Investments in today’s (3 May 2022) State budget in health, education and transport have been welcomed by the Interface Councils (IFC).
Interface Councils group spokesperson, Cr Jeff Springfield, Mayor of Cardinia Shire, said a number of budget announcements address the significant gaps in infrastructure and service delivery needed to keep up with population pressures in Melbourne’s growth corridors.
“The need for investment in hospital and health services has been a key issue of concern for IFC Councils. Investment in health services, including wider and easier access to mental health services for metropolitan Melbourne’s outer ring is critically important to address our emerging areas of need.”
Cr Springfield said the IFC particularly welcomed funding announcements for the construction of the Melton hospital and upgrades to both Casey and Werribee Mercy hospitals, and would continue to advocate for investment in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services.
The MCH system across the IFC has been under severe pressure, including shortages of local services and referral pathways for families and shortages in the MCH workforce.
“The 2022 Victorian State Budget provides a solid foundation for the State Government and the Interface Councils to build stronger communities in Melbourne’s outer suburban communities.”
“The Andrews Government’s pipeline of major infrastructure is important for the State’s economy however we believe a strong, programmed investment in local infrastructure to provide the roads, libraries, aquatic centres, recreation and community facilities required to increase the liveability within Interface Councils and create and sustain localised jobs will require ongoing focus from all levels of government.
“To this end we welcome the continuation of the Growing Suburbs Fund and will advocate to ensure that the fund is made permanent.”
The Growing Suburbs Fund has been a very success program, delivering local infrastructure projects in Interface Councils. It’s noted that the program will continue for a further 12 months however, the IFC looks forward to engaging with government to advocate for the program to be permanently included in forward estimates, see its funding increased with the recent inclusion of peri-urban Councils and scope widened to cater for our communities’ growing needs.
Melbourne’s outer areas continue to grow at a record pace. Keeping up with demands for services and infrastructure remains the Interface Councils greatest challenge. Only with local and state governments working together can we begin to address the significant shortfalls the remain and deliver the future needs for the 1.6 million residents living in Melbourne’s outer growing suburbs.
Contact Phil Reed for further information or to request an interview with an Interface Councils spokesperson. Email firstname.lastname@example.org