I rise to recognise the completion of the Hume Freeway interchange at O'Herns Road, which opened yesterday. This is something that I have been campaigning for since before I was elected to this place, and in December 2013 I tabled a petition of residents from Epping North and Wollert to fund connecting O'Herns Road with the freeway. This is a win for them.
For years now, there's been a grassroots-led campaign fighting for funding for this vital interchange to better connect people in this fast-growing part of Melbourne to opportunity and amenity. I pay tribute to the hard work and the dedication of community members like the Aurora Community Association. I thank the City of Whittlesea and my state colleagues Lily D'Ambrosio and Bronwyn Halfpenny, because this was a project based on real need, not something dreamt up in a minister's office and plonked on a spreadsheet before an election. It will make a real difference to people's lives.
This is not a project that should have taken so long to build and it shouldn't have taken the immense pressure led by community and the consistent support of the member for Grayndler, now the Leader of the Labor Party. Melbourne's outer suburbs simply can't rely on a Prime Minister who announces projects before an election, like commuter car parks, but ones that will not start in that term of office. Melbourne's north deserves better. Melbourne's north deserves the infrastructure that people in growing communities deserve, and that will only come from an Albanese Labor government.