Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (19:57): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. The Andrews Labor government has announced the creation of new parks in Clyde, Werribee and Deanside, along with the improvement of two parks in Werribee and Melton South. The parks are part of the $154 million suburban parks program. The proposed program aims to provide 6500 hectares of new and upgraded accessible green space for the communities in Melbourne’s growing outer suburbs.
The proposed parks will improve health and wellbeing for people in the western and the south-eastern suburbs. This initiative will connect the community and be a valuable place for socialising, fun and exercise. Moreover, it will lead to the protection of native plants, animals, creeks and the important conservation areas. This initiative will offer a variety of recreational activities such as walking and cycling tracks, tourism and educational opportunities. This will also lead to the creation of new jobs and increased climate change resilience.
The most fascinating part of this initiative is that local people can now have their say on what the parks will look like. The community can come forward and share their ideas and feedback from 14 May to 27 June 2021. These ideas will help set priorities and plans for the upcoming developments. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on how this initiative is being promoted to the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region.
The provision of green open space in Melbourne is more important than ever. COVID-19 restrictions and growing populations have placed an even greater emphasis on the need for local communities to have access to the space they need to breathe.
The $154 million Suburban Parks Program is a 2018 election commitment that will support the health and wellbeing, natural environment and climate change resilience of western metropolitan communities by:
- establishing new parks in Werribee (Werribee Township Regional Park), and Deanside (Kororoit Creek Regional Park)
- providing new parkland plans and upgrades to Werribee River and Toolern Creek Regional Parks
- contributing to the Greening the Pipeline project, a linear park that will better connect communities in Williams Landing and Hoppers Crossing.
- providing funding for western councils to deliver seven new pocket parks, six new off-leash dog parks and seven park revitalisation projects.
The new and improved parks will provide more healthy, open spaces where people can relax, socialise and exercise and where nature can flourish. Many of the new local parks delivered by western councils will be delivered this year, with the remaining in 2022. The new, large suburban parks will be open in stages from mid-2022, with all parks delivering on a new Open Space for Everyone strategy.
The Victorian Government is promoting these exciting, new initiatives through strategic communications and engagement campaigns. These include timely media releases, social media posts, targeted emails, online workshops and ‘pop-ups’ (subject to COVID-19 restrictions) and a range of public consultation methods via the Engage Victoria digital platform.
From May to early July, Parks Victoria sought community input into the vision, uses and interests in the new parks in Werribee and Deanside and upgrades to two existing parks, Werribee River and Toolern Creek Regional Parks.
Community consultation about parkland construction for Greening the Pipeline is expected to be held by Wyndham City Council in July 2021. Community tree-planting days are also planned in August 2021.
Community members can have a say or register for updates at the Victorian Government’s Engage Victoria website at engage.vic.gov.au. Updates are also available on the Environment page of DELWP’s website.
I look forward to your ongoing support and proactive advocacy on the Suburban Parks Program, which will create more than 6500 hectares of new and upgraded parks and trails in Greater Melbourne, for our growing communities to enjoy now and in the future.