Welcome to the LeadWest Advocate - Issue 18
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In the past six weeks the small team at LeadWest have got straight into implementing LeadWest's Annual Work Plan for 2015-16. It is available to view here.  In it we have identified priority activities against each of our four roles - connecting, analysing, advocating, and assisting. We have aligned these activities with each of the 7 threads of the Western Agenda. We've also identified the priority "advocacy ask" for each thread.  In summary they are:
Thread 1 - Education and Skills
  • Production of a Regional Schools Development and Maintenance Plan for Melbourne's west
  • Funding of trades/technical skills centres and programs in Melbourne's west
  • Greater support for the universities serving our region and the tertiary students from Melbourne's west
Thread 2 - Productive Economy
  • An Innovation and Investment Fund or other targeted measures to boost jobs growth in Melbourne's west
  • Greater support for businesses and workers affected by the structural adjustment of our regional economy
  • Responses to priorities put by the region’s business community through Business West 21 
Thread 3 - Community Wellbeing
  • Investment in infrastructure and programs that contribute to improved maternal and child health in our region
  • Investment in infrastructure and programs that contribute to preventing violence against women in our region
  • Funding to support Sons of the West in 2016
Thread 4 - Sustained Liveability
  • Measures supporting more effective sub-regional and inter-regional planning
  • Policy change and funding that assists in implementing Low Carbon West (e.g. legislate for Environmental Upgrade Agreements)
  • Funding that expands and assists in implementing the Greening the West initiative
Thread 5 - Enabling Infrastructure
  • Investments that provide better intra-regional and inter-regional commuter transport network links
  • Investments that provide better intra-regional and inter-regional freight network links
Thread 6 - Experience and Enjoyment
  • Investments that enhance accessibility of our region’s visitor assets (e.g. better public transport to venues in Melbourne's west)
  • Program funding that enables organisations in our region to boost participation in Arts and Culture activities
  • Funding for community infrastructure used to promote active living, exercise and recreational activity within our region
On a more personal note, it is with great sadness that we mark the passing of John Alexander Nicol OAM. John had been undergoing treatment for cancer in the last month. Our thoughts are with the Nicol family and friends at this time.  John made great contributions to our communities in Melbourne's west.  He was the City Engineer for the Werribee Shire and then the City of Werribee from 1974 to 1994, receiving the Order of Australia Medal in 1989 for services to local government. John was also recognised as Wyndham citizen of the year 1999. He was past Chairman and the inaugural life member of the Committee for Wyndham. John was Chair of the Community Reference Group for the city-shaping Regional Rail Project and I feel privileged to have served under his leadership in that group. These are just a sample of his many contributions to our region. John Nicol did a great deal of good for Melbourne's west. Vale John Nicol.

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:



Education State Consultation:  The Victorian Government opened the Education State consultation as an opportunity for all Victorians to have their say on what is working well in our education system and how we can improve it.  LeadWest recently provided input to a submission made by the Brimbank Learning and Employment Steering Committee. The Early Education State Discussion paper has now been launched and a two-month consultation period has opened. Future consultation phases will focus on vocational education and training For more information visit:

Victoria University – V4U Day: Victoria University volunteers are looking for more host organisations in Melbourne’s west where they can donate their time and services as part of V4U Day 2015 to be held in October. Now in its fifth year, the award-winning program sees hundreds of VU staff and students close their books and switch off their computers for a day a year to take on community projects. V4U Day is designed to provide ‘service learning’ and build bridges between students, academics and the local community. The volunteers come from all study areas and campuses. They fan out in teams across the region to garden, paint, clean, collect litter, and join in activities with the elderly, migrants, the disabled or children.  LeadWest is discussing with VU the potential for volunteers to assist with site preparation and maintenance activities associated with the Greening the West 1 Million Trees projects.

Wyndham Education Roundtable: Wyndham City Council hosted a roundtable discussion with all tertiary and vocational education providers in Wyndham, with the aim of maximising education opportunities and numbers of tertiary places offered in Wyndham. LeadWest’s CEO was the MC for this event, which included a welcome by Cr Heather Marcus, (Wyndham City Council’s Education, Employment and Training Portfolio Committee Holder), presentations by Dr Shanti Wong and Dr Jude Walker, and case studies of local and successful education provider collaborations. LeadWest’s CEO also facilitated discussion on future collaborations.  

