Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Honourable Marlene Kairouz, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation and Minister for Suburban Development. My question to the minister relates to her portfolio of responsibilities for suburban development. I had the pleasure of representing Minister Kairouz at the Health Focus: Regional Priorities for the West workshop run by the Western Metropolitan Partnership. Health practitioners, service providers and stakeholders in Melbourne’s west were invited to participate in a workshop to align regional health priorities for the partnership’s 2019 advice to the Victorian government. The Western Metropolitan Partnership has played a key role in advocating to the Victorian government for improvements in community health for Footscray Hospital, the Melton hospital and the Tweddle Child and Family Health Service. Can the minister provide me more information on how the data collected from the Western Metropolitan Partnership will be used?
Ms KAIROUZ (Kororoit—Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Suburban Development) (6 February 2020):
The community and stakeholder feedback and data collected from the Western Metropolitan Partnership meetings and events is used to provide advice to, and inform, the Government’s decision-making about priorities for Melbourne’s west. It is about providing a community voice—through communicating the opinions of residents to government—to help improve outcomes for the west.
As Minister for Suburban Development, I work with my colleagues across the Victorian Government to respond to the Partnership’s priorities. We provide a Report Back to the Partnerships each year on our response to their advice and relevant investments made by the government in the Western region.
The Metropolitan Partnerships provide independent advice to government. The Western Metropolitan Partnership has identified health as a priority, with a focus on improving access to services as the population grows. Last year, the Partnership provided advice to the government including recommendations to establish a Centre of Excellence for Parenting in Melbourne’s West at the Tweddle Facility in Footscray and planning for a new hospital to service the Western growth corridor.
The Government listened to this advice and responded with $1.43 billion for construction of the 504-bed Footscray Hospital which will provide care for an extra 15000 patients, $2.3 million to plan a new Melton Hospital and a share of the $214 million package for new early parenting centres including a new centre in Wyndham and a substantial upgrade to the Tweddle Child and Family Health Service.
The Western Metropolitan Partnership has just submitted its 2019 advice to government, which was informed by the Health Focus workshop. The government will consider this advice over the coming months and respond to the Partnerships next year.
The Suburban Development portfolio was established in May 2016 to ensure that as Melbourne’s population grows, all residents will have access to jobs, services and infrastructure no matter where they live. Under current projections, Melbourne’s population is expected to grow from 5.1 million today to more than 8 million by 2051. Approximately one third of this growth will be accommodated by greenfield areas on the metropolitan fringes.
That is why, as the Minister for Suburban Development, I am working with communities and across government to sustainably manage the revitalisation of established suburbs and make sure our new suburbs are vibrant and liveable places.