What do we need?
North & West Melbourne City Deal
One in three Victorians and one in 12 Australians live in the fast-growing North and West Melbourne region, which by 2036 will have a population larger than South Australia. It is the region hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, against a backdrop of some of the highest unemployment rates in the state
The North and West Melbourne City Deal Plan is a blueprint for the region to respond to the impacts of the pandemic in the immediate and medium-term, and to reform our economy for the future.
The proposal will help create 300,000 new jobs, reboot business, boost social and economic inclusion, and leverage the region’s existing strengths in health, food production, manufacturing and logistics. It will unlock employment and economic development opportunities centred on the eight key precincts, which includes Werribee.
Without a City Deal, North and West Melbourne is facing a crisis – a significant lack of jobs coupled with the massive impact of COVID-19. A City Deal presents the region with huge opportunities and an essential springboard for recovery.
This proposal is a cross-sector effort to arrive at a joint list of priorities before consideration of formal MoU arrangements with Commonwealth, state and local governments. These priorities include the following projects which are located in Wyndham:
- Western Rail Plan
- New A-League Stadium Value Capture
- Western Interstate Freight Precinct
- Outer Metropolitan Ring Transport Corridor
- Suburban Rail Loop
- Westlink Ison Road Bridge
- Wyndham Refuse Disposal Facility
Wyndham City – as part of the LeadWest Committee and guided by the City Deal proposal - looks forward to engaging with our Federal and State counterparts in the drafting of the North and West Melbourne City Deal
Less out-of-sequence development
Out-of-sequence development happens when people are permitted to move into housing estates before infrastructure and services are properly in place.
Out-of-sequence development causes poor quality of life within local communities. It creates social isolation, long commutes, and poor access to basic services like schools, parks, community centres and health clinics.
We’re calling for a new approach to urban development that makes sure this doesn’t happen.
We want the Victorian Government to work with us in making sure development happens in line with the rollout of infrastructure and services our community needs.
We understand that the development industry sometimes wants to press ahead with new housing estates when demand is high. But in growth areas like Wyndham, this can mean there are multiple locations needing infrastructure at the same time – and that makes it harder for governments to deliver what's needed.
Rolling out community infrastructure and services ahead of schedule causes higher costs. Currently, these costs must be met by the Victorian Government and local governments like Wyndham City. Under current funding arrangements, there isn’t enough money to cover these costs.
We have developed a system to better coordinate the delivery of local infrastructure where growth is occurring and we need a system that creates a role for developers to assist with raising funds for the early rollout of infrastructure and services in out-of-sequence developments.
Out-of-sequence utility service provision can mean that local government needs to pay to retrofit or redesign brand new developments with the necessary infrastructure. We need state-wide measures and better planning that prevents utility companies from taking shortcuts that result in Wyndham City ratepayers picking up the tab. We’re ready to help the Victorian Government develop and enforce these measures.
Better protection and promotion of the rich, living Aboriginal cultural heritage of Wyndham
Wyndham City wants to make sure that in partnership with Traditional Owner organisations we protect and promote the rich, living Aboriginal cultural heritage of Wyndham for future generations. More resources are needed to work with Traditional Owner organisations to identify, protect, and sensitively interpret and celebrate Aboriginal places of significance.
We’re asking for adequate funding for Wyndham City to collaborate with Aboriginal representatives in comprehensively mapping, protecting, and celebrating Aboriginal places of significance and land management practices across the city.
In particular we need resources to enable greater and earlier involvement of Traditional Owner organisations in planning and design processes. Traditional Owner knowledge of Country could inform and influence planning and design of suburbs to enable better connection with our Aboriginal heritage.
We’re asking the Victorian Government to collaborate with Traditional Owners and local government in planning our new suburbs so that they better incorporate local Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Better Victorian infrastructure planning
The Victorian Government has special funding set aside to create infrastructure for fast-growing communities like Wyndham. These funds are collected from a levy called the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC).
GAIC funding is not available to fund many of the important infrastructure projects Wyndham desperately needs.
We have more people that commute for two or more hours a day than any other municipality in Victoria. Road congestion, poorly-connected suburbs and overcrowded rail infrastructure are having a big impact on our residents’ quality of life.
Investment in transport can have huge social benefits. It reduces time spent in cars and encourages more active lifestyles. It can create more time for people to spend with friends and family. It can also reduce social isolation in growth areas, and improve access to activity centres and community facilities.
Together with partners in Wyndham and the western suburbs, we are asking to work in partnership with the State government to create an overarching development contribution framework which:
- Provides an overarching strategy, coordination and role clarity
- A plan for monitoring, evaluating and reporting GAIC outcomes
- Council’s active participation in the identification of projects for GAIC funding.