Automotive Manufacturing and Shipbuilding: LeadWest has used REMPLAN to model the effects on Melbourne's west of job losses in the automotive manufacturing and shipbuilding industry and estimates that over 9,000 jobs could be lost from the region by 2017. Accordingly, LeadWest is keeping a close eye on the $155 million Growth Fund, which comprises:
  • The Automotive Diversification Programme (ADP), which is a $20 million programme that includes $18 million for competitive merit-based grants. Successful projects (attracting grants totaling $6.7 million) under Round 1 of the ADP were announced on March 10. Successful projects (attracting grants totaling $5.7 million) under Round 2 of the ADP were announced on August 3.  No companies in Melbourne’s west have received grants to date.  Applications for Round 3 opened on August 3 and close on September 17. 
  • The Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Programme (AISAP), which provides redundant workers from eligible automotive manufacturing companies (including component suppliers) with immediate access to intensive employment support. Workers from Melbourne’s west are accessing available assistance under the AISAP. 
  • The Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme, which is a $61.8 million competitive grants programme. Applications for Round 1 closed on January 9. Successful applicants for the South Australian round of the programme were announced on August 3. Outcomes of applications for projects in Victoria are expected to be announced soon.
  • The $30 million Regional Infrastructure Programme, which is expected to open in the coming months.
  • The $30 million Skills and Training Initiative, which is designed to help workers from Holden and Toyota transition to new jobs as the car manufacturing industry winds down in Australia. It complements state government programmes for eligible supply chain workers, as well as existing activities undertaken by Holden and Toyota to help their workers become job ready. Eligible Victorian workers can access support services through the Victorian Government’s Workforce Development Centres.
Creative Industries: Creative Industries are important for our region. This growth sector provides considerable potential for new job creation in Melbourne’s west. The sector also helps in the development of stronger, more connected communities. LeadWest provided a submission making this key point to the Victorian Government in response to the Creative Industries Discussion Paper.  The development of a strategy by the Victorian Government and Creative Victoria ‘to increase the public value of the creative industries to Victoria – culturally, socially and economically’, directly relates to a number of goals in the Western Agenda.  The latest REMPLAN data for Melbourne’s west shows the gross revenue generated by the Arts and Recreation Services sector (which includes Creative Industries) contributes $517.3 million of total output for Melbourne’s west. 

FreshWest:  At the Spring Into The West event in the Victorian Parliament last September, the Premier of Victoria and celebrity chef Mr Gary Mehigan launched the FreshWest vision: "Melbourne's west, with world class irrigation districts, leading food science and technology, and highly productive food processing and waste-to-resource firms, positioned in the Asian Century as one of Australia's leading regions for food production and export."  The Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ian Macfarlane, has approved the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre proposed by Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) as part of the Australian Government's $225 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative.  The very good news for Melbourne's west is that the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre headquarters will be located at the CSIRO’s Food Innovation Centre in Werribee. FIAL will be able to leverage and build onto CSIRO’s extensive national network of business and researchers to improve the engagement between researchers and industry to encourage innovation across the value chain. 

High Capacity Metro Trains Project:  To assist with its bid for the $1.3 billion High Capacity Metro Trains Project, LeadWest has helped Downer Rail to connect with potential suppliers in Melbourne’s west.  LeadWest has also provided a letter of support to Downer Rail, noting the company’s past and potential significant investment in the Newport Rail Yards and the importance of rail manufacturing jobs growth within Melbourne’s west to partly offset job losses in shipbuilding and automotive manufacturing. Trains were once built at Newport by a workforce numbering in the thousands and Australian company Downer Rail is investing several million dollars in the hope they will be built there again. Learn more here.

