Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 21
IT's not just the $181 million Wodonga rail
bypass that is on the fast track this year.
Albury and Wodonga has seen some
exciting announcements that show the
cities generally are also steaming ahead.
The most spectacular news came in May
when David Harper's Le Hunte Properties was
chosen to provide the Australia Taxation Office
with a new home by the end of 2012.
This $50 million project will at last see
redevelopment of the Volt Lane car parks, with
a seven-storey office block including hundreds
of public parking spaces that should benefit
Also by Christmas 2012, Wodonga should have
its $80 million Mann Central shopping plaza.
This is expected to include a department store,
two supermarkets, 76 shops and a food court.
These two landmark projects will transform
the city centres and the Mann Centre will
change shopping habits of thousands of
people and probably some existing High
Street tenants relocating.
Albury this year officially became a city of
50,000, while Wodonga has passed 32,500 and
is still going strong.
The two cities have between them added an
extra 8000 this century, but that's not all.
About 104,600 now live in the Albury-
Wodonga statistical district, including 12,000
people in Indigo shire, 3815 in Greater Hume
and 2535 in Towong.
Many of those shire folk work in Albury or
Wodonga and most families shop there at one
time or another.
They are truly part of the Albury-Wodonga
community, giving it a clout comparable to
Greater Bendigo's 102,373 and well ahead of
Greater Shepparton or Wagga Wagga, each
with about 63,000.
Both Albury and Wodonga councils are
aware, of course, that their population levels
depend on maintaining jobs and securing new
job opportunities, in large, medium and small
business as well as the public sector.
Builders have, by and large, being doing very
well in this area lately, and prospects look good.
Roads, schools and housing have been
started thanks to tens of millions from the
national economic stimulus package, and the
region's biggest warehouse, for the army at
Bandiana, has just been finished at a cost of
All these projects have had spin-offs for
small business as well as helping builders to
It's now three years since the $525 million
Hume Freeway opened after giving a two-year
bonanza to local traders from wages paid to
construction workers and purchases of materials
Construction work on the Hume duplication
project north of Albury finished in November,
but bypasses of Woormargama, Holbrook and
Tarcutta will keep the "road money" flowing until
The rail bypass team will be wound up this year
but the completed project will bring other benefits,
not least the revitalisation of central Wodonga and
return of V/Line passenger services.
Wodonga's super clinic at the former Mylon
bus depot should be started this year and will
see doctors and allied health professionals
occupying a building likely to cost $8 million to
Over in Albury, the $20 million Thurgoona
shopping centre, with its large Woolworths,
opened in March.
Thurgoona's housing expansion has picked
up, with Melbourne developer Hudson Conway
Ltd spending $7 million this year to buy land
north of Mitchell Park zoned for 480 home sites.
That followed quickly on a Catholic Church
purchase at Ettamogah that raises the potential for
church-owned land in the area to 2000 home sites.
Other companies have recently bought land
on Thurgoona Drive, one project expected to
see a new petrol service station and the other a
relocation of a South Albury business.
News affecting Paragon Printers in Wodonga
and the DSI gearbox factory at Lavington has
been disappointing this year but their setbacks
emphasise the importance of the two cities
having a diversity of employment.
Albury and Wodonga's major works are forging
ahead with more projects in the pipeline, writes
FULL STEAM AHEAD
ON CITIES' GROWTH
l Wodonga's rail bypass will be finished this year, while the city's new Mann Central and Albury's
new tax office building should be completed by the end of 2012.
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