West needs investment

Regional advocacy group LeadWest has called for an urgent new focus on Melbourne’s West in the face of the rapidly growing population.

The lobby group earlier this month released a report The Future is West: Investing in Melbourne’s Newest Generation in which it also called
for consideration of a new special economic zone and minister for Melbourne’s west.

Establishing a special economic zone would bring about payroll tax relief for businesses in the west and create incentives to invest for businesses while providing certainty to business about an infrastructure pipeline.

Researched and compiled by global multi-disciplinary firm Arup, the report stated that one in six Melburnians already live in the West and by 2050 it will have added another one million people to represent 35 per cent of Melbourne’s population.

LeadWest chief executive Craig Rowley said it was imperative the right investments were made.

“The west is the fastest growing area of Melbourne. We are adding a Canberra worth of people every decade, including 250 babies born here every week. We need to invest in our young families who are raising Melbourne’s next generation,” Mr Rowley said.

“Our rapidly expanding population is a huge opportunity. But if the right investment and proper management doesn’t happen now, the repercussions will impact not only Victoria, but also the nation’s economy.”