Low Carbon West: Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action representatives and LeadWest’s CEO met with a senior adviser to the Hon Lily D'Ambrosio, Victoria's Minister for Industry and Minister for Energy and Resources.  This meeting was part of our ongoing approach to the Victorian Government to inform them about and seek partnership in implementing Low Carbon West. It follows a previous meeting the Chief of Staff and senior adviser to the Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change.  The Minister’s adviser was made aware that the top Low Carbon West priority is to assist businesses to upgrade their premises to reduce energy use and emissions, as well as the funding assistance required to implement priority Low Carbon West actions. Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action representatives and LeadWest’s CEO subsequently attended the Victorian Government's Energy Efficiency and Productivity Summit to promote the actions in the Low Carbon West strategy that will generate energy efficiency and productivity improvements for businesses, both in the region and elsewhere, as well as open service and product supply opportunities for businesses in Melbourne's west.  Learn more here.

Open Innovation West: Open Innovation West participants visited Deakin University Waurn Ponds Campus on August 12 to gain an overview of the School of Engineering in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Institute for Frontier Materials, Carbon Nexus, Carbon Revolution and the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research. The Open Innovation West Conference is now scheduled for October 29 and LeadWest has received confirmation that the Minister for Industry will officially open it. Want to keep up to date with OIW activities?  Subscribe to the OIW eNewsletter!

Social Economy Roundtable: Local economic development is a key factor for vibrant, healthy and resilient communities. Certain types of enterprises magnify this effect by combining economic development with support for their members and social values. In the current climate of financial austerity and rising community demands for services, such enterprises are more important than ever. Accordingly, LeadWest and the Victorian Local Governance Association partnered to host an event that provided opportunity to explore ways of working together that go beyond traditional models of business. 

Workforce Development Centre: The Victorian Government established Workforce Development Centres to provide advice on job opportunities, vocational training and links to a range of services to help Victorians get ready for the next step in their career. They are there to assist anyone who is, or is likely to be, a retrenched worker. LeadWest continues to participate in the Regional Working Group overseeing performance of the North and Western Region Workforce Development Centre. "Pop-up Workforce Development Centre" activities have occurred in Altona Meadows and more is planned in Melbourne's west for the months ahead.  Learn more here.

Better Health Plan for the West:  The result of a partnership of over 20 agencies across primary care, acute health, government, social support and other sectors delivering services in Melbourne's west, the Better Health Plan for the West (BHPW) is a ten year plan to shape the way local health services respond to the complex needs of one of Australia’s fastest growing and most diverse regions. The overarching goal of the BHPW is healthy and engaged communities in Melbourne's west, with the focus on three high priority health issues being: Mental Health; Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity and Diabetes; and Cancer. The BHPW Steering Group have recently welcomed into its membership two new members Diane Crouch of cohealth and Christopher Carter of the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.  Leaving the BHPW Steering Group are Gaylene Coulton, Dr Vanda Fortunato and Jason Rostant. Their contributions, support and dedication to advocacy will be missed. At its most recent meeting, the Steering Group considered a briefing paper on a "collective impact" project focused on health issues at perinatal and early years stages in the life span and also a draft annual work plan. LeadWest has also recently provided a funding contribution to assist in covering the costs of the BHPW Executive Officer.  Learn more here. 

Enough Pokies: LeadWest has connected with the Municipal Association of Victoria to help build on the Enough Pokies for Vulnerable Communities campaign. Involvement in the Alliance for Gambling Reform is being explored. The Alliance is supported by the MAV, Salvation Army, VLGA and others, and will work with councils to press for regulatory change to the licensing system for the location and placement of pokies, as sought in the Enough Pokies campaign, to protect vulnerable communities from being targeted by more machines. Learn more here.

Gaming Machine Arrangements:  The Victorian Government has released the terms of reference for a Review of Gaming Machine Arrangements to help inform the number, terms and allocation of gaming machines in Victoria into the future.  The review will examine the existing regulatory framework and help inform any future allocation of gaming machine entitlements. Under current arrangements, a gaming venue must have an entitlement for each gaming machine it operates. Gaming machine entitlements last ten years and will expire in 2022. The review will look at whether the current entitlement model has met its objectives and will consider how venues own and operate gaming machines, the distribution of machines between hotels and clubs, and the length of entitlements. The review will incorporate consultation with industry and the community and report to the Government by July next year. The Victorian Government will separately examine existing harm minimisation measures to ensure these remain appropriate and effective in helping Victorians to gamble responsibly. Learn more here.

Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local Legacy Grants: On June 30, Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local (MRNWM-ML) ceased operations due to cuts in funding from the Australian Government.  With its equity, MRNWM-ML has decided to run a Legacy Grants Program. This Program will not only ensure that the legacy of the MRNWM-ML as an innovative, evidence-based and community-oriented organisation committed to improving the long term health of the population in its catchment is continued, but will also pay tribute to the MRNWM-ML’s strong connection to the local community, enabling the Medicare Local to support worthy organisations long after its doors are closed.  Key priority areas for funding are: responding to family violence; health literacy; education for chronic disease prevention and management; access to maternal and child health services; and access to mental health services. Learn more here.

Sons of the West: LeadWest’s CEO is a member of the Steering Committee for the Sons of the West men’s health program. He attended the Community Men’s Health Forum on July 8, which provided the opportunity for the community to have their say on how the next stage of Sons of the West might look and provided a platform to discuss the wider need for ongoing support for men in Melbourne’s west. In July, LeadWest received copies of program evaluation reports prepared by the Active Living and Public Health team at Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living. The reports show there were very good participation rates and some observable changes in health indicators of the participants. Learn more here.

Volunteer West:  LeadWest and VolunteerWest have met with the Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Ms Gabrielle Williams MP.  We discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by our fast growing and diverse communities and how the Victorian Government, Volunteer West, and LeadWest, our members and affiliates can work together to develop volunteering on a regional basis in Melbourne’s west. Learn more about VolunteerWest here.

Western Health:  One of LeadWest’s members, Western Health has been selected as one of three finalists in this year's Victorian Training Award's prestigious Employer of the Year category, which recognises excellence in providing nationally recognised training to employees. This is the first time a health service has been shortlisted for this state award.  The awards will be presented at the Victorian Training Awards Presentation Dinner on Friday August 28.  We hope Western Health wins, but will certainly celebrate the achievement of being selected a finalist. Learn more here.

Women’s and Children’s Hospital:  The new $200 million Women’s and Children’s Hospital to be built in Sunshine will be named after the late Premier Joan Kirner AC.  Expressions of Interest are currently open to appoint a builder for the new hospital, which is due to commence construction in late 2016. Learn more here.



Greening the West 1 Million Trees:  On July 10 at Werribee Park, participants in the GTW 1MT Project Steering Group showcased the specific sites identified for tree planting in 2015-16 in accordance with Service Level Agreements entered with Delivery Agents throughout the region.  Some tree planting has been done this season, including at sites on the lower Kororoit Creek and in the Maribyrnong River Valley.  More tree planting is scheduled for the next season. Meanwhile, LeadWest and City West Water are recruiting additional organisations as Delivery Agents and other contributors to help with planting site provision, site preparation, tree planting and site maintenance.  Learn more here.

Green Army Projects: Applications for projects in Round Four of the Green Army Programme have now opened. The Department of Environment has invited Melton City Council and Parks Victoria, as the nominated hosting organisations, to submit applications for the election commitment projects at Toolern Creek Regional Park, Werribee River Regional Park, and Point Cook Coastal Park. Round Four applications close on September 16. Learn more here

A Greener West:  On Monday October 12, as part of Victoria University’s Game Changers series, City West Water will lead a discussion with Victoria University, LeadWest and local industries exploring the social and economic benefits of environmental initiatives to build a greener Melbourne’s west.  Held at VU at MetroWest in the heart of Footscray, the series comprises six events jointly presented during 2015 by Maribyrnong City Council and Victoria University as part of their Footscray University Town partnership. Each event is free and open to the whole community. Learn more here.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards: Now in its 13th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognise and reward Victorians that are leading the way to a sustainable future.  For the second year running, LeadWest’s CEO has served as one of the awards judges.  The Awards will be held on  Learn more here.

Pride of Melton: Melton City Council has re-submitted a funding application for $6.75 million through Round 2 of the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund for a major revitalisation of Melton’s town centre. LeadWest provided a letter of support for this project when submitted in Round 1 and re-issued its letter of support for the Round 2 application. Learn more here.

