Unlocking potential: Council calls for Federal Government investment

Published on 02 February 2023

A new plan for our future, with more jobs, better infrastructure and investing in our young people’s education is at the centre of the Melton City Council’s bid for Federal Government funding.

Melton’s submission for the 2023-24 federal budget outlines Council’s key priorities like building the Outer Metropolitan Rail and Road Ring and the Western Intermodal Freight Terminal, and skills and training to address workforce shortages through TAFE and a university.

Council has also identified key supporting infrastructure including electrifying and upgrading the rail network and upgrading the Western Highway to increase productivity and get residents to work.

The Outer Metropolitan Road and Rail Link is a critical transformational project that would connect the outer north, west and south-west of Melbourne along with freight hubs and employment precincts, complete the Melbourne component of the Commonwealth Inland Rail and has the potential to complete the Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop, connecting millions of residents in outer Melbourne by road and rail.

The Western Intermodal Freight Terminal at Truganina would be the catalyst for thousands of local jobs and see the removal of up to 2,000 daily truck movements from Melbourne’s west.

The federal budget update in October last year provided $10 million towards a business case to upgrade the Western Highway from a rural to an urban standard, but more funding is needed to get on with the work.

Council will continue to seek the electrification of the rail line to Melton and new stations at Mt Atkinson, Thornhill Park and Calder Park, and the adoption of the Melbourne Metro 2 East-West Rail Link.

In the lead up to the election in 2022, the Victorian State Government announced a TAFE in Cobblebank for the construction sector. Council is looking for an expansion of the announcement to include logistics, health, education and community services. Additionally, Council is calling for the creation of a new tertiary school of medicine to train doctors and allied health specialists for outer metropolitan areas and regional centres locally in Cobblebank close to the new Melton Hospital.

You can read the full budget submission at: melton.vic.gov.au/federalbudget

Quotes attributable to City of Melton Mayor, Cr Lara Carli:

‘Our budget submission is about securing investment in key major projects that will boost our economy and create significant long-term jobs.

‘Council’s Jobs and Investment Attraction Strategy demonstrates how an accelerated pipeline of investment can deliver 100,000 jobs in the City of Melton by 2050 contributing $19 billion to the economy and an additional $10 billion in supply chain impacts. Our Federal Budget submission is founded on this strategy.

‘We’re wanting all three levels of government to work together to provide an equity of opportunity to our residents with access to local, quality diverse employment, skills and education as well as upgraded roads and efficient frequent public transport. Strong investment from the Federal Government will future-proof the City of Melton’s infrastructure and make sure our projected record population growth doesn’t come at the expense of liveability.

‘This is a chance to work together to create easy lifestyles in the outer west, where people can work close to home and spend more time with family.

‘We’re asking the Federal Government to invest in projects that will create significant long-term jobs and opportunities for our community and have a strong economic return.

‘Federal Government investment has been critical to delivering key transformational projects in the City of Melton and it’s crucial that these partnerships continue to deliver for Melbourne’s fastest growing municipality.’

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