Budget blow for two big projects:

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Hume/Moreland Leader | By Melissa Merrett and Kate Swan

11th May 2011

Broadmeadows state Labor MP Frank McGuire said he was staggered that the finishing touches to two job-building projects in Melbourne’s north were not funded in last week’s State Budget.

The relocation of the Melbourne Wholesale Markets to Epping remains uncertain and a planned academic and research precinct for the Northern Hospital will be scaled down after both projects failed to secure funds.

Mr McGuire said his biggest disappointment was seeing no money go towards the market relocation.

“It is staggering that the Government has not made a decision on the biggest job-creation project for Melbourne’s north,” he said. “It has the potential to create 10,000 jobs, which is the equivalent of four Ford motor companies,” he said.

He said logistics and food technology jobs at the markets could make up in Hume for the slump in local manufacturing and reduce Broadmeadows’ high unemployment, triple the national average.
Northern Health failed to secure the final $11 million needed to build the Northern Hospital Academic and Research Precinct, which would train up to 600 medical, nursing and allied health professionals.

Thomastown state Labor MP Bronwyn Halfpenny said the Government had left the project dead in the water because $14 million already committed by the Federal Government was due to expire at the end
of this financial year. Northern Health chief executive Greg Pullen said he hoped to continue the project on a smaller scale, building two rather than three floors, if he could get approval to roll-over federal funding and money committed by other partners.

Northern Health was allocated $24.5 million to expand the emergency department and special care nursery at Northern Hospital.

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