New hospital hopes pinned on pending state budget

Published on 02 May 2019

A hospital business case and growth funding top Melton City Council’s wishlist for the upcoming State budget. 

In a pre-election commitment, the Andrews’ Government pledged to provide $2.3 million towards the development of a business case for a new hospital in the City of Melton.

“It is our clear expectation that the State Government will deliver on this promise and bring a new hospital closer to reality,” Mayor Cr Bob Turner said.

“Our residents deserve improved health outcomes and this funding is the first step towards more accessible, quality health care in the City of Melton.”

On 27 May, the State Government will reveal its 2019/2020 budget, giving City of Melton residents certainty over health, education and public transport commitments, as well as other funding pleas.

“The City of Melton is among the fastest growing municipalities in Australia and without further investment our residents risk being left behind with limited access to essential health services, long commutes to work and school, and high transports costs,” Cr Turner said.

“Melton City Council has advocated the State Government to fund the City’s top priorities so that health, schools, roads and public transport access align with growth projections and improve liveability for residents. 

“This budget is set to make a great difference to the City of Melton if pre-election commitments are delivered.”

Cr Turner said growth projections made the future of the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund more important than ever before.  

“We desperately need a continued Growing Suburbs Fund provision that will ensure City of Melton’s rapidly growing communities don’t miss out on vital services and infrastructure,” Cr Turner said. 

Since 2015, the Growing Suburbs Fund has provided $23.8 million towards community infrastructure projects.

“We are extremely grateful that the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund has previously helped us to deliver critically needed community centres, parks, leisure centres and more, but this critical need is not slowing down,” Cr Turner said. 

A very welcome education boost is also anticipated across the City with four new primary schools promised pre-election. 

“By 2023, we expect 2000 more primary school places will be required to meet demand and the State’s pre-election promise will be vital to ensuring local children have a local school,” Cr Tuner said. 

Cr Turner said Council was also calling on the State Government to take action on the City’s pressing need for roads and transport improvements.

“Council has stressed its concerns over growing roads and transport congestion for commuters and increased isolation in public transport networks.” 

Council is seeking upgrades to the Western Highway and several other major road linkages to surrounding metropolitan and regional areas. 

It is also asking for a bus network review with the potential for new routes, as well as new and upgraded train stations and a number of level crossing removals. 

Melton City Council’s key priorities for the upcoming State Government budget 2019/2020:

• HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: 

- deliver the pre-election commitment for $2.3 million in 2019/2020 towards a business case for a Melton hospital

- commit to purchase land in Cobblebank for a new hospital through the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution and begin construction by July 2022

- deliver the proposed Support and Safety Hub in the City of Melton

• GROWING SUBURBS FUND: commitment beyond 2019 and a reinstatement of a state-wide, annual funding pool of $50 million 

EDUCATION: deliver all pre-election commitments, with clear timelines

ROADS: upgrade Western Highway and commit to a second Outer Western Region Arterial Roads package in Melton

• PUBLIC TRANSPORT: deliver on pre-election commitments for the Western Rail Package with three new train stations and additional bus routes

• RECREATION: a new six-court, indoor sports stadium in Cobblebank