LeadWest launches advocacy campaign – Invest in the West
Health, transport connections and sustainability have been identified as key projects to ensure that Melbourne’s west continues to thrive.
LeadWest, an advocacy committee to the Cities of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton and Wyndham, has identified six priority projects vital to ensuring their suburbs are well connected, liveable, and sustainable and that residents are provided with adequate jobs, transport connections and community services.
In launching the LeadWest advocacy campaign at Sunshine Railway Station on Monday, 10th of October 2022, LeadWest Chairman and City of Wyndham's Mayor, Cr Peter Maynard said more than 17% of Melbourne’s population live in the western suburbs, but this was not reflected in the opportunities and investments offered to the region. “We aim to change that,” Cr Maynard said. “Now is the time for state and federal governments to ‘Invest in the West’ to cater for the current population and for future growth.” The priority projects identified by LeadWest and for which state and federal government funding and support are being sought are:
A co-designed dedicated mental health program especially for young people. This project aims to work with service providers, health professionals and affected young adults to design a program that is tailored and dedicated to their needs.
Increased cycling connections and a review of the region-wide bus networks given that in some communities more than 70% of the population commute by car to work.
A firm commitment to investments in the Sunshine Precinct, as laid out in the Sunshine Station Masterplan and the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road to improve transport connectivity in the west, leverage off the work underway for the Melbourne Airport Rail and to unlock private investment in the west.
A dedicated performing arts and cultural hub in Footscray to build on the emergence of a creative arts industry in Melbourne’s West and to address the inequity currently experienced by the western region with respect to the availability of arts and cultural facilities.
A Wetlands Centre at the Cheetham Wetlands that will support the eco-tourism and wellbeing sector and cater for all ages and abilities. The centre will be a premier destination and a unique visitor and learning experience for immersive teaching and learning from Prep to PhD.
Cr Maynard said the delivery of these priority projects required cooperation from all three levels of government.
“Only through prompt strategic planning and investment in infrastructure and community services can we guarantee the long-term viability of the west. These projects need immediate attention”.