Welcome to the LeadWest Advocate - Issue 16
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May has been a busy month.  LeadWest and our partners in the Greening the West 1 Million Trees project have been very busy preparing the plans for planting by June 2017 a total of 200,000 mixed native trees in the Werribee River Nature Link, 150,000 trees in the Point Cook Coastal Park and Port Phillip Bay Western Shoreline Nature Link (which includes the lower Kororoit Creek and Stony Creek), 300,000 trees in the Maribyrnong River Nature Link, 150,000 trees in the Kororoit Creek Nature Link and Brimbank Urban Environs, and 200,000 trees in the Toolern Creek Nature Link and Melton Urban Environs.  There is much work to do on this significant project for Melbourne's west and it is true that many hands make light work!

The Victorian Government and Australian Government delivered their budgets.  The Victorian Budget contained some particularly good news for Melbourne's west.  The big gain is in health, with funding for a new 237-bed Western Women's and Children's Hospital and expansion of acute facilities at Werribee Mercy Hospital.  These are very welcome announcements. Nevertheless, we must continue to advocate for the other pressing health and wellbeing needs of Melbourne's west, such as the redevelopment of Western Hospital in Footscray.
In the federal budget the broad incentives for small-to-medium sized business, including employment incentives, come at a welcome time for Melbourne's west as we grow and that sector expands.  We are keen to see SMEs in Melbourne's west make the most of the incentive to go and spend on things that will grow their business, which will hopefully create a positive ripple effect. I particularly hope local business seize opportunities to buy new equipment from other businesses in Melbourne's west.

Some other aspects of the federal budget were not so good for Melbourne's west. One that particularly worries me is the change to arts funding, which could make it harder for the sector to flourish in Melbourne's west. Vibrant and diverse arts and cultural activities are very important to our region. The creatives here enliven our region and contribute directly to attraction of residents and investors to our region. That point was reinforced for me a few times at the successful Tourism Fest in the West in the Sun Theatre at Yarraville.

For the small team at LeadWest, June is set to be another very busy month.  We will be finalising LeadWest's work plan and budget for 2015-16, completing all the usual end-of-financial year tasks and contacting all of LeadWest's members to seek their continuing support. We've also more work to do on Greening the West 1 Million Trees and we will be preparing for some big events in the second half of the year that bring focus to youth engagement, education and employment and bring focus to the region's freight transport infrastructure needs.

As always, we are keen to continue connecting and doing good work with you, making Melbourne's west the very best it can be.  We warmly welcome your contact and are thankful for your continuing support. 

Craig Rowley - LeadWest's CEO
The LeadWest Advocate provides a summary insight into LeadWest's activities; including information on achievement of agreed priorities in the strategic action plan for Melbourne’s west, upcoming events in Melbourne's west, and opportunities for us to work together for the betterment of our region. You can keep up to date with what is happening in Melbourne's west via news updates on LeadWest's website, LeadWest's facebook page and LeadWest twitter feed. 
The Western Agenda focuses on uniting leaders in Melbourne’s west and working together to create a prosperous, sustainable, healthy and fair region. Understanding the need for an integrated “joined up” approach, and the importance of maintaining a strong social fabric when there are so many intertwined issues; we work together on each of these seven threads:


Western Business and Education HubCongratulations to Brimbank City Council on their success in Round 1 of the National Stronger Regions Fund. Brimbank will receive from the Australian Government a $2.5 million contribution toward the construction of the Western Business and Education Hub in Sunshine, which will provide meeting rooms, teleconference facilities, seminar spaces and a 350 seat auditorium for community use. More information
WRICA Careers Expo: LeadWest is a sponsor of the WRICA Careers Expo, which is the biggest in Melbourne’s west and the third largest in Victoria. This year the WRICA Careers Expo was held over two days on May 21 and 22 at Werribee Racecourse. It provided an opportunity for attending students and other members of the community to get quality information and advice from exhibitors regarding employment, apprenticeships, traineeships, training, and higher education.

Western Chances: LeadWest’s CEO will be taking a number of representatives of LeadWest’s members and affiliates, particularly the not-for-profit organisations involved in helping young people transition from school to further skills training and employment to Western Chances Annual Good Business Forum on June 12. Western Chances has a vision to see young people in Melbourne's western suburbs achieve their full potential, and believes in the power of education to transform peoples lives. Learn more about Western Chances!

