Statement from Mayor Cr Paula Piccinini
One of the most devastating impacts of the North East Link project is the proposed loss of the Bulleen Industrial Precinct. Some of these businesses have been serving our local community for over 40 years and there are over 1000 people who stand to lose their jobs.
Manningham Council is working hard to advocate for impacted businesses and we want to ensure the best outcome for both businesses and their employees, with no net loss to the business community and new employment opportunities within Manningham. Council is in the process of preparing an EES Submission and the impacts to the Bulleen Industrial Precinct is a major focus.
Councillors and officers regularly meet with traders and business representatives to listen to their concerns and offer support. Council officers also attend the Bulleen Industrial Zone Liaison Group meetings and Community Liaison Group meetings to advocate on behalf of our business community.
The loss of Bulleen Industrial Precinct will cause significant social and economic impacts to our community. The precinct is our largest light industry zone and while we have investigated other possible sites within our municipality they are not suitable.
Manningham Council estimates the local economy could lose up to $312 million annually and over 1000 local jobs if businesses are unable to relocate within our region. To reduce this impact we’re working with the North East Link Project to identify suitable alternative local employment sites in Manningham. Council is particularly concerned about the social impact on employees of these businesses. A large number of employees in this precinct are in a vulnerable positon when it comes to reemployment opportunities and have experienced extended periods of unemployment in the past.
We call on the Victorian Government to ensure impacted businesses in the Bulleen Industrial Precinct are treated respectfully and fairly. The process of any land acquisition and compensation must be conducted in a timely fashion, to give businesses the certainty they need now so they can plan for the future.
Fair compensation for the Bulleen Industrial Precinct businesses is about more than just a dollar figure. Council wants to see the state government provide support for displaced businesses to re-establish within our community and we want to see the state government commit to a comprehensive and long term transition plan to assist businesses and their employees.
To find out more about what Manningham Council is doing around the North East Link project visit: manningham.vic.gov.au/NEL