Federal Election Advocacy Issues
Significant State and Federal Government investment in recent years has helped to establish our city as a region of national significance.
We recognise Greater Dandenong's role in providing significant business, transport, employment and educational infrastructure for Melbourne's south-east and with a projected population growth of 26 percent by 2030 our role will become even more pivotal in the years to come.
Below are some of our key Federal Election Advocacy Issues.
Project 1 - Noble Park Aquatic Centre (NPAC) Expansion
To develop NPAC as a family friendly facility offering year-round services with a focus on leisure, recreation and fitness, sport-based usage and summer activities.
Project cost: $20.72M
Retention of outdoor 50m pool and water slide for competitions, carnivals and summer time recreational usage. An option to roof the current outdoor pool is also being investigated.
Existing facility components:
Project 2 Dandenong Aquatic and Leisure Centre (replacement of Dandenong Oasis)
Project cost: Approximately$50M
Dandenong Oasis is over 40 years old and nearing the end of its service life.
The Centre no longer meets the needs of the community, as evident from declining attendances and low participation levels. Key issues include:
New multi-purpose aquatic and leisure centre consisting of:
Site: Mills Reserve, corner Heatherton Rd and Cleeland St, adjacent to the existing Dandenong Oasis.
Located in close proximity to Dandenong Hospital, with potential to form part of a larger health precinct for the community.
The proposed Centre will complement the Noble Park Aquatic Centre (NPAC) providing a municipal solution to aquatics provision.
Contact details for further information:
|Site secured for purpose of Gallery of Art||Achieved|
|Concept design public exhibition||Achieved|
|Gallery design documented||Achieved|
|Roof restoration||Currently underway|
|Financial committments secured|
|Proposed Gallery of Art opening 2020|
A funding commitment to cost share construction of the new art gallery in the heart of Dandenong, which has a total estimated cost of $7 million.
Tilla Buden - Manager Community Arts, Cultural and Library Services
8571 5242 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin van Boxtel – Manager Activity Centres Revitalisation
8571 1570 email@example.com
Council has committed to establishing a Community Hub in Keysborough South where a range of early years’ services, programs and flexible meeting spaces will be available for the local community. Council has been advocating for the provision of a primary school and community hub for over nine years.
The State Government purchased land for a primary school in Homeleigh Road, Keysborough South in 2017. Although Council was progressing discussions with the Department of Education and Training to co-locate the Community Hub at the new school site in Keysborough South this has not progressed due to the size of the land available.
Council is now looking at alternative sites in close proximity to the Homeleigh Rd School. A number of sites have been identified and are currently being investigated by officers to purchase land for the community hub.
Research and community consultation undertaken by Council between 2013 and 2015 identified the need for increased community services in Keysborough South.
After community feedback on draft concept plans, a number of priorities were raised including access for all, flexible meeting spaces for community involvement and programs, outdoor play areas, early years services and space for educational based and physical activity programs.
Council has completed an analysis of current population trends for early years services in Keysborough South. An additional 137 places are required now in 2019 for 4 year old kindergarten; 41 places required for 3 year old kindergarten; 193 places required in long day care and family day care and 1.6 EFT additional Maternal and Child Health Nurses to meet population growth.
Discussions with the Department of Education and Training estimate that both the school and Community Hub will be completed in 2020-21, dependent on planning and purchasing of the land.
Director Community Services
Greater Dandenong Council is advocating for the Australian Government to continue its funding of five hours a week of four-year-old kindergarten for every child.
Council has endorsed a campaign to fight against impending Australian Government cuts to kindergarten funding.
As it stands the Federal Government has only committed to the funding until the end of 2019. The Victorian Government currently funds 10 hours a week, in addition to the Australian Government’s five hours.
The I Love Kinder campaign is supported by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and a number of Victorian Councils including Wyndham, Casey and Monash.
The MAV has encouraged Councils to support the ‘I Love Kinder’ campaign initiated by the City of Wyndham to secure an ongoing commitment from the Federal Government to continue funding kindergarten for four year olds. The ‘I Love Kinder’ campaign aligns with