Over 2014-2015 Warrnambool City Council has delivered “generational” infrastructure in the form of key roads which have allowed our city to expand while providing links to more established parts of the city.
Coghlans Road provides a key east-west link across the city’s north and feeds into areas designated for future residential development.
Horne Road runs north-south between the Princes Highway and Wangoom Road. It provides a link to new industrial land, which in recent years has been in short supply and, as a consequence, been costly relative to comparable regional centres.
The increasingly busy $1.5 million intermodal freight centre in West Warrnambool was further improved with the installation of a $452,000 upgrade to the Walsh Rd level crossing. We were able to deliver the project as a result of savings on the intermodal terminal project and with the support of the Victorian Government.
The Council has also made economic development a focus. The Council-led business delegation to our Chinese sister city, Changchun, in 2013 was followed up with ongoing contact and ultimately resulted in a State Government-supported project to employ an economic development officer over two years. A Chinese national has been appointed to the role and will work to facilitate trade between the South West and Changchun. Our region, which produces high quality meat and dairy products, has the capacity to provide Changchun with protein and milk.
Council also embarked on the renewal of Warrnambool’s city centre. Over the next decade we plan to renew four key city blocks at a cost of about $14 million.
Council determined that the City Centre Renewal was its number one priority and the exciting transformation will further consolidate our CBD as a regional centre for commerce, retail and professional services.
In its 2015-2016 draft budget Council has allocated $4.3 million for asset renewal which includes $350,000 for public toilet upgrades and $180,000 for saleyards improvements.
The $4.7 million Simpson Street tunnel upgrade will lower the risk of flooding to more than 80 homes in north-east Warrnambool while $1.5 million will go towards the completion of the Flagstaff Hill Stage I upgrade that includes a new sound and laser show and consolidated Flagstaff Hill reception area and Visitor Information Centre.
In addition to new projects work continues on major projects including Horne Road Stage II ($1.2 million), the Warrnambool Regional Airport Aviation Park ($4.9 million) and the northern section of Aberline Road ($1.9 million).
BRUCE A. ANSON