Bracks unveils bold new plan for Sunshine

By Tate Papworth

A bold plan to create 50,000 new jobs in Sunshine will today be unveiled by former Victorian premier Steve Bracks.

The Sunshine – Daring to be Great  strategy aims to capitalise on major transport investments coming to the precinct, including the Airport Rail Link.

Mr Bracks said  the strategy, which has been developed by the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA), also aims to capitlise on the area’s existing strengths, which include the health, education and manufacturing sectors.

“Sunshine has a chance to build on its proud working history by becoming a major economic, social and transport hub for Melbourne and Victoria,” he said.

“Targeting particular sectors such as health, construction, public administration, tourism, retail, manufacturing and care services all make sense for Sunshine.

“Construction is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the West, whilst manufacturing is one of the largest employers in Brimbank and still has significant growth potential.

“The presence of Sunshine Hospital and the newly built Joan Kirner Hospital creates a significant opportunity to grow jobs in the health care sector, and create more leading research collaborations.

“Developing a Jobs Institute in Sunshine will also tackle the key challenge of growing jobs outside of our major CBD areas.”

Victoria University is set to play a growing role in education opportunities as the region grows.

WOMEDA Deputy Chair and Victoria University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins will be alongside Mr Bracks as the strategy is unveiled in Sunshine this afternoon.

He said a massive opportunity to deliver a wide range of benefits to not only Brimbank, but the wider community exists.

“The role of our education sector is set to become more important as people adapt to, and train for, newly emerging roles,” Professor Dawkins said.

“We are already developing the capability to do rapid prototyping to assist local firms to innovate faster and create greater value for our local manufacturing sector.

“With the preferred airport rail route stopping at Sunshine there’s also an opportunity to grow the visitor economy.

“This could include developing a convention centre, new hotels, and major sports and cultural drawcards.”

“The creation of a new elegant town centre, recreational spaces and stronger linkages between local parks will be important to maximise Sunshine’s potential.”

On Monday, Star Weekly revealed that Vicinity Centres, the owner of the Sunshine Marketplace had lodged plans with the Brimbank Council to create a new dining and leisure precinct and an 84-room serviced apartment hotel.

Vicinity Centres’ said the proposed dining and leisure precinct will contain up to 11 new restaurants and casual dining options and will also feature landscaped gardens and open space, a children’s play area and a dedicated community entertainment zone.