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Growing Suburb Fund Over-Subscribed By More Than $100 Million

The State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund will be feeling the strain with this year’s round of applications totalling more than $130 million despite only $25 million allocated per annum.

Interface Councils spokesperson and Nillumbik Shire Mayor Cr Peter Clarke, said the ten councils had submitted more than 90 applications for critical community infrastructure projects.

“Melbourne’s outer suburbs are home to more than 1.5 million people including more than 410 thousand families, all of whom are in urgent need of additional infrastructure and services,” Cr Clarke said.

“Interface Councils are pleased that $25 million per annum was allocated for the Fund for the next two years, however even if the full $50 million is spent in this year’s application process, there will still be a shortfall of $81 million to fund all of the projects. As a result, residents are going to have to wait far longer to see infrastructure that they should already have.

“While there have been some great outcomes achieved with the $100 million that has been provided to date, there is still a long way to go and this is demonstrated by how over-subscribed the program is again this year.

“The Growing Suburbs Fund is a crucial funding stream that assists councils’ invest in the backlog of local community infrastructure at an earlier stage. This creates more local employment opportunities, provides health benefits and stimulates the local economies,” Cr Clarke said.

Examples of projects in this year’s round of applications include:

  •  Officer Library Youth Education Facility (Cardinia)

  •  Relocatable preschools for growing Craigieburn (Hume)

  •  Truganina Integrated Family Learning Centre (Wyndham)

  •  Jack Thomas Reserve Pavilion Development (Casey)

  •  Fraser Rise Community Hub (Melton)

  •  Connecting Kilmore - Kilmore Town Centre Revitalisation (Mitchell)

  •  Rosebud Community Hub - Olympic Park (Mornington Peninsula)

  •  Diamond Creek Trail Extension – from Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen (Nillumbik)

  •  Mill Park Leisure Centre Redevelopment (Whittlesea)

  •  Community and Sports Pavilion, Monbulk (Yarra Ranges)

“For more than 15 years there has been a significant gap in community infrastructure in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and the backlog that is growing prevents residents from having access to facilities that connect them with their neighbours, enable the delivery of social support services and promote healthy and active lifestyles,” Cr Clarke said.

“The Growing Suburbs Fund has been an enormous success during the past two years, bringing more than 70 much-needed projects such as community hubs, youth support facilities, child care centres and recreation amenities, to fruition.

“Given the success of the Fund and the level of critical community infrastructure still required, Interface Councils would hope that at a minimum the State Government reinstates an allocation of $50 million per annum for the Growing Suburbs Fund and provides a four-year commitment in the 2018/19 Victorian Budget.” Cr Clarke said.

Interface Councils is a group of ten municipalities that form a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, comprising Cardinia Shire Council, City of Casey, Hume City Council, Melton City Council, Mitchell Shire Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, City of Whittlesea, Wyndham City Council and Yarra Ranges Shire Council.

For more information contact Stina Webb on 0452 101 303.

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