In the past month, the small team here at LeadWest has continued to advance our advocacy for Melbourne's west and made progress on projects that can deliver a lasting legacy for the region. The two most significant projects we've worked on are Open Innovation West and Greening the West of Melbourne.
LeadWest’s Chair, Barry Harvey and I attended a special event and address at Parliament House last week at which the Minister for Manufacturing made a number of funding announcements, including $2.1 million in grants under the Manufacturing Productivity Network program which are to support collaborative initiatives for seven networks, including the Open Innovation West Network we are establishing in Melbourne's west (with help from Western Melbourne RDA Committee). This is a great outcome for the Open Innovation West Network which seeks to enable manufacturers in Melbourne’s west to collaborate and innovate in ways that will increase efficiencies and improve productivity. LeadWest will be managing the funding agreement for the Open Innovation West Network reporting via the working group on a quarterly basis to the Victorian Government via a Board comprising LeadWest's Chair, the Chair of Western Melbourne RDA Committee and Mr Ken Matthews of Matthews Steer.
For Greening the West, LeadWest has now submitted to the Department of Environment to obtain a significant amount of funding from the 20 Million Trees programme. Ensuring there is funding for tree planting throughout all the local government areas of Melbourne’s west, the Greening the West of Melbourne (Million Trees) Project supports achievement of a vision of sustainable, liveable, healthy communities through urban and peri-urban greening. It involves a collaborative regional approach, fostering activities delivering increased vegetation and public use of quality green space. Aligned with strategies and plans issued under the powers of the Australian Government, Victorian Government, catchment management authority, water utilities, and local governments, the Project supports provision of a range of environmental services, such as temperature regulation, air quality improvements and carbon-dioxide storage, as well as improved habitat and catchment benefits that assist in creating a region of truly liveable communities.
LeadWest was proud to sponsor the third Barry Jones Oration in October, an event that aims to raise the profile and importance of learning and skills development, innovation, creativity and technology in Wyndham City. It was inspiring to hear from Professor Suzanne Cory AC, one of Australia’s most distinguished molecular biologists.
We also focused on business and the economy in Melbourne's west by helping Western Melbourne RDA Committee launch a prospectus for Business West 21, a new regional organisation to serve as "the voice of business in Melbourne's west" and joining the Mayor of Hobsons Bay Cr Sandra Wilson before the Senate Economics Committee hearing into naval shipbuilding in Australia to convey how important it is to support BAE's shipbuilding work at Williamstown dockyards from both economic and social perspectives. I was also very pleased to meet with the CEO, Project Director and Communications Manager for the East West Link Western Section Project and receive an update on this very important project that strengthens the enabling infrastructure for Melbourne's west and unlocks urban renewal potential in the older parts of the Western Industrial Node.
Looking ahead we are getting ready for LeadWest's Annual General Meeting on November 12 from 3pm at WestWaters on Lake Street in Caroline Springs. This year we are keeping it simple (and short) and you are most welcome to attend. We also have the Victorian election coming up and whichever way it goes, we will be well positioned to work with the next Victorian Government to secure continued investment to address the needs and make the most of great opportunities in Melbourne's west.
We look forward to continuing to connect with you.
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
The Western Agenda focuses on uniting leaders in
Melbourne’s west and workingtogether 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:
Victoria University:LeadWest’s CEO met with the Vice Chancellor to identify ways in which LeadWest and VU can work more effectively in the future. LeadWest's CEO also participated on a Guest Presenter Panel for the External Opportunity Identification workshop that is part of VU's nine month training program with the Australian Institute of Management called “Building a Universal Engagement Interface”. LeadWest's CEO shared a perspective on what drives the commercial realities, what businesses are interested in from researcher, and what makes a more appealing engagement by VU of businesses in our region.
BYSLG Collective Impact Research Project:The Brimbank Youth Sector Leaders Group (BYSLG) was established in 2011 by local youth services recognising the need for a proactive collaborative approach to the issues impacting young people in Brimbank. Together they have created a strategic forum for identification of emerging trends, facilitation of partnerships, development of local intelligence and coordinated approaches. BYSLG has initiated a Collective Impact Research Project as the first phase of developing a comprehensive Collective Impact Strategy to ‘move the dial’ on youth unemployment and disengagement in Brimbank. Social Ventures have been engaged to work on the Project and LeadWest has contributed to their consultation. Simonds Building and Trade Program:LeadWest was pleased to attend the launch by the Assistant Minister for Education, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, of the Simonds Building and Trade Program. The program is a joint initiative between SEDA, Builders Academy Australia and Simonds Group, specifically designed to engage students in their education whilst creating pathways to apprenticeships in building and construction. It provides students in Year 11 and 12 with the opportunity to complete their VCAL and gain nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificates whilst developing key employability skills such as organisation, team work and initiative. The overarching theme of the program is ‘5 Star Apprentices for 5 Star Employers.’
