Mixed messages on Greenvale road route

HUME Council has sought to allay Aitken College fears over a Growth Areas Authority (GAA) plan to build a public road that would intersect the school in Greenvale.
Nanjing Night Net

The school site, which faces Mickleham Road, is included in the GAA Greenvale Central Precinct Structure Plan (PSP), which was released this month.

Council’s city sustainability director, Kelvin Walsh, said last week: “It is council’s understanding the Minister for Planning [Matthew Guy] has directed that the GAA not propose a road extending through the school site – and there is currently no proposal to construct a road through the school”.

He said the decision for a road connection was at the discretion of the school.

His comments followed on college principal Josie Crisara urging parents to voice their concerns at the road plan.

Ms Crisara said the plan showed a road connection along the southern boundary of the school, running up to the northern boundary.

She said the road would pose a safety risk to students and impact on the school’s sustainability projects, including its wetlands.

She urged parents to fill out a submission objecting to the proposal, to be sent to the GAA.

“There have been suggestions that a public road could be built to cut through the school or provide an alternative access other than using Mickleham Road,” Ms Crisara said.

“Both of these propositions are unacceptable to the college. A road access point to the south or north of the college would only create more congestion and would be a costly exercise in the order of millions of dollars, which the college would most likely need to fund.”

The school site has also been labelled a ‘future urban area’ by the GAA.

Ms Crisara said this was unacceptable. The school, which opened in 1999, has 1260 students from prep to year 12.

Janelle Judge, whose son is in year8 at the college, said she would be putting in a submission to the GAA.

”It’s a prep-to-year 12 school so I was concerned about the students crossing that potential road,” she said.

“The safety of the children would be at risk.”

GAA chief executive Peter Seamer said there were no immediate plans to build a road through the school, but he added that it was a possibility.

“While the PSP shows a potential future connection, as requested by Hume City Council, the PSP is neutral on whether there should be a road connection through that site and quite certainly it does not require this [connection],” he said.

But the council said the concept of a road connection arose from recommendations of the GAA’s own traffic report.

Late last week, Mr Guy’s spokesman said: “The minister has no intention of directing the location of local roads; this is a matter that should be sensibly sorted out between the GAA and the Hume Council.”

Submissions on the PSP close on August 27.