The Andrews Labor Government has approved changes to the Whitehorse Planning Scheme to facilitate the construction of a vital new link between the two sections of Deakin University’s Burwood Campus.
The current pedestrian access between the two sides of the campus, which has around 28,000 students, has become increasingly difficult and unsafe and breaches the Disability Discrimination Act 1999.
The Deakin University Burwood Link Project will see the construction of a new pedestrian bridge and end the discrimination against people with disabilities, while providing a safe crossing for students, staff, cyclists, the elderly and parents with prams and strollers.
Importantly, following community consultation, the design of the pedestrian bridge has been modified to be lighter and less visually imposing on Gardiner’s Creek reserve.
The new design will have a reduced footprint in the creek reserve with a significant decrease in vegetation removal required.
“This is a vital missing link for Deakin University and its students, delivering safe and equitable access for everyone," said Acting Minister For Planning Tim Pallas.
“The new design is of far less bulk than the original design, and addresses concerns raised regarding the impact of the bridge on the creek reserve, vegetation and the amenity of the area.”
The Deakin Burwood Campus is of state significance with potential investment in excess of $500 million over the next five years, facilitating international education by developing new student accommodation and new modern facilities.
This approval marks a continuation of a busy 2015 for the Andrews Labor Government, and with Melbourne already spelled with a high number of apartments due to be completed, 2016 will more than likely, trump 2015 in both numbers and production.