December 6, 2012  |  Adjournment matter

Buses: Valley Lake estate

I call on the Minister for Public Transport to provide either a new bus service  or an extension to the existing bus route  475 for the residents  of  the  Valley  Lake  housing  estate.  Valley Lake is a new  estate developed by government planning agency Places Victoria. The  description on the Places  Victoria  website  reads  that  its  purpose  is  to  ‘ promote  housing affordability and  diversity and best  practice in urban and  community design’. The Places Victoria  advertisement  for Valley  Lake  estate carries the  slogan ‘Valley Lake – it’s  where  you  want to be’. It then  provides  a  list of the positive  features of  Valley  Lake  estate, including  ‘good  access to  public transport’.

Furthermore, a bus service  to  Valley  Lake  was a recommendation that came out from the Brimbank-Hume-Melton-Mooney Valley bus service review.

In  fact,  Places Victoria  held  early planning  discussions  with the  relevant department and Kastoria  Bus Lines with  respect  to future provision  of public transport  to the estate.  The  estate has been  designed to accommodate  buses. Short of  a new  service, existing route 475 could be extended by 2.6 kilometres to service  the estate at minimal additional cost. By the end  of the year there is expected to be around 600 residents at Valley  Lake estate, which is expected to increase to approximately 1500 over the next 12 months.

An article in the Age of 15 March headed ‘Sick suburbs’ opens with the line:

  Poorly  planned  new housing  estates  on Melbourne’s  fringes  are causing an  outbreak of anxiety, diabetes and obesity among residents.
 

The article quotes Dr  Margaret Beavis,  a Melbourne  GP who is doing a master’s degree in public health, as saying:

  Building car-dependent suburbs in the name of cheap housing is a false economy  that will create massive health and economic liabilities …
 

I call on the Minister for Public  Transport to provide a bus  service to Valley Lake  estate  for the  wellbeing  of residents  of  the  government’s own  newly developed estate.