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Bold new approach needed to support massive growth in Melbourne’s West

Jun 7, 2018


A new report calling for an urgent new focus on Melbourne’s West in the face of its rapidly growing population, including consideration of a new Special Economic Zone and Minister for Melbourne’s West will be launched today by regional advocacy group LeadWest.

Researched and compiled by global multi disciplinary firm Arup[1]   The Future is West: Investing in Melbourne’s Newest Generation reveals one in five young Victorians are set to make their home in the region in the next 30 years .   With population forecast to increase by a million people by 2050, the report calls for urgent attention from all levels of government to ensure a generation is not left behind.

“The window of opportunity to shape the future of Melbourne’s West is now,” said LeadWest CEO Craig Rowley.

“The West is the fastest growing area of Melbourne. We are adding a Canberra worth of people every decade, including two-hundred and fifty babies born here every week. We need to invest in our young families who are raising Melbourne’s next generation.

“Our rapidly expanding population is a huge opportunity. But if the right investment and proper management doesn’t happen now, the repercussions will impact not only Victoria, but also the nation’s economy.

“Investing in transport services, creating local jobs and ensuring communities have the services they need as they grow are critical to the West and Victoria’s future.

The report calls for consideration of new governance measures to ensure Melbourne’s West stays on the right track, including:

  • Minister for the Melbourne’s West – to coordinate and oversee government activity in the region and attract investment.
  • A Special Economic Zone for Melbourne’s West – Payroll tax relief for businesses in Melbourne’s West (as currently occurs in regional Victoria), to create incentives to invest for businesses and provide certainty to business about an infrastructure pipeline.
  • A Liveability Guarantee for Melbourne’s West – A government statement outlining clear targets and minimum standards of liveability, that is regularly reported against as the region grows
  • A development Fund for Melbourne’s West, funded by a new state-wide levy – Designed to support jobs and skills and deliver long-term State and federal government commitment
  • A Masterplan for Melbourne’s West – Coordination of Investment and Planning to deliver better integrated land use, transport, investment and services planning.

 Key points in the report include:

  • 1 in 6 Melburnians already live in the West. By 2050 it will have added another million people and represent 35% of Melbourne’s population.
  • 1 in 3 people living in the West are aged under 25, and around 250 babies are born every week in the region.
  • 1 in 10 Victorians work in the West and $34 billion GDP is generated in Melbourne’s West
  • Only 3% of people working in jobs located in Melbourne’s West use public transport to get to work.  Nearly 70% of the West’s workers do not have frequent weekday public transport services within walking distance of their house. Over 215,000 people, a quarter of the region’s population, have no walking-distance access to public transport at all.

You can download and read the full report here: The Future is West - Investing in Melbourne's Newest Generation

For a list of sources used in the report, please click here: The Future is West - reference list


Contact: Rosina Rayns, 0401 991 792




[1] Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists working across every aspect of today's built environment.

 

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