Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:59): My constituency question today is for Minister Allan in the other place. We recently met with Banyule council, and they expressed to us their frustration with regard to the distinct lack of community consultation in planning projects, both by the government and by the main project bodies. We have had much correspondence with our own constituents on this issue. Just some of these projects include the North East Link, the Hurstbridge line duplication and the roundabout on Eltham Road. Communities are key stakeholders. They want to be involved in the projects, they do bring skills and they can contribute to better outcomes. So the information I seek is: what processes do the government have in place to engage in transparent, genuine and constructive community consultation?
Mrs McArthur: On a point of order, President, the minister interjected to say she would be pleased to provide an answer. We would provide leave for her to provide the answer now.
The PRESIDENT: That is not a point of order, Mrs McArthur.
What processes do the government have in place to engage in transparent, genuine and constructive community consultation?
I thank the Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region for his question.
The Andrews Labor Government is proud of its record of delivery of major transport infrastructure projects across the Eastern Metropolitan Region, removing level crossings, delivering more train services and reducing congestion and travel times.
I agree with the Member that local communities are key stakeholders, in fact, they are at the heart of what we do. That is why the Government has consulted extensively with the community across all the projects he mentions. To highlight some examples: the North East Link Project undertook an Environmental Effects Statement – the most extensive and exhaustive planning process in Victoria – which received over 870 submissions; the Fitzsimons Lane/Main Road roundabout was redesigned in response to community feedback; and the Hurstbridge Line Duplication project has multiple stakeholder liaison groups and a landscape workshop group to provide local insight and feedback on the project.
These examples demonstrate the extent to which the Andrews Labor Government values the input of communities and local perspectives, and ensures their voices are heard in the planning and delivery of projects. Not everyone will agree with every aspect of every project, but we stand by our commitment to delivering these vital projects for the communities of the Eastern Metropolitan Region.