THREAD 2: PRODUCTIVE ECONOMY
Talking Electricity - CitiPower and Powercor: The Directions and Priorities Consultation Paper brings together the feedback received from CitiPower and Powercor customers and stakeholders over the last 18 months, and seeks views on proposed future plans in five key areas; protecting customers and networks, maintaining reliability, growing with Victoria, networks for the future, and making it easy for customers. CitiPower and Powercor are aiming to strike the right balance between safety, reliability, growth and affordability. Anyone with an interest is welcome to make a submission. More information Industry Growth Centres Initiative: The Australian Government will invest $188.5 million in Industry Growth Centres to pursue global excellence in areas of competitive strength. A key part of the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the centres will help industry exploit new global markets and supply chains, invent and commercialise new products and services and generate new jobs. The Minister for Industry will seek expressions of interest from business-led consortia to establish five nonprofit Industry Growth Centres in the following sectors; food and agribusiness, mining equipment, techology and services, oil, gas and energy resources, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, and advanced manufacturing. More information
THREAD 3: COMMUNITY WELLBEING
Western Health - Changing Health for a Changing West:Maribyrnong City Council has joined Western Health, LeadWest and others in advocating to both major parties ahead of the upcoming state election for a $550 million redevelopment of outdated infrastructure at Footscray and Sunshine hospitals. Achieving the Changing Health for a Changing West program will have major benefits for the region and across greater Melbourne, injecting much needed local capacity, providing patients the opportunity to be treated where they live and where services have excellent connections across the system. Changing Health for a Changing West is about meeting the growing demand for quality services, replacing out dated infrastructure and maximising previous investments. The rapid growth in demand for the services Western Health provides, in addition to the essential upgrades required, means that Western Health will be facing a significant gap in its ability to meet the needs of the West in the coming years. The following links to the Western Health website provide more information:
A Problem Worth Solving - The West is growing rapidly, and the Government’s plans for the region – identified in Plan Melbourne - will ensure this growth continues at a rapid rate for many years to come.
A Problem Solved - Changing Health for a Changing West provides a measured and robust response to growth in Melbourne's west.
The Changing Health for a Changing West brochure is available for download on the Western Health website. For more information, please contact Susan Negrau at Western Health.
Official Launch - Kowanj Australia: LeadWest's Advocacy Projects Manager attended the launch of Kowanj Australia on October 3, a not --for-profit charitable organisation based in Footscray. Kowanj was established by Ashoup Atar in response to the emerging education, health and social needs of the African, Arabic speaking and Pacific Islander communities across the Melbourne metropolitan region. Kowanj currently support the provision of education and training under the Community Education program through El Pharaohs Training and Recruitment, a company also established by Ashoup. Training is provided by Registered Training Organisations. More information
THREAD 4: SUSTAINED LIVEABILITY
Greening the West: The Minister for Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP has announced the launch of Round One of the 20 Million Trees Programme grants. Media Release LeadWest has now submitted an application to the Department of Environment to obtain a significant amount of funding from the 20 Million Trees programme which will ensure there is funding for tree planting throughout all the local government areas of Melbourne’s west. More information Werribee River: Melbourne Water has released additional water from the Merrimu reservoir in recent weeks to improve the ecology of Coimadai Creek in the Long Forest Nature Reserve and downstream to Melton Reservoir. Water will be released at 40 megalitres per day for two days before gradually scaling back to the 2 megalitres per day that has been released continuously since mid-August. The water released will be stored in Melton reservoir before being released downstream in late spring and summer. The release will remove algae and fine sediment that has accumulated on the gravelly streambed over the past 6 weeks and will assist in improving the habitat for water bugs in the creek, and stream-side vegetation and pools which provide extra habitat for frogs. The release is a partnership between Melbourne Water, Southern Rural Water and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder. Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN): AURIN is a national collaboration delivering e-research infrastructure to empower better decisions for Australia’s urban settlements and their future development. Funded by the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund, and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, the $24 million AURIN initiative is building the e-research infrastructure to enable better understanding of the current state of Australia’s cities and towns and to meet the challenges they face. The national network and capability was launched on Monday October 13. Beta 5 of the AURIN Portal is now live, with over 1000 datasets & 100 online tools. More information Healthy Urban Habitat: Are you proud of your produce? Like to get active in your green space? Love the feeling of grass between your toes? City West Water’s Healthy Urban Habitat sustainable gardening initiative has a new Instagram competition – Snap, Tag, Win It! Get your camera or phone out and get snapping for your chance to win some great weekly prizes or the major prize a fully installed, seasonal veggie patch valued at $495 plus a personalised workshop from the Little Veggie Patch Co. More information
