November 14th, 2008
TAXPAYERS have forked our for prime land in Geelong's Mercer St to build a new main entrance to the city railway station and clear the way for new commercial development.
Bureaucrats refuse to say how much was paid for the former Winter and Taylor car yard, next to Geelong Police Station.
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The land will be used to build a new access road as part of the State Government's Transit Cities Program.
A City of Greater Geelong spokesman said an office complex could be built beside the new road at the corner of Mercer and Brougham streets.
Notice of the land acquisition was placed in metropolitan media this week on behalf of Planning Minister Justin Madden.
The deal completes a taxpayer-buyout of land in the railway precinct and is a major step forward for the Government's development plans.
The land was purchased as part of the $24.5 million commitment in the last State Budget for works around the Geelong Railway Station precinct including:
THE new road link from the railway station to Mercer St and a new signalised intersection at Mercer St;
STREETSCAPE works on Bayley St and Transit Place to provide improved pedestrian safety and amenity; and
FEASIBILITY studies into development options for land on the northeast corner of the railway station precinct and the State Government offices on the corner of Little Malop and Fenwick streets.
A spokeswoman for the Planning Minister said the Mercer St land would be used to improve pedestrian links.
"This site is required to enable better access between the new TAC building, the waterfront, Deakin University and the Geelong Railway Station," she said.
"The acquisition of this site is important to improve accessibility in Victoria's second largest city."
She said Geelong was one of 13 Transit City projects in the Melbourne 2030 strategy.