encourage home owners to pursue renovation and building plans as Boolaroo and surrounding areas undergo an exciting transition.
Another good news announcement came late last Friday with the State Government’s decision to fund a full traffic interchange to the John Hunter Hospital on the Inner City Bypass, a design option that was supported by Lake Macquarie City Council.
The John Hunter Hospital is the region’s major tertiary referral hospital and this decision will be of great benefit to the many Lake Macquarie residents who rely on the Inner City Bypass for quick and efficient access to this facility.