My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, and it is in relation to the alignment of section 4C of the Geelong Ring Road. In saying that, I stipulate to the house that this is not just any old road; this has been a burning political issue in the Geelong region for some time, and it played a fairly strong role in the lead-up to the state election 12 months ago. At that time the then shadow Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, promised Grovedale residents in Geelong that there would be a review of the location of the 4C alignment if the coalition was elected. That review has been conducted, and it is now the end of October. Even though the minister promised Geelong residents three months ago that he would release the report undertaken by an independent advisory panel, it has not been released and he has not made a decision on the alignment.
After months of waiting the minister must now make a decision on the alignment, as the ongoing delay is causing increasing costs for developers in Armstrong Creek, costs which will be passed on to homebuyers. That concern has been reflected in recent newspaper articles. The Geelong Advertiser of 20 October 2011 ran the headline ‘Ring road route delay costly’. The issue was covered on the front page of the Surf Coast Times of 11 October 2011, and it has also been covered in the Echo. We have a situation in which the local member has been attending community forums and openly guessing the content and timing of the minister’s decision, which is adding to greater uncertainty within the community. It also means that land developers and local businesses in the city of Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast shire are none the wiser as to what is going to happen.
The action I seek from the minister is that he ensure the uncertainty stop and for that to occur he needs to make sure that the independent report into the alignment of stage 4C is made public and a decision on the road’s alignment is made as soon as possible. I urge him to do that before the end of the week, because the residents of Geelong have simply waited too long.