A new research report by engineering firm Arup released last week has found that Melbourne’s northern suburbs will see more than 200,000 new residents by 2031 on current growth rates of almost 3 per cent a year, and that the area has historically underinvested in public and private infrastructure compared to the rest of Melbourne, therefore Faster-than-expected population and industry growth requires infrastructure planning and building to be brought forward.
The Arup report recommends state and federal governments fund major projects such as the $15.8 billion North East Link toll road and freeway widening, the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and intermodal freight hubs in Somerton and Beveridge to improve how freight gets to and from the Port of Melbourne.
The report also calls for the immediate construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport, and for 51 hectares of vacant land next to the Melbourne Market in Epping to be turned into a food manufacturing and research hub.
Although admittedly it may take a number of years before the said infrastructure plan is realised, there is no denial that northern suburbs are experiencing a boom as south-eastern suburbs get increasingly crowded and less affordable. We expect more and more small business opportunities in the north in the coming years.
By Lee Xie (Senior Project Manager)
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