Wodonga's Junction Place years in the making

LEFT: Matthew Guy had the backing of Wodonga’s Cr Anna Speedie, Wangaratta administrator Ailsa Fox, member for Benambra Bill Tilley, Shepparton chief executive Gavin Cator and Wodonga mayor Rod Wangman at The Cube to launch the Hume plan. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

LEFT: Matthew Guy had the backing of Wodonga’s Cr Anna Speedie, Wangaratta administrator Ailsa Fox, member for Benambra Bill Tilley, Shepparton chief executive Gavin Cator and Wodonga mayor Rod Wangman at The Cube to launch the Hume plan. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

WODONGA’S Junction Place precinct still has a long way to go, according to the state’s Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

He said yesterday that while change was happening at the precinct, “like Docklands in Melbourne, it won’t happen overnight”.

“The end product will be worth it,” he said during a visit to Wodonga to launch the Hume regional growth plan.

“There’s growth and demand in Wodonga, but it’s not going to happen in 12 months.

““It’s going to take some years to play out because it’s a large parcel of land.”

The site is being developed by state agency Places Victoria, and expressions of interest in land parcels at the site will resume soon.

Mr Guy said it was vital for governments to plan with documents such as Hume Regional Growth Plan, covering such councils as Wodonga, Towong, Indigo and Wangaratta.

The document sets out the major residential growth area of Wodonga as the area south of the city, around Leneva and Baranduda.

It also says Wangaratta will grow in several directions.

Mr Guy said it was important agricultural land was protected as regional Victoria grew.

“The government has used our regional growth plans to identify areas of high-value agricultural production and, indeed, protect those areas from any future housing or industrial development,” he said.

“Many economies in regional Victoria depend on farming.

“That has to be recognised, and that government has to do everything it can in a planning sense to ensure that is not just the case today but that we’re protecting good farming land into the future.”

The plan was compiled after consultation from 12 councils in the Hume region.

The region’s population is expected to reach 78,000 by 2041.

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