Upper Stony Creek Transformation:  Together with LeadWest’s members, City West Water and Brimbank City Council, as well as Melbourne Water, and the Department of Land, Water, Environment and Planning, Greenfleet are applying for $5.3 million in Australian Government funding through Round 2 of the National Stronger Regions Fund. LeadWest provided a letter of support for Greenfleet’s proposed project to transform Upper Stony Creek into a multi-functional community asset. The transformation of Upper Stony Creek has a total cost of $12.8 million and delivers numerous benefits to the community, including: access to high quality public open space for an economically and socially disadvantaged community; attraction of future private investment; improved connectivity between adjoining communities; improved community health outcomes; increased water security; reduced flood risk; and improved visual amenity.

Caroline Springs Station: Caroline Springs Station is needed to improve the public transport options available to the growing population in the northwest of Melbourne's west. The station will give current and future residents improved access to jobs, study and other important services. The project is being delivered by V/Line on behalf of Public Transport Victoria and BMD Construction was awarded the construction contract in June. Construction started in early August and the station will open in 2016.

CityLink Tulla Widening: The CityLink Tulla Widening project involves upgrading 23.8 kilometres of the CityLink Tullamarine Freeway corridor.  The upgrade will extend from the CityLink tunnels to Melbourne Airport.  The project will increase the road's capacity by up to 30 per cent, ease congestion and improve safety.  Community information sessions were held in July.

East Werribee Transport Improvement project:  VicRoads is delivering a series of road improvements for the East Werribee Employment Precinct, on behalf of the Metropolitan Planning Authority.  The $71 million road project is a significant investment in infrastructure in Wyndham, and will assist traffic flow between the east and west areas of Werribee, Point Cook and Melbourne.  Construction is underway on the new Sneydes Rd and Princes Fwy interchange, the Sneydes Rd and Princes Hwy intersection upgrade, and the Princes Hwy, Hoppers Lane and Old Geelong Rd Intersection upgrade (near Werribee Mercy Hospital).  Construction will soon commence on the Sneydes Rd and Hoppers Lane intersection upgrade, as well as Sneydes Road widening.

Level Crossing Removals:  Works have begun on level crossing removals at Main and Furlong Roads in St Albans. A consortium including Leighton Contractors, Aurecon and Hyder Consulting has been selected to design and construct the projects, and it has formed an Alliance with VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne to deliver the works. On August 18, in the Victorian Croquet Centre at Cairnlea, the Level Crossing Removal Authority held an interactive community session for these level crossing removals. Both projects involve lowering the rail line below the road, optimising the car parking to ensure there is no net loss of spaces, and building walking and cycling paths with improved pedestrian access to the station. Both also include a new station with lowered platforms accessed by stairs, ramps and lifts.  

M80 Ring Road upgrade: The Australian Government and Victorian Government have each to date committed $150 million to the upgrade of the section between Sunshine Avenue and Calder Freeway. The upgrade will widen the M80 between the EJ Whitten Bridge and the Calder Freeway and install traffic management equipment to smooth the flow of traffic and improve safety along the 1.2 kilometre section of freeway. As part of the upgrade, the EJ Whitten Bridge will be widened, creating extra traffic lanes across the Bridge, while the existing structures will be upgraded and strengthened. The project will include the installation of permanent safety barriers on the bridge. The Sunshine Avenue interchange will be upgraded and widened to allow more traffic to enter and exit the freeway. Ramp signals on the Greensborough-bound entry ramp will be installed to allow traffic to merge safely. The works will remove the bottleneck at Sunshine Avenue, where the lanes currently merge from four lanes into two.

Melbourne Metro Rail Project: Melbourne Metro will deliver two new nine-kilometre rail tunnels and five new stations to Melbourne’s rail network, unlocking capacity in the City Loop, leading to more frequent and reliable services on many of our busiest rail lines. LeadWest has completed the online survey (, which is open until close of business on August 28.  Broader public consultation for the project is set to take place later this year. The construction technique for one of the most complex sections - crossing under the Yarra River – has been announced, with tunneling confirmed as the preferred method.

Palmers Road Upgrade: Palmers Road will receive a bus transit lane and traffic lights at the corner of Palmers Road and Dunnings Road will be adjusted to allow buses more time to pass through the intersection. Access to the Williams Landing Railway Station will also be improved. The Victorian Government has contributed $3.75million and Wyndham City $3 million towards this project.

