EASTERN suburbs community and business leaders joined to press the State Government for urgent action in the construction of the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway.

Addressing the Community Leaders Forum last Tuesday, Maroondah mayor Frank Corr echoed the council’s concerns about the delay of between 18 months and two years caused by the merging of the Scoresby and Eastern freeways projects.

“Our community demands a better deal given they’ve already waited so long for it,” he said.

“Not only do they expect a quick construction, but they also need answers on other issues facing its development.

“For example, we don’t know the scope of the project at this stage or how community consultation will occur.”

Cr Corr reiterated the view shared by the council and community and business leaders, that confidence in the project had to be restored.

“There’s also the loss of business confidence we have to deal with in having to wait so long for a new freeway, which seems to be taking a long time to come to fruition.

“There’s a lot riding on the speedy construction of this freeway.

“We’re wanting a commitment from the State Government to build this new freeway as soon as possible, within budget and with the highest level of community consultation.”

Cr Corr said there was concern that legislation to install a new authority overseeing the development of the freeway had not been passed in State Parliament before the election was called.

“This has meant that we are left in the dark about how the new authority will operate.”

When the bill was presented to parliament, Opposition transport spokesman Geoff Leigh said he believed the Labor Government never intended it to be passed.

The Mitcham-Frankston Freeway project will be 39km with 90 structures including bridges, 15 interchanges and 1.5km in tunnels.

It will have an arterial connection to the Ringwood Bypass, a six-lane freeway from Ringwood to Princes Highway, a four-lane freeway from Princes Highway to the Frankston Freeway, a full-length shared pathway and ventilation.