Melton is booming, with new figures showing the municipality’s population climbed by more than 4.5 per cent in a year – double the state growth rate.
More than 138,000 people called Melton home at the end of the past financial year, up from 132,000 the year before.
Outer growth suburbs had the largest growth, with South Morang, Cranbourne East, Craigieburn and Point Cook among the fastest growing suburbs in the country, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest Regional Population Growth report.
The state opposition has accused the government of not being able to manage the “tsunami of people” calling Victoria home, spruiking its Population Policy Taskforce which is expected to release its interim findings in the coming months.
The opposition’s population policy spokesman Tim Smith said managing the booming population was “critically important” for outer growth suburbs, including Melton.
“It is vital that Victoria decentralises its population to ensure that we become a state of cities, not a city-state, to take the pressure off Melbourne and grow regional Victoria,” Mr Smith said.
“That is why [the Coalition] is working hard to plan for our growing population with a comprehensive strategy of more roads, public transport, schools, police and hospitals, especially in growth areas like the western suburbs.”
But government spokesman Jordy Jeffrey-Bailey said the government had invested millions of dollars on vital infrastructure projects in the Melton municipality, including $600,000 on road resurfacing and maintenance works across Melton.
Mr Jeffrey-Bailey said last year’s budget included $12 million to build stage one of the Taylors Hill West Secondary College, $5.4 million to upgrade the Melton Specialist School, and money to buy a site for a primary school in Burnside.
“Whether it’s building a brand new community health hub, expanding and refurbishing the surgical and maternity services at Djerriwarrh Health Services, or building new ambulance stations in Melton and Bacchus Marsh – we’re investing to ensure we can continue to meet the health care needs of the Melton community, now and into the future,” he said.
“We’re duplicating the Ballarat railway line to Melton, which will provide space for more trains, more often and the Metro Tunnel will also pave the way for electrification and the creation of a dedicated Melton metro line through Melbourne’s west.”
The National Growth Areas Alliance was contacted for comment.