TAFE Back to Work Fund: LeadWest has provided a letter of support for The Gordon in their bid for assistance through the Victorian Government’s $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund.  The Gordon is proposing to enhance industry engagement and delivery in key regional industries such as: Design and Construction, Health and Community Care, Hospitality, Cookery and Tourism. Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Business has also been identified, not only as an industry sector of importance, but also as an enabler for existing business. Learn more here

Low Carbon West: LeadWest has received a letter from the Hon. Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water signalling the Victorian Government’s support for Low Carbon West.  Learn more about Low Carbon West

Submission on the future of Australia’s automotive industry:  LeadWest has provided the Senate Economics References Committee with a submission to inform its inquiry into the future of Australia’s automotive industry.  LeadWest's submission provided the result of modelling the impact on Melbourne's west of the loss of 2,500 jobs from Toyota's Altona manufacturing plant. According to the REMPLAN impacts analysis, total employment in Melbourne's west, including direct, industrial and consumption effects, is estimated to decrease by up to 5,191 jobs.

Work for Dole Host Forum: Work for the Dole Host Forums are currently being held in metropolitan Melbourne. Work for the Dole host organisations provide activities for job seekers to develop the skills that employers need. By being a host you are able to gain an extra set of hands to complete tasks that you would not normally be able to undertake. The opportunity to become a Work for the Dole host is available to not-for-profit organisations and local, state and Commonwealth government agencies. Employers interested in hosting a job seeker in activities where they can gain skills and experience that give back to the community and can help them find a job are encouraged to contact their local work for the dole coordinator.

Communities for Children: LeadWest has assisted The Smith Family to develop the new Community Strategic Plan and project proposals that respond to Brimbank Communities for Children (CfC) programme. The Smith Family is the Facilitating Partner of the Brimbank CfC programme. The Australian Government’s CfC initiative has been operating for a decade and is currently being implemented in 52 communities across Australia to provide early intervention and prevention activities and programs designed to bring about positive outcomes for children aged 0 to 12 years and their families.

Prevention of Violence Against Women:  Victoria’s Regional Management Forums (RMFs) were established to facilitate collaboration between Victorian Government departments and local government in each of Victoria’s administrative regions.  The Northern and Western RMF has committed to the prevention of violence against women being a priority for 2015 and has arranged a Leadership Forum to be held in June on this issue. LeadWest assisted the RMF to identify the business leaders in Melbourne’s west that have been invited to attend this very important event.
Public Safety Infrastructure Fund: Applications for the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants will open in late May, 2015. Victorian councils can apply for grants of up to $250,000 to help fund the development of new, or redevelopment of existing, infrastructure to help improve community safety, security and confidence in public places. The Department of Justice’s Community Crime Prevention Unit, in partnership with MAV, Grants Network Victoria and LGPro, is holding an information forum on June 4 for council staff about principles, practices and issues for consideration in developing public safety infrastructure, and tips on writing grant applications. More information



Greening the West 1 Million Trees:  On May 6, near the Kororoit Creek at Harris Reserve in Altona North, the Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister for Environment joined over 50 guests of LeadWest to officially launch the Greening the West 1 Million Trees (GTW 1MT) project. LeadWest, with greatly valued assistance from City West Water, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, and all member councils, is currently preparing the more detailed plans required by the Department of Environment for each of the 5 sub-projects. Learn more about Greening the West 1 Million Trees

Greening the West: From pot plants to car parks, nature strips to nature reserves, rooftops to waterways – Greening the West encourages urban greening in all forms, to create more liveable, healthy suburbs in Melbourne’s west. Greening the West has launched their new website which is full of information about their projects and events happening in Melbourne's west. You can even connect with Greening the West on Instagram and share your 'green pics'! Learn more!

Foodprint Melbourne: Foodprint Melbourne is a research project that investigates Melbourne’s ‘foodshed’, the area around Melbourne that supplies the city with food. It is a collaborative project between the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) at University of Melbourne and the Food Alliance (coordinated by Deakin University) and it is funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.  LeadWest, Wyndham City and the Interface Councils have become project partners of Foodprint Melbourne through involvement in the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group. More information on Foodprint Melbourne
Western Transport Alliance: Local governments in Melbourne's west are taking a lead role in advocating for major transport improvements in the region through the Western Transport Alliance. The next meeting of the Western Transport Alliance is being re-scheduled from Thursday June 18. This is to allow for attendance at the Ministerial Freight Industry Summit now being held on the same date.  A new date for the Western Transport Alliance will be set soon and then publicised.

Western Distributor:  LeadWest welcomed the recent announcement that the Western Distributor has progressed to Stage 3 of the Victorian Government’s Market-led Proposals Guideline. The Western Distributor proposal has been developed by Transurban. The proposed Western Distributor is a new way for Melbourne's west, and is a project created to meet some of Melbourne's most critical traffic, growth and liveability needs. The Western Distributor is an opportunity to deliver real improvements to Melbourne's transport network by relieving pressure on the West Gate Bridge, reducing trucks on local roads, improving travel times and boosting safety and liveability for the community.  Transurban will join LeadWest's members and affiliates at Yarraville Community Centre on June 26 for a briefing about the proposed project. Learn more!

