Former Premier Steve Bracks has unveiled a bold plan to create 50,000 new jobs in Sunshine, capitalising on the major transport investments and the region’s existing strengths.We take a closer look at what it means for the suburb and surrounds.
Mr Bracks said it was imperative that transport around the city of Sunshine met the demands of its growing population.
While the suburb’s transformation will largely centre around key projects such as the Sunshine super hub and airport rail link, the strategy identifies a number of other key recommendations.
It calls for a number of new tram routes to Footscray, Deer Park, Newport and Moonee Ponds.
Trams will flow from Sunshine to Footscray (including Footscray Hospital, Highpoint); down Furlong Road and through Cairnlea to Deer Park.
They will also link through industrial precincts; Brooklyn, Newport and Altona and to Moonee Ponds.
Improved cycling paths and an improved bus network are included to prevent the area becoming a “carpark.”
A completely revamped justice precinct forms a key component of the plan.
Redevelopment of the court area provides the potential to develop a legal services hub at Sunshine, which would tap into both the expected growth in professional, scientific and technical services as well as public administration and safety.
Both are expected to generate significant numbers of new jobs.
“I’ve been calling for a while for parts of the Department of Justice to relocate from Melbourne to Sunshine,” Mr Bracks said.
“It would make it a real hub, bringing in all that comes with it, such as contractors and support provisions.”
WoMEDA believes it would be possible to locate the Family Violence Agency, the Adult Parole Board, a new research centre into recidivism, and the Department of Corrections to Sunshine.
Education will play a major role in driving jobs.
Sunshine would have a formidable university and polytechnic presence, an advanced manufacturing centre of excellence, an enterprise park integrating business and research, and a high performing high school.
Victoria University vice chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins said education will ensure the longevity of job opportunities.
“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.”
Sport and culture
The strategy identifies a lack of major sporting stadiums in the west and has earmarked Energy Park as an ideal choice for a stadium, aquatic centre or sporting complex.
Its strategic location near the Western Ring Road and rail network making it the optimal location, according to the strategy.
The National Gallery of Victoria would also have a branch in Sunshine and there would be a picturesque town square in the heart of Sunshine.
The plan calls for an expansion of the Sunshine Leisure Centre, however the Brimbank council has earmarked its sister site, the St Albans Leisure Centre, for a $60 million redevelopment.
An extra 15,000 jobs in the health and care sectors are planned.
In creating jobs, the strategy calls for the Sunshine Hospital zone to be hypercharged developing its reputation for treatment of chronic conditions and attracting complementary medical and research units.
Leading neurologist Tissa Wijeratne welcomed the announcement.
“The western suburbs caters for people representing just over 165 countries. “Whatever research portfolios we put forward would have impact globally.”