Welcome to the LeadWest Advocate - Issue 17
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As a new financial year starts, LeadWest is tallying our achievements against last year's work plan and getting straight to work on what is in this year's plan. 

It's always good to see successful completion of projects that make Melbourne's west a better region.  Recently there's been a number of good things happening in Melbourne's west.

Given LeadWest's work in 2011 on the "RRL: More than just a rail line" advocacy campaign, we've certainly celebrated the opening of the Regional Rail Link and associated new bus services for Wyndham. It caters for an extra 54,000 passengers a day and delivers much more!  We've already seen the project deliver great stations upgrades in Footscray, West Footscray, Tottenham, and Sunshine. We've seen the project deliver shared paths for walking and cycling. Now we've seen better public transport services delivered to Wyndham through this project, but it goes further than that. 

Completion of this project has seen regional rail services separated from metropolitan rail services, providing additional capacity for passengers across the rail network. Trains now also run at least every 20 minutes on weekdays to Deer Park Station in Brimbank and there's extra service during the morning peak on the Werribee line. We should also see more rail service improvements that make use of the capacity unlocked by the Regional Rail Link project. Metro Trains expects to run extra services on the Werribee, Sunbury and Craigieburn lines as a result of a new timetable due later this year. Direct city services for Altona loop passengers should then be reinstated as well.

We've also recently celebrated the successes of a number of LeadWest's members and affiliates.  

Western Chances is one of LeadWest's affiliates and its 2015 Good Business Forum was a huge success. We'll see that translate into scholarships and better opportunities and successes for the recipients of them.  

We've seen in the launch of BA @ Wyndham the benefit of partnerships between Federation University (one of LeadWest's members) and Wyndham Community Education Centre (one of LeadWest's affiliates).  

We've also celebrated the success of The Gordon (one of LeadWest's members), which will receive $6 million from the Victorian Government’s $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund. 

We've witnessed Eagle Stadium arise from investment by Wyndham City Council assisted back in 2013 by a $9 million boost from the Australian Government's  Regional Development Australia Fund.  

And we've celebrated Brimbank City Council being awarded $2.5 million in the first round of the National Stronger Regions Fund to build a state of the art Western Business and Education Hub, which will be a centrepiece of the Sunshine National Employment Cluster. 

We've also been thankful to see that there will be level crossing removals at both Main Road St Albans and Furlong Road near Ginifer railway station, which will be great support for development of the Sunshine Health, Education and Wellbeing Precinct,

It's good to see the Victorian Government joined by the Australian Government, with them now contributing $150 million each for the next stage of the M80 upgrade. That project will widen the road and improve traffic management from Sunshine Ave and the EJ Whitten Bridge to the Calder Freeway.

We'll soon celebrate construction work starting on the northern section of the West Gate Distributor, which improves freight access to and from the Port of Melbourne and improves movement for local traffic by: widening of Moreland Street to provide a 4 lane divided road with an upgraded connection to Footscray Road;  new signalised intersections at Footscray Road, Parker Street and Whitehall Street with Moreland Street; and the widening and strengthening of Shepherd’s Bridge over the Maribyrnong River.

We've been watching the East Werribee Transport Improvement project too, seeing steady progress toward a new interchange on the Princes Freeway at Sneydes Road and the upgrading  of the intersection at Princes Highway, Hoppers Lane and Old Geelong Road. 

The best news is there's more to come.  Much more! 

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:


BA @ Wyndham:  The Hon Tim Pallas MP officially launched the BA@Wyndham on June 17. Offering a pathway for young people to go to university in their own community, BA@Wyndham is a product of partnership between Federation University (one of LeadWest's members) and Wyndham Community and Education Centre (one of LeadWest's affiliates).

Western Chances Good Business Forum:  Attended by 300 business, community and government leaders from across Victoria, the 2015 Western Chances Good Business Forum was a huge success. LeadWest’s CEO hosted a table of representatives of LeadWest’s members and affiliates that are involved in helping young people transition from school to further skills training and employment. The event raised almost $90,000 and that equates to approximately 100 new scholarships to help talented young people across Melbourne’s west to overcome financial disadvantages and reach their full potential. Learn more about Western Chances!

