Wyndham City backs plan to kickstart economic recovery

By Our Reporter

Wyndham City backs North and West Melbourne City Deal Plan 2020-2040 to kickstart economic recovery

Wyndham City has backed a 20-year plan to kickstart the economic recovery of Melbourne’s North and West which will deliver infrastructure, jobs and vital services.

The North and West Melbourne City Deal Plan 2020-2040 is a blueprint for the region to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic both in the immediate and medium-term by creating a job-generating plan to deliver economic prosperity in Melbourne’s North and West.

The City Deal Plan includes 66 transformative and enabling projects—many of which are shovel ready or have business cases already in development—and targets the creation of 300,000 new jobs by 2040.

Wyndham City Mayor Cr Josh Gilligan said the City Deal Plan had been developed collaboratively between 13 Councils represented by LeadWest and the Northern Councils Alliance, La Trobe and Victoria Universities, and economic development bodies NORTH Link and the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance.

“Wyndham City is proud to be part of this unprecedented, unified call from North and West Councils across Melbourne,” Cr Gilligan said.

“The North and West Melbourne City Deal Plan 2020-2040 is a community effort to arrive at a joint list of investment priorities for the region. As Australia’s fastest growing region, the North West Melbourne City Deal Plan deliberately places a priority on growing jobs closer to where people live.”

The North and West Melbourne region is currently home to around 2 million people; by 2040, it will have more than 3 million residents.

Cr Gilligan said Wyndham’s investment priorities included development of the East Werribee Employment Precinct, the Western Rail Plan and Westlink.

“We’re committed to ensuring that East Werribee remains a National Employment and Innovation cluster as set out in Plan Melbourne,” Cr Gilligan said.

He added that the East Werribee Employment Precinct has tremendous potential for Wyndham as a bustling employment, technology and educational hub. “As our population grows, so too does traffic congestion, and building Westlink is vital to relieving this congestion and improving travel times for drivers by connecting Tarneit to Wyndham Vale and Manor Lakes, and Wyndham Vale to Werribee and the Princess Freeway.”

A key piece of infrastructure needed for the Westlink project is the Ison Road bridge, which will provide a game-changing link from the west of Wyndham across the Geelong railway line to the Princes Freeway.

“But we need more than new roads to improve transport in and out of Wyndham—that’s why we also need investment in the Western Rail Plan, which would include two electrified metropolitan rail lines in Melton and Wyndham Vale, with increased capacity between Sunshine and Melbourne’s CBD to cater for faster and more frequent metropolitan and regional trains.”

Cr Gilligan said Melbourne’s North and West have been among the hardest hit by the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, and Wyndham City was keen to be part of a Government-led recovery that would bring forward much-needed funding, job creation and infrastructure for the region.

“We are in an unprecedented position to create positive, long lasting change for Wyndham and Melbourne’s North and West and we need the State and Federal Governments to invest in projects that will make a positive difference to our future.”

The next step, he said, is to work towards formal Memorandum of Understanding arrangements at a Commonwealth, State and local government level to turn this plan into a reality.”

Former Premier and Chancellor-elect of Victoria University, Steve Bracks, who launched the City Deal Plan alongside fellow former Premier John Brumby and Victorian Senator Scott Ryan, praised the plan.

“A City Deal for the North and West Melbourne region was urgently needed before COVID-19… it is even more critical today,” Mr Bracks said.

To read the North and West Melbourne City Plan Deal 2020-2040, visit: www.nwmcitydeal.org.au

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