Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable Martin Pakula MP, Minister for Industry Support and Recovery; Minister for Trade; Minister for Business Precincts; Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events; and Minister for Racing. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibilities of business precincts.
Wyndham city is growing at a rapid pace. Wyndham has seen a huge population growth, and more and more people are choosing Wyndham to raise their families. This makes Wyndham a crucial place for investment in infrastructure, employment and education to boost the future outcomes for the locals. The COVID-19 crisis showed us that there is a need for people to have employment close to their home so disruptions like the pandemic can be managed in the future. The increasing inflation rate has people concerned about their cost of living. The growing costs are bolstering the case for local employment hubs. With the shock of increasing oil prices and other living costs, this is the right time to reconsider the East Werribee employment precinct.
The plans to pursue the East Werribee employment precinct were rejected by the state government in 2019. If it had been pursued, a commercial precinct, a new town centre, a health and learning precinct, an enterprise precinct and a business precinct would have been developed, according to the Victorian Planning Authority, the VPA.
This is of major importance to Wyndham and the community living in the Western Metropolitan Region. Education and employment opportunities should be local; the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us this. This would help boost the local economy and help the west become self-reliant. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on when the Victorian government will commit to reconsidering this important East Werribee employment precinct, and if it will not, to advise me on what actions will be taken as an alternative.
Martin Pakula MP, Minister for Business Precincts 1/07/2022):
I thank the member for the question.
The East Werribee Employment Precinct (EWEP) is part of the Werribee National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC). This precinct is a long-term strategic opportunity to cluster and grow jobs, provide housing growth and improve local amenity and quality of life in the outer west.
The Government’s commitment to the Werribee NEIC can be seen through the $2.8 million provided to the Transforming Western Melbourne initiative in the 2022-23 State Budget. Funding will be given over two years to develop an East Werribee precinct roadmap and delivery strategy for government-owned land in the EWEP. The roadmap and delivery strategy will outline the staged development of EWEP.
This initiative will facilitate economic, social and environmental benefits within the Western suburbs of Melbourne and will aid in economic recovery from COVID-19.