TAFE Back to Work Fund: Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, has announced that two innovative programs at The Gordon will receive $6 million from the Victorian Government’s $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund. The funding will be used to get more than 3300 people skilled up for jobs in the growing construction and healthcare industries. LeadWest had provided a letter of support for inclusion with The Gordon's bid for this funding. Learn more here

Vocational Education and Training System Reforms: The Australian Government's major reforms to the VET system came into effect on July 1, 2015 through the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Network, changes to VET FEE HELP, and funding for the Australian Skills Quality Authority. The Government’s $200 million annual investment in the Apprenticeship Network will help employers to recruit, train and retain apprentices and trainees. Changes to the VET FEE-HELP Guidelines will protect vulnerable students, taxpayers and the reputation of the wider training sector from the unethical actions of a small minority of unscrupulous providers and their agents. Reforming the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) with a  $68 million package will enable the implementation of a more modern, responsive regulatory approach that focuses on high risk providers, and lifts the red tape burden on consistently highly compliant providers. Learn more about VET Reform!

Creative Industries Consultation: The development of Victoria’s first creative industries strategy is now underway! Creative Victoria is a government body dedicated to supporting, championing and growing the state’s creative industries, spanning arts, culture, screen, design and more. The strategy will seek to strengthen Victoria’s leadership across the creative industries, stimulating innovation, collaboration, investment and growth, and providing a fertile ground for creative and cultural development. Creative Victoria has released a draft discussion paper which can be accessed here. Workshops are being held to discuss and receive feedback on the strategy with one in Melbourne's west scheduled in Werribee on Tuesday 7 July. Workshop Bookings

Low Carbon WestLow Carbon West is a partnership between the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action (WAGA), Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia (WMRDA) and LeadWest. We have developed and launched a blueprint for transition to a low carbon economy in the WAGA region (which includes Melbourne's west, Geelong and Moorabool). Now we are engaging regional stakeholders in work that will see that transition occur. One of the Low Carbon West actions, identified in the Business and Industry Sector Report as potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 215 ktCO2-e, is facilitation of the uptake in Melbourne's west of Environmental Upgrade Agreements for energy efficient plant for both commercial buildings and industrial processing facilities.  A Bill to enable all Victorian local councils to use Environmental Upgrade Agreements will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament this week. The Bill is similar to existing provisions in the City of Melbourne Act 2001.  The Bill is expected to be debated in August.  Learn more here.

Open Innovation West: Open Innovation West has a number of exciting networking and learning opportunities for manufacturers in Melbourne's west in coming months. See below for more information. Want to keep up to date with OIW activities?  Subscribe to the OIW eNewsletter!

Pathways to Employment for Braybrook Young People:  A Children & Youth Area Partnership Forum was held at the Braybrook Community Hub in June. The objective of the forum was to discuss the key components required for local area partnership project focusing on employment pathways for young people in Braybrook. Attendees discussed the key issues of youth unemployment, pathways to employment for young people, and school retention rates. Maribyrnong City Council’s Youth Services and its Maribyrnong Alliance for Young People partners have been developing local-level youth employment initiatives that seek to engage education, training and employment service providers, local businesses, local government and our local young people and their supporters. Based on this work to date and the research conducted by Brotherhood of St Lawrence, the key components required to deliver a holistic employment pathways project using a partnership approach have been identified, including the current service gaps. For more information, please email Harriet McCallum, Acting Manager Family and Youth Services.

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 are partnering to host an event that provides opportunity to explore ways of working together that go beyond traditional models of business. 
Better Health Plan for the West:  The Better Health Plan for the West (BHPW) is a partnership of over 20 agencies across primary care, acute health, government, social support and other sectors delivering services in the Western Region of Melbourne. 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 the West, with the focus on three high priority health issues being Mental Health; Cardiovascular disease, Obesity and Diabetes; and Cancer. BHP4W is auspiced by Western Health, and has member organisations from the region who generously provide support and advocacy for the BHPW Steering Group. The Steering Group have recently welcomed Di Couch, Director Child , Youth, Family and  Aged for cohealth in Melbourne's west who replaces Jason Rostant, formerly of cohealth. Jason's contribution, support and dedication to advocacy for BHPW will be missed. For enquiries regarding BHPW, please contact Executive Officer, Michelle MacDonald.
Sons of the West:  To mark International Men’s Health Week in June, Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, announced new funding for men’s health initiatives, awareness and medical research.  The Minister announced that the Victorian Government will provide $200,000 in 2015-16 to support Sons of the West, a 15-week community program which encourages men in Melbourne’s west to lead healthier lives.The Western Bulldogs and Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local will host the graduation ceremony for the 2015 Sons of the West Men’s Health Program on Saturday July 4 at Etihad Stadium, Docklands.  On July 8 there will be the ''Getting Back into the Game" community men’s health forum at Victoria  University Whitten Oval, featuring a keynote address by Professor Rob Moodie and an interactive forum to discuss the themes uncovered during the course of the Sons of the West Men’s Health Program in 2014 and 2015. Discussions will be around the next steps for the program and the wider need for ongoing support for men in Melbourne’s west. Learn more here.
Western Leaders Unite To End Violence Against Women:  LeadWest's CEO joined 130 leaders at the forum and signed a statement of commitment to prevent men’s violence against women, declaring that he, and LeadWest, would take steps to make a difference. Learn more here.