THREAD 5: ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE
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 scheduled for Thursday December 18 from 8.30am - 10.30am at the Footscray Town Hall. The focus is on achievements over the year and the outlook for the year ahead. All WTA members are welcome to attend. Metropolitan Transport Forum:LeadWest’s CEO was the Chair for the Western Suburbs Summit on Transport on October 1. A structured Q&A session presented multiple questions on every aspect of the sustainable transport hierarchy, from walking and cycling, to buses and trams/light rail, railways, and roads. Visit the Melbourne Transport Forum Blog for reports and videos on all forums held over the past three months. More information
THREAD 6: EXPERIENCE AND ENJOYMENT
Western Melbourne Tourism: Did you know more than 3.6 million people visited Melbourne’s west in last year between April 2013 and March 2014? Western Melbourne Tourism recently engaged economic and tourism consultants Urban Enterprise to review the latest Tourism Research Australia (TRA) for Melbourne’s West. The data provides a valuable snapshot of visitors to our region, highlighting that there has been an increase in domestic overnight trips, Wyndham is the most visited municipality, and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is the most common purpose for visiting the region. More information Melton Visitor Information Centre - Group Exhibition: Arts Access Victoria, in partnership with Melton City Council will be showcasing innovative artworks and projects that have been created within the SRS Pop-Up Studio at the Melton Visitor Information Centre from October 30 - November 11. The exhibition is a culmination of work undertaken by emerging artists at weekly art workshops held for residents at Melton Willows and Meadowbrook. The Substation, Newport: Jeremy Gaden, who has been a driving force for almost 5 years in the successful effort to bring to life The Substation in Newport, will soon take up the role of Senior Manager, Partnership Programs at Arts Victoria. The Substation has been turned into one of the great treasures of Melbourne's west. In Jeremy's words: "The story of this incredible building, and all who have been involved in it is really extraordinary, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been part of making it a vital artistic resource for Melbourne’s western suburbs." LeadWest salutes Jeremy and looks forward to working with him in his new role. We also look forward to welcoming whomever takes over the reins at The Substation, which has long been one of LeadWest's Affiliates. 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). More information
THREAD 7: REGIONAL LEADERSHIP
LeadWest's Board: LeadWest's Board met at the new offices of City West Water in Footscray this month. For this meeting, the agenda included a presentation by Sam Torre. City West Water is a longstanding LeadWest member, servicing over 300,000 residential and non-residential customers in inner Melbourne and western suburbs. More information State Trustees: LeadWest welcomes State Trustees to Melbourne's west who are located in Footscray. LeadWest also attended the official launch of State Trustees 'Connected' exhibition at Federation Square which celebrates Victorian artists with a disability or experience of mental illness. More information The Salvation Army Employment Plus: LeadWest is very pleased to welcome the Salvation Army Employment Plus as one of LeadWest's Affiliates. one of Australia’s largest government funded employment services, finding quality employees for businesses - at no cost, Employment Plus provides job seekers with access to specialised training, work experience and a range of support services. They work closely with businesses, finding the right people to fill their staffing needs and providing access to wage subsidies. More information
The Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program is a ground breaking leadership development program developed and operated by Destination Melbourne. The program offers a range of learning, mentoring and networking with other leaders from across the visit sector. It offers a tremendous growth opportunity for aspiring leaders from the region to be part of the broader Melbourne tourism network. Applications are now open. More information
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.
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.
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
DISCOVER YOUR OWN BACKYARD
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.
SMALL BUSINESS VICTORIA - UPCOMING EVENTS
For information on Small Business Victoria's 'Big Help for Small Business' workshops and seminars: click here.