Princes Freeway Off Ramp Upgrade: The Princes Freeway exit ramp at Forsyth Road will be widened to two lanes, which will reduce the length of traffic queues, particularly during the evening peak period, as well as reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.

Western Distributor:  Early site investigations are now underway to further support the development of the Western Distributor proposal. This type of work is essential for tunnel projects as it provides a clearer picture of what lies beneath the surface. Information gathered will be used to further develop the Western Distributor.  Geotechnical investigation works have been completed in Earsdon Street, Hughes Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville, and they are currently underway near Lormer Street in Yarraville, Cullen Court in Spotswood, and in the West Gate Golf Club.  In the weeks ahead, geotechnical investigation works will take place in Hall Street Spotswood, Werner Street Seddon, Beverly Street and Francis Street in Yarraville and at Yarraville Oval.  It is important to note that this work does not confirm a commitment to deliver the project and that testing in a particular area does not necessarily mean the project will be situated or have an impact on that location.

West Gate Distributor: Preferred tenderers for construction of the Northern Section (i.e. Moreland Street and Shepherd’s Bridge) have been shortlisted through an expression of interest process. Construction is expected to begin in late 2015 and take approximately 18 months to complete.  The works will include a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River for pedestrians and cyclists.

Western Freight Forum: On Friday August 21 leaders and representatives from industry, universities, business and local government met in Wyndham City in Melbourne's west to discuss the infrastructure investment required to boost local jobs and support the regional economy. Attended by more than 60 people from business and government organisations, the forum heard a presentation by LeadWest's CEO on growth, the regional economy and opportunity in Melbourne's west, particularly the opportunity that comes from the region's role as a heartland for manufacturing and freight and logistics activity.  The key note speaker was Associate Professor Dr Hermione Parsons, Director of the Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics at Victoria University. Dr Parsons made the point that a failure to sustain and improve logistics and transport infrastructure across Melbourne's west threatens productivity and jobs growth in  broader Melbourne and Victoria. LeadWest's Chair also presented, building up a picture of the key freight transport infrastructure needs in Melbourne's west. He highlighted need to get more freight on rail and develop the Western Freight Activity Centre (as described in the Western Transport Strategy). The release at the forum of the Western Transport Alliance's Freight Strategy for Melbourne's West (an addendum to the Western Transport Strategy) highlighted road hot spots across the region, including duplication of Leakes Road and Dohertys Road in Wyndham. 

Western Transport Alliance:  Ms Kerry Thompson has handed over the baton to a new Chair of the Western Western Transport Alliance - Mr  Stephen Wall, the CEO of Maribyrnong City Council.  It's great that Stephen has taken on this role and we are very thankful to Kerry for all her work with the Western Transport Alliance over many years.  A meeting of the Western Transport Alliance was held on Thursday August 27 at which there was an informative presentation by Public Transport Victoria and also a discussion about proposals that would see more freight on rail.  The next meeting of the Western Transport Alliance is scheduled for Thursday October 29 from 8.30am - 10.30am at the Footscray Town Hall. All Western Transport Alliance members are welcome to attend. Learn more here.

Arts Funding:  LeadWest made a submission to the Senate inquiry into Arts funding, highlighting the scale and character of the arts and cultural sector in Melbourne’s west, the known and likely impacts on the small to medium arts organisations in Melbourne’s west, and a REMPLAN generated analysis of the broader economic impacts of the loss of jobs in the region’s arts and cultural sector. LeadWest’s submission is available here.

Creative Victoria: LeadWest’s CEO has been appointed to Creative Victoria’s Advisory Panel Register for a period of three years.  As well as serving on specific Assessment Panels, members of the Advisory Panel Register may be asked to give advice and feedback on Creative Victoria’s initiatives and programs.

Kororoit Creek Trail: At a National Tree Day event on July 27, Toyota announced that it would contribute $1.8 million towards a pedestrian and bike trail that will eventually link the Coastal Trail at Altona’s Cherry Lake to the Federation Trail at Brooklyn.  LeadWest had provided a letter of support to Hobsons Bay City Council to assist with its application for an Australian Government contribution to the project via Round 1 of the National Stronger Regions Fund.  The project has been re-submitted in Round 2.