We want "bang for the buck" significant investment for our community.
Increased funding for the Growing Suburbs Fund
The Growing Suburbs Fund supports investment in critical local infrastructure in Melbourne's diverse and fast-growing interface and peri-urban councils, which are also home to some of Victoria's most vulnerable communities.
As a group, the interface and peri-urban councils comprise 30.4 per cent of Victoria’s population. For over two decades, population growth in these areas has exceeded the State’s average, and this trend is expected to continue with more than 1 million additional residents expected to be living in the interface and peri-urban areas by 2031.
Since 2015, Wyndham City has received funding through the Growing Suburbs Fund towards the construction of various local infrastructure projects including upgrades to community spaces, and improvements to local sport and recreation facilities.
The 2020-21 round of the Growing Suburbs Fund saw an increase in eligible proponents - from 10 councils to 16 councils. However, the total funding allocated through this round has declined.
Wyndham City calls on the Victorian Government to provide ongoing commitment to the Growing Suburbs Fund, and increase this program's funding to an amount that reflects the increase in eligible councils and the unique challenges faced by interface and peri-urban communities.
A fairer funding system for growth areas like Wyndham
Wyndham City is responsible for providing a range of important infrastructure and services for the local community. The problem is that we don’t have full control over how much money is available for us to do this.
The Victorian Government regulates the amount of money local councils can raise through rates – but the current approach isn’t providing us with the resources we need.
We work very hard to make sure we deliver value for money and improve efficiency in our operations – and we support measures that reduce unnecessary costs and red tape.
But Wyndham is growing faster than expected. We need to provide infrastructure for new residents before they arrive, as well as providing for our existing communities. This means we need more funding than established areas of Melbourne.
We’re asking the Victorian Government to help us raise the money needed to create liveable suburbs. We advocate with the National Growth Area Alliance for high growth rates to be properly considered when the Victorian Government sets funding levels for local governments in growth areas.
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
We also need state-wide measures that prevent utility companies from taking shortcuts that result in Wyndham City ratepayers picking up the tab. We’re ready to help the Victorian Government develop and enforce these measures.
Restoring local government funding through Financial Assistance Grants
More than 20 years ago local government received 1% of total Commonwealth revenue through Financial Assistance Grants. Despite the pressing need for a strong, reliable flow of federal funding into local infrastructure Financial Assistance Grants now amount to just 0.55%.
Local communities, including Wyndham, are worse off when there is insufficient funding for the infrastructure and assets residents need in their day-to-day lives.
That is why Wyndham supports the Australian Local Government Association's call for the next federal government to restore core local government funding of Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue.
National solutions to local challenges
Australia’s population has been rapidly increasing for many years. Much of this increase is concentrated in outer-urban growth areas like Wyndham.
The scale and rate of development means Wyndham and other growth areas are of high national importance. Our community will double in size in the coming decades – and this makes it even more important to get urban development right. If we do, we’ll foster a healthy, highly-productive community that will help drive our national prosperity well into the next century.
Together with the National Growth Area Alliance we’re calling for a National Growing Outer Suburbs Taskforce to focus on the challenges we face in growth hotspots like Wyndham. This taskforce would bring together ministers from a range of portfolios so that they can collaborate in finding solutions that help create happy, high-functioning communities.
We support calls for a National Growing Outer Suburbs Fund that can help cover the high cost of building community infrastructure in Australia’s rapidly-expanding outer-urban growth areas.
Wyndham to be recognised as a Metropolitan Activity Centre (MAC)
Melbourne remains a very CBD-centric city and we need to start thinking about it differently. Technology is freeing industry, people and jobs from geographic constraints. We’re committed to being a Smart City that helps our residents prosper from this economic transformation.
The focus of our planning should be on developing urban and regional centres and connecting them with each other. We want to enable industry, people and jobs to move freely between our urban and regional centres, rather than being concentrated in a congested Melbourne CBD.
The Werribee City Centre and adjacent East Werribee National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC) should be recognised in the State Government’s Metropolitan Strategy (Plan Melbourne) as a Metropolitan Activity Centre (MAC).
The development of the Werribee City Centre as a focus for regional commerce, specialty retail, entertainment, leisure, and community services will assist in achieving a potential of over 58,000 jobs.
We’re calling for a shift from Melbourne CBD-centric planning towards an approach that recognises the importance of urban centres. Correct this imbalance and create a hyper-connected network of Metropolitan Activity Centres and transit zones such as the Werribee-Geelong corridor.
We advocate with the National Growth Area Alliance for job creation in peripheral areas so that people can work closer to home.
Where to find more info
Wyndham Residential Growth Management Strategy
Victorian Planning Authority
Australian Local Government Association's All Politics Is Local campaign