Meadowlink linear Park proceeding providing important east-west cycling link.

An east-west linear park between Broadmeadows and Campbellfield is an important potential cycling link, that with more work, could link up with the proposed extension of the Upfield bike path.

The Meadowlink linear park is a 3.2km corridor between the Craigieburn rail line and Seabrook Reserve and Merlynston Creek.

Consideration needs to be given to a path or safe cycling route to extend Meadowlink to link up with the Upfield-Craigieburn strategic cycling corridor.

Aerial view of Meadowlink linear park

Hume Council at their July 24 meeting, resolved to take over the management of this land from the state government to establish a linear park. The council motion authorised that Hume Council take on care and management of 72 Railway Crescent Broadmeadows; 56 Blair Street Broadmeadows; and 61 Blair Street Broadmeadows.

As part of this work, the Planning Minister has provided $2.1m in grant funding to construct and landscape this walking and cycling shared path. The linear park will remain as Crown land under state government ownership, but the long term care and management of the land will pass to Hume Council.

Path construction and landscaping of this linear park is expected to occurr between July and December 2018, under contract.

A 820m2 warehouse at 72 Railway Cresent, the former Roof Truss business, will also be under the management of Council. State government funding does not include any money for demolition or renovation of this building.

Council will consider at a future meeting the options for this building, whether it should be demolished, or modifications made including the possibility of creating a roofed gathering and recreation space by removing wall cladding to open up the structure.

Meadowlink will also be an important recreational reserve for the substantial residential development on the old Yakka Industrial site, where 400 housing units, retail and commercial offices are planned for development.

Meadowlink linear park

Protest outside the office of Broadmeadows MP Frank McGuire

As well as the Yakka site redevelopment, there are substantial smaller residential sub-developments and sub-divisions happening in this area, including the old Nicholas Street Primary school site that is presently open space parkland.

The State Government and the Planning Minister Richard Wynne is unwilling to transfer this land to Hume Council for parkland, but want to sell it for residential development or for the Council to buy the land.

Local Labor MP for Broadmeadows Frank McGuire previously met with residents over the future of this park site.

The Broadmeadows Progress Association (Facebook) and local residents have been strongly advocating for the Nicholas Street site to be retained as much needed open space, rather than sold for residential development.

Or even a future primary school, given the population growth expected in this area.

Residential developments such as the Yakka site and other smaller residential subdivision, will double residential housing in this area, according to the Broadmeadows Progress Association.

According to the Broadmeadows Progress Association, Planning Minister Richard Wynne has authorised a development for about 100 residential units for the Nicholas Street site, of which just 16 are earmarked as social housing, as justification for the development.

A recent attempt by this group on July 23 to present a 700 strong petition to local MP Frank McGuire over the sale and development of the Nicholas Street site resulted in the electoral office being locked and the police called.

Residents were simply asking for their local MP to reconsider his position and listen to his community and act in their interest. A statement had to be slipped under the locked door.

A media release by the Broadmeadows Progress Association after the protest said “Mr McGuire has shown himself to be out of touch with the opinions and needs of his community when he publicly stated that Minister Wynne’s unjust planning decision was to quote Mr McGuire, – ‘Good news a win'”

It seems the local Labor MP has closed his ears to residents concerns on local issues over the extent and type of urban consolidation and development, sale of open space for development, and improving public transport and cycling facilities.

The extent of residential development across Broadmeadows, Somerton and Campbellfield is also an important consideration for priority construction of the Upfield Bike Path to provide sustainable transport options and linking communities, including a major north-south arterial cycling path between Hume and Moreland municipalities.

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