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LeadWest Advocate - Policy Priorities for 2018 Election

Dec 22, 2017

The Christmas edition of the LeadWest Advocate e-News is now available and sets out LeadWest's current Policy Priorities.

The communities of Melbourne's West are growing rapidly and their needs are changing just as fast. Melbourne will soon be Australia’s largest city and Melbourne's West will be taking more of this growth than any other metropolitan sub-region.
In the coming Victorian election year, LeadWest will be advocating that all parties prioritise investment in Melbourne's West. LeadWest will be seeking commitments to policies that help more people who live in the West be able to work in the West, that provide opportunities to our region's thriving communities, and that make sure that the West is growing with its people.

LeadWest's team has prepared and lodged budget submissions to the Australian Government and the Victorian Government. In the new year, LeadWest's team will be meeting with ministers and shadow ministers, local MPs, and government officials to discuss the region's priorities as set out in those budget submissions, the West of Melbourne Economic Development Strategy and the refreshed Transport Strategy for Melbourne's West.

Based on the results and discussion with LeadWest's Board, the key issues LeadWest will be working with the community to pursue most vigorously in the 2018 election year are:

A Freight Infrastructure Plan for the West - Melbourne’s West is a growing hub for south-east Australia’s freight industry. Unfortunately, there has been little coordination of investment in infrastructure to support this industry in our region, resulting in uncertainty and ongoing disruption for communities. We need a Freight Infrastructure Plan to coordinate projects and ensure we ease freight-related pressure on our roads as soon as possible. 

Helping kids thrive in the WestOver 35 babies are born every day across the six local council areas in Melbourne's West. Unfortunately, some of these children are born into circumstances that are less than ideal. A Centre for Parenting Excellence in Melbourne's West will help hundreds of young families to thrive every year, by restoring health and well-being where there is distress in the infant-parent relationship. We also need a comprehensive review of maternal and early childhood services offered in Melbourne’s West to ensure that the right mix of services is being offered in the right locations, particularly the rapidly growing areas. It is also time to end the uncertainty around 15-hour kinder funding, and provide a long-term commitment to young learners in the West.

Getting the West active and movingMelbourne's West has some of the highest levels of obesity and lowest levels of physical activity in the State. The State Government could help correct this with:
  • Investment in more sports facilities across the region, ensuring that a wide variety of sports are catered for, that local facilities match the sports that local communities want to play, and that facilities are accessible to people of all ages and abilities;
  • Investment and planning for more parks and open spaces, close to where people live; and / or
  • Grants to help support under-represented demographics, including women, recent immigrants and older people, to participate in sport.
Better bus services and bike infrastructure for Melbourne's WestA number of significant community consultations, including the recent Western Metropolitan Assembly, have demonstrated that improved transport infrastructure, particularly buses and bikes, are of great importance to people in Melbourne's West. By seeking improvements in these areas, LeadWest is hoping to increase transportation choices for people in the West, as well as the amount of time people have to spend on things other than commuting. The specific policies we are seeking are:
  • A region-wide analysis of current and future transport needs;
  • Access to safe, frequent and reliable public transport across the west;
  • Safer, easier ways to walk and cycle in the west;
  • A new, high-frequency network of bus connections between major centres;
  • Well-coordinated connections into train stations and local centres; and
  • New transport services planned and activated at the right time in growing communities.
LeadWest will be reaching out to our members, affiliates and other stakeholders as we pursue these priorities over coming months. 

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