Greening the West 1 Million Trees:  Assisted by City West Water and Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, LeadWest prepared and submitted MERI Plans for each of the 5 sub-projects of GTW 1MT and they have now been approved by the Department of Environment. The approvals triggered transfer of a second payment of $500,000 to LeadWest, which we will pass through to Delivery Agents when they sign Service Level Agreements. On July 10 at Werribee Park, the GTW 1MT Project Steering Group will showcase the specific sites identified for tree planting in 2015-16 in accordance with the Service Level Agreements. Learn more here.

Friends of the Maribyrnong ValleyFMV aims to prevent misuse and degradation of the Maribyrnong Valley and to assist in its rehabilitation by raising public awareness, particularly of those living in nearby municipalities, of the great recreational resource and potential of the Maribyrnong River and its valley.  FMV is working with LeadWest and our other partners in the Greening the West 1 Million Trees project.  FMV's upcoming events are listed here.

Western Melbourne Catchment Network:  One of LeadWest's affiliates, WMCN is a not-for-profit association for individuals, groups and organisations that share an environmental vision for the wider Werribee catchment.  WMCN has relocated its office to the Homestead at Werribee Park, where it is in the process of setting up a Natural History Display.  LeadWest supports their vision to develop a purpose built Natural History Centre for schools and the community to visit and learn about the natural history of Melbourne's west. LeadWest was also pleased to see that EPA Victoria has provided WMCN with funding through its 'Inspiring Environmental Solutions' to set up a wildflower seed production project in partnership with Parks Victoria (another of LeadWest's affiliates). Seed from this project will be provided to other partners (Seeding the Streets and Friends of Korororit Creek) for revegetation projects.  In the longer term. WMCN hope to increase the availability of seed for restoration works in the larger grasslands managed by Parks Victoria. Learn more here.

Regional Rail Link: On Sunday, June 21, the $3.65 billion Regional Rail Link project, Melbourne's first new major rail line in 80 years officially opened with Geelong trains commencing use of the dedicated tracks from West Werribee Junction to Southern Cross Station. The services run through new stations in Wyndham Vale and Tarneit – some of the fastest growing communities in Australia – linking these boom-suburbs to the rail network for the first time. The new timetable adds 200 services every week between Geelong and Melbourne, including trains every 10 minutes in the morning peak and every 20 minutes off-peak on weekdays. The opening is good news for commuters on other lines with two extra peak hour services on the Werribee Line and four extra peak hour services stopping at Bacchus Marsh. Trains will also run at least every 20 minutes on weekdays to Deer Park Station, rather than every two hours as they have done previously. Visit the Public Transport Victoria website for timetable details. Learn more about Regional Rail Link

Wyndham Bus Services: Wyndham City Council has welcomed the long awaited opening of the Regional Rail Link resulting in better access to transport and coordinated bus and train timetables with improved connections for residents. The PTV Open Days at Tarneit and Wyndham Vale gave residents the opportunity to view the double decker CDC bus that will serve Route 190. The new Wyndham bus network has added around 2300 extra bus trips, increasing the number of weekly trips from around 5600 to 7900, a major boost to transport in the Wyndham area. Residents will also be provided with more frequent and direct bus services along major roads between Williams Landing, Hoppers Crossing, Werribee, Wyndham Vale and Tarneit stations, with neighbourhood bus routes serving other areas. The biggest bus changes are for areas between the Werribee line and the new Geelong line, including suburbs such as Wyndham Vale, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina and Williams Landing. Bus services for Sanctuary Lakes and Williams Landing residents have also been introduced for the first time providing bus services every 11 minutes during the morning peak. Learn more about the new bus routes.

