| June 27, 2018

City of Greater Shepparton CBD revitalisation

The City of Greater Shepparton has been embarking on a revitalisation of its CBD. The council has seen the need for older infrastructure and streetscapes to be reworked and revitalised so that customers can come to the business centres and help some of our business owners. The first stage of this revitalisation was the upgrade of Vaughan Street. Vaughan Street is now a much busier and more vibrant business centre, having taken advantage of the new and improved access.

The next stage of the council plan is the Maude Street bus interchange upgrade. This Shepparton bus interchange upgrade is going to take the interchange from where it is, push it slightly further down Maude Street and create new infrastructure—new amenities and new toilet blocks—and better access to the train station and shops. The buses are a big part of transport for many people throughout the area, and this revitalisation is certainly going to put Shepparton into a much better phase. The project is going to have significant benefits for those who use the buses, especially those on lower incomes, by providing access to employment and stimulating other investment, which is crucial to the lower end of Maude Street. It will certainly be beneficial to new migrants. When they first arrive in Australia, many of them don't have access to motor vehicles and they use the buses exclusively.

Investment in this project is around the $5 million mark, and the Greater Shepparton City Council has an application in front of Minister McVeigh right now for the Building Better Regions Fund. We are very keenly waiting to see if this application will be successful. The first stage will be an eight-bay bus interchange to help with more friendly transport, and direct access to the CBD and the train stations, as I just said. There will also be additional CCTV monitoring, which will hopefully make the area a lot safer than it would otherwise have been. There will be demolition of the existing structures and amenities during this current stage, but once it moves further on there's going to be further works around the whole CBD of Shepparton.

It's acknowledged that the area is tired. It's acknowledged that we have too many vacancies. It's acknowledged that there's too much development going on on the outskirts of town. Sometimes Australian cities want to follow the American lead as opposed to more of a European look. I think we've got to really look after our CBDs. If we can get funds like the Building Better Regions Fund to invest in regional cities like Shepparton, it will be a great thing for Australia's future.

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