Interface Councils has this week launched The Liveability Project, a campaign calling for a whole-of-government policy to address the liveability changes in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and a commitment to better access to jobs, services and infrastructure for the 1.6 million people living in these areas. Interface Councils spokesperson and Mitchell Shire Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson said it was critical residents get involved and share their experiences with Victoria’s decision makers via The Liveability Project. “There are many positives about living in Melbourne’s outer suburbs – that’s why so many people choose to call them home. However, it can also be a hard slog. Access to jobs, services, education and other amenities can be extremely difficult. This can have a profound flow-on effect on people’s health, family life, careers and learning and development,” Cr Sanderson said. “By residents sharing their stories, it gives a human voice to the daily struggles behind the lack of funding for services and infrastructure in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Victoria’s decision makers need to hear these stories. “We want discussions about change to be less about the facts and figures, and more about how access to the jobs, education, services and infrastructure in Melbourne’s outer suburbs can alter lives. “For example, having a lack of health and human services doesn’t just mean residents need to travel further to seek treatment. It also means that people who need health support (mental or other) can be discouraged from seeking the support they need in the first place and it becomes a vicious cycle of them feeling like they are isolated from society. We need to hear these stories to emphasise how crucial it is that there are changes needed in the outer suburbs of Melbourne,” Cr Sanderson said. If you live or work in Melbourne’s outer suburbs share your stories on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter using the hashtag #TheLiveabilityProject, or at www.interfacecouncils.com.au/theliveabilityproject. The Liveability Project is running in the lead up to the State Government Election in November. The stories collected via The Liveability Project campaign will contribute to The Liveability Policy to be launched later this year and will provide an on-the-ground perspective to influence change. Key findings in Interface Council’s Liveability Snapshot show that outer Melbourne measures below the Victorian averages of liveability indicators including public transport, walkability, food security, housing and critical social infrastructure and services. 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.