Jan 30, 2010

New streetscape and community awards revitalise Croydon North commercial area

New streetscape and community awards revitalise Croydon North commercial area

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

January 30 2010

I was in Croydon today to officially open the Croydon North CBD Enhancement Project and present the first of Ashfield Council’s ‘Village Access Project – Excellence in Access’ Awards.

The upgrades to the Croydon North commercial and shopping precinct and the Awards had an important thing in common: they both aimed to improve access to shops and services for people with a disability.

The Rudd Government provided $251,000 to the Ashfield Municipal Council for the $645,000 Croydon North Streetscape Enhancement project from our Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. This Program now totals over $1 billion and is a key part of the Economic Stimulus Plan.

In the Ashfield area 5.5% of the population have a disability or need assistance due to health conditions or old age. This compares to 3.8% in the wider Sydney population.

The enhancement works improved disability access to the Croydon North business precinct by raising footpaths to meet shop entry levels, replacing paving and relocating and enhancing pedestrian crossings.

Parking has been upgraded in the area, and a new pedestrian link to the local Aquatic Centre has been built.

Traffic calming measures have also been incorporated on the roads, to make pedestrians and drivers safer in the Croydon North CBD.

All-up, the project has visually revitalised this area of Croydon, made it more accessible for shoppers and improved the links between the north and south business precincts.

Importantly, around 50 local jobs were supported during the construction phase of the project.

Ashfield is benefiting further with more than $2.3 million in federal funding for the Redevelopment of the Civic Centre of Ashfield into an integrated civic, arts and community space.

The Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program’s remaining $220 million will be made available to councils in coming months, with the Ashfield Municipal Council set to receive at least another $93,000.

This additional funding will support even more local jobs and rebuild even more of the nation’s vital community infrastructure.

As part of Council’s initiative, the ‘Village Access Project – Excellence in Access’ Awards were presented to three local businesses who had done something extra to provide good access to members of the community.

The winners were Footwise Podiatry for the area of ‘Physical Access’, Family Resource and Network Support (FRANS) Inc for the area of ‘Internal Design’, and G.E. Hunt – Architecture & Planning for the area of ‘Customer Service’.

I congratulate the Ashfield Municipal Council and the local community for helping deliver this important local project, ensuring accessibility for the whole community, and helping to build a stronger region for the future.