Western Distributor: Transurban has provided a briefing to LeadWest's members and affiliates on the proposed Western Distributor, which is being assessed under Stage 3 of the Victorian Government’s Market-led Proposals Guideline. The Western Distributor proposal is a new way for the west, a project which will address some of Melbourne's most critical traffic, growth and liveability challenges. It 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. The proposal includes three key sections; Western Distributor, West Gate Freeway widening, and Webb Dock access improvements. Learn more!

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 July 22 from 8.30am - 10.30am at the Footscray Town Hall. All Western Transport Alliance members are welcome to attend.

Australian Federal Arts Funding Changes: In the Federal government’s budget announcements made on Tuesday, 15 May 2015, the Minister for the Arts announced a shift of $104.7 million from the Australia Council of the Arts to a new National Programme for Excellence in the Arts, to be managed by the staff of the Ministry for the Arts. In a statement released by Arts West, the networks noted that ‘the proposed funding changes directly impact on the viability of over 4,500 arts, cultural and engagement activities. These activities are delivered locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and include festivals, workshops, performances, programmes, cultural and artistic exchanges and leadership opportunities – activities that provide arts and cultural services to over 200,000 people annually, in a region with an anticipated population growth of 32% by 2023.' Read more here

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.
Welcome a New Member:  The Salvation Army Employment Plus has become one of LeadWest's members.  Amongst Australia’s largest government funded employment services, the Salvation Army Employment Plus finds quality employees for businesses (at no cost) and provides job seekers with access to specialised training, work experience and a range of support services. The Salvation Army Employment Plus works closely with businesses, finding the right people to fill their staffing needs and providing access to wage subsidies.  Learn more here.
LeadWest's Board: On  June 10, LeadWest’s Board met at Werribee Mercy Hospital in Wyndham City. The agenda included presentations by Adjunct Prof Stephen Cornelissen, Group Chief Executive of Mercy Health, as well as a decision on approval of LeadWest's Work Plan and Budget for 2015-16, and reports on LeadWest's activities and governance matters. LeadWest's Board next meets on July 8 at VU at Metro West in Footscray in the City of Maribyrnong. More information
LeadWest’s Constitution: Mr Roger Batrouney of Slater and Gordon has provided legal advice that enables LeadWest to seek the approval of LeadWest's members to make changes to LeadWest's Constitution at a Special General Meeting to be held soon.

Maribyrnong City Council is establishing the Enterprise Maribyrnong Special Committee to guide Economic Development.  

The committee will assist Council to achieve its vision of Maribyrnong as a leader in urban economic transition and renewal, and to create vibrant and successful urban places with excellent business opportunities and meaningful employment. Council is seeking nominations from business leaders with vision, drive and business experience.
Members will bring business experience and skills, industry connections, innovative thinking, enthusiasm and passion for the City’s future prosperity. Nominations are being called for:
  • One Independent Chair from highly motivated and experienced people who are knowledgeable about the economic strengths and challenges of the region.
  • Five representatives from the manufacturing, retail, transport and logistics, creative industries and finance sectors who have experience and local knowledge in their respective fields.
Find out more about Enterprise Maribyrnong

Expressions of interest close on Tuesday 7 July 2015. To speak to someone about Enterprise Maribyrnong,  phone  9688 0200 or email
Manufacturers in Melbourne's West are invited to a networking event at the Western BACE, Melton on July 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

Manufacturers in Melbourne's west are invited to visit Deakin University's Geelong Technology Precinct at Waurn Ponds Campus on August 12, 2015. Hosted by Deakin University, the tour will provide a valuable opportunity to network amongst your industry peers and investigate opportunities for research and collaboration. 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 Project Manager, Karin Grima. Email or phone 03 9317 5794
Get inspired and learn new skills to help you start or grow your business at
Small Business Festival Victoria. Events will be held all over Melbourne's west between August 1 and 31. 2015.
Order a Festival Program for delivery to your door or download the program here: Small Business Festival Program 2015 (Events in Melbourne's west can be found on pages 32, 33 and 34).
The Small Business Bus will be on the road throughout the festival, and you'll find it in Melbourne's west at Footscray on August 24, between 10.00am and 3.45pm, and Williamstown on August 25, between 10.00am and 3.45pm. Find out more about events in Melbourne's west!
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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