Ride West: CycleCityWest is hosting Ride West on behalf of Greening the West and is now inviting organisations to become a major sponsor or partner. Ride West, to be held on Melbourne Cup Day, includes a 40km community bike ride and 115km challenge. The event aims to promote cycling as an accessible activity for people of all ages and abilities and also aims to raise funds for improvising cycling facilities in Melbourne’s west, specifically the proposed Ardeer Green Activity Hub / Cycling Park and improvements to Federation Trail.

Western Melbourne Tourism:  WMT’s Board met on July 22 at which it approved a work plan and an interim budget for 2015-16.  WMT also made a submission to the Senate inquiry into Arts funding and obtained research into intrastate trips to Melbourne’s west showing that each year for the past 3 years there have been over 360,000 visitors from regional Victoria travelling into Melbourne’s west and staying overnight. The research also showed that between 60% and 70% of them are visiting friends and relatives.  In addition, there were more than 2.6 million daytrip visitors to Melbourne’s west from regional Victoria in each of the past 3 years and the majority of these were also visiting friends and relatives.

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 Members:  At its meeting on August 12, LeadWest's Board approved a membership application from Dacland.  Dacland develops residential communities that offer residents a real sense of place. It has a strong presence in Melbourne's west with King’s Leigh in Werribee, Rothwell Villages in Tarneit and Wynbrook in Wyndham Vale. We welcome Dacland into LeadWest's membership. Learn more here.   At its Ordinary Meeting on August 18, Maribyrnong City Council resolved to apply for an extension of its membership of LeadWest until at least February 2017 and to request that LeadWest undertake a review of aspects of LeadWest's Constitution. 

LeadWest's Affilates:  On The Line has become one of LeadWest's affiliates. Based in Footscray in Melbourne's west, On The Line believe that everybody deserves access to quality care whenever they need it – regardless of geography or circumstance. From Melbourne's west they run some of Australia’s most vital and trusted services, like MensLine Australia and the Suicide Call Back Service, which support tens of thousands of people in need each year. On The Line also specialise in creating tailored support services for communities and organisations to boost productivity, health and wellbeing. Learn more about On The Line here.
LeadWest's Board: LeadWest's Board met on July 8 at VU at Metro West, a great Victoria University facility in the heart of Footscray that opened in December 2014 and is part of VU's commitment to Footscray as a University Town. For this meeting, the agenda included a brief tour of VU at Metro West, decisions on approval of an advocacy campaign on the issue of problem gambling on pokies, and a discussion on the projects in the Western Transport Strategy.  On August 12, LeadWest's Board met at the Moonee Valley City Council Civic Centre in Moonee Ponds. For this meeting, the agenda included a brief presentation on the Department of Justice and Regulation's place-based initiatives in Melbourne's west. Both meetings included reports on LeadWest's activities, finances and governance matters.

LeadWest's Directors:  Gaylene Coulton will commence in September as CEO of Capital Health Network, the Australian Capital Territory’s Primary Health Network. Given her move interstate, Gaylene has resigned as a Director of LeadWest Ltd and at the meeting of LeadWest's Board on August 12 we farewelled her.  Gaylene had served as an elected Director of LeadWest Ltd since November 2013, as well as a member of LeadWest’s Finance Committee. The vacancy on LeadWest's Board will be filled by election at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for November 11.
Manufacturers in Melbourne's West are invited to a breakfast networking event at the Western BACE, Melton on September 16, 2015. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Mr Mark Corrie, CEO of the Western BACE, and Mr Andreas Kammel, Environment Policy Manager, Toyota, along with participating in a Q&A session and tour of the newly built facility. More information and registrations

Hosted by Victoria University at the Sunshine Convention Centre, the Open Innovation West Inaugural Conference will be held on Thursday, October 29. Further program updates will be provided in coming weeks, don't miss out on what's coming next! SUBSCRIBE below for conference updates. Early Bird Registrations are now open. More information and register.

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 Project Manager, Karin Grima. Email or phone 03 9317 5794
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 Affiliates, primarily 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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LeadWest 209/1 Thomas Holmes Street Maribyrnong VIC 3032 Australia

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Melbourne's West