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NCA Snapshot

Edition One  - August 2023

Transport advocacy for Melbourne’s north

Effective and efficient transport is essential to the economic development, sustainability and liveability of Melbourne’s north.

That’s why the NCA is asking the Victorian Government to develop a

Northern Transport Plan that aligns and integrates current strategies.  

Melbourne’s north is experiencing significant population growth through

both greenfield development and infill development and densification.

By 2036, our regional population is projected to be close to

1.5 million, similar to Adelaide and half a million more than in the

region at present.

At the NCA, we are working to ensure that the region has a transport system which can support future growth and jobs while safeguarding and improving livelihood, liveability and action on Council climate emergency goals.

That’s why our activities over the past year have focused on developing key pieces of research – the Northern Region Transport Strategy and the Northern Bus Networking Strategy. Both these documents are comprehensive studies with short, medium and long term recommendations.

We are now advocating for the Victorian Government to adopt these recommendations and integrate them into statewide transport planning.

We are also actively seeking funding support from the Victorian and Australian Governments for improved transport across our region.

Six of our Councils also endorsed the Northern Regional Trails Strategy to be sent out for consultation. This focuses on walking and cycling trails across the region. It complements the previous studies, completing a broad planning framework for all regional transport options into the future.

Without adequate transport access to jobs, education, health services and more is severely limited.

Melbourne’s north is home to large employment centres including La Trobe University and Melbourne Airport and includes the key precincts of Broadmeadows, Epping and Cloverton.


Road and rail connections link the north to Melbourne’s CBD and the Port of Melbourne as well as the rest of metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria and the nation.

But growing pains are evident as the region’s population grows.

Improved connectivity and greater investment in transport projects are

required to manage this growth and realise the opportunities

Melbourne’s north offers.

Our research shows that this can be achieved through:

  • improved connectivity of the bus network, including a new loop bus

       route as a first step in supporting the Suburban Rail Loop project

  • upgraded rail connectivity, with line duplication and extensions

  • better road connectivity, with new road transport corridors

  • improved and integrated walking and cycling trails.

We are keen to partner with state and federal governments on developing and implementing these critical projects.

We have identified major projects that require funding, that will have a significant and ongoing impact on our region. These include the Melbourne Metro 2, Outer Metropolitan Ring/E6, Upfield Rail duplication and extension, the upgrade of  the Clifton Hill interchange and the Wollert Rail extension to improve access to the Northern Hospital                 




Our evidence-based research

Our region has a long history of working collaboratively to benefit its businesses and community and we have developed or contributed significantly to the following research:

  • Northern Region Transport Strategy: clearly outlines investment priorities that will improve public transport connectivity and encourage sustainable transport growth across our region

  • Northern Bus Strategy: A companion piece to the NRTS, this focuses on strategic improvements to the bus network, in particular improvements to existing SmartBus routes, a high-quality route that could mimic the Suburban Rail Loop, improvements to key destinations such as Melbourne Airport and La Trobe University, and growth areas services.

  • Northern Regional Trails Strategy: This is an action plan to establish a high-quality network of integrated and connected shared trails that link communities, destinations and a diverse range of urban and natural environments in the region.

  • Northern Horizons: This independent and comprehensive audit of regional infrastructure, covering the entire region, identifies future projects with strong regional benefits.

More information on our Transport work including our reports and priorities, can be found here

Our members

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