Arts funding: As a result of dramatic funding changes announced in the recent Federal budget that have moved more than $100 million away from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australia Council has announced that it will not proceed with its new six-year funding program.  The Australia Council for the Arts has supported arts organisations in Melbourne's west including LeadWest's affiliates such as Footscray Community Arts Centre throughout its 40 year history.  For further information on this issue, please contact Marketing and Communications Manager, Jenna Williams via or Morgan Brady on 03 9362 8806 and via 
Western Melbourne Tourism:  The second annual Tourism Fest in the West was held on May 22 at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville and other venues in the village. It went very well and there was a wonderful energy on the day.  You can now access information from the conference on the Tourism Fest in the West website.

Ardeer Green Activity Hub:  The Ardeer Green Activity Hub project is a partnership project between Brimbank City Council, the Victorian Government, City West Water, Melbourne Water and VicRoads. Brimbank City Council has developed a draft master plan to provide space in the Ardeer Green Activity Hub for cycling, integrated water management and green infrastructure.  It proposes the following facilities: a one kilometre long and eight metre wide criterium circuit; a small single track cross country Mountain Bike circuit; a recreation or competition BMX track; dirt jumps/pump track; a cycling education centre made from shipping containers; significant tree planting and rehabilitation and extension of remnant grassland. Comments on the master plan must be submitted by June 5. More information

Out and About in Melbourne's west: Melbourne’s west is a vibrant, creative hot-spot with rich offerings of live theatre, cultural performances and art exhibitions for all ages. Home to a number of iconic visitor attractions, sport and recreation facilities, Melbourne's west has so much to offer and so much to explore. It is easy to get out and Discover Your Own Backyard (via the links below), or click on the logo of your local council (below). Learn more here!
LeadWest's Board: On May 13, LeadWest’s Board met at Seaworks in Williamstown in the City of Hobsons Bay. The agenda included presentations by Seaworks and the Boating Industry Association of Victoria, a decision on approval of LeadWest's Work Plan for 2015-16, and reports on LeadWest's activities and governance matters. LeadWest's Board next meets on June 10 at the Mercy Hospital in Wyndham. More information
LeadWest’s Constitution: Mr Roger Batrouney of Slater and Gordon is providing legal advice that will enable LeadWest to make changes to LeadWest's Constitution. On receipt of advice, a special general meeting will be called in June 2015 at which LeadWest would seek a majority vote of LeadWest’s members allowing the proposed changes.
Manufacturers in Melbourne's West are invited to a networking event at the Western BACE, 222 Ferris Road, Melton to be held  on July 16, 2015. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from CEO of the Western BACE, Mark Corrie, along with participating in a Q&A session with manufacturing champions from the region. More information and registrations

SUBSCRIBE to receive the Open Innovation West e-Newsletter. JOIN the OIW LinkedIn Group.
More information on the Open Innovation West can be obtained from the Executive Officer, Andrew Baldacchino. Email or phone 0438 441 223.
On LeadWest's website you can access the Melbourne's West Economic Profile.
Access REMPLAN Economic and Community profiles for Melbourne's west.

LeadWest's membership includes all six local governments in Melbourne's west, joined by major companies and other organisations, each with substantial operations or interests that are based in Melbourne's west. 

LeadWest also has a growing number of 
Affiliatesprimarily not-for-profit organisations and each playing a significant role in our region. Any organisation with operations or interests based in Melbourne's west may apply for membership. There is a process set down in the Constitution for approval of memberships by the Board of Directors. Contact LeadWest 
Employers: Take advantage of the Post a FREE Job link in addition to your usual channels of advertising to access local talent in Melbourne's west.
Job Seekers: Job alerts are now live on Melbourne's West Jobs. Conduct a job search, set an alert via the email link and you'll be notified whenever a job fitting your search criteria is listed.  

Need help? The Employer User Manual and Job Seeker User Manual are available for download on the LeadWest website.
Melbourne’s west is a vibrant, creative hotspot with rich offerings of live theatre, cultural performances and art exhibitions for all ages. Home to iconic visitor attractions, sport and recreation facilities, Melbourne's west has so much to offer and so much to explore. More information

The Discover Your Own Backyard campaign aims to encourage residents to get out and discover things to see and do in their local area, and promote to their visiting friends and relatives.
For information on Small Business Victoria's 'Big Help for Small Business' workshops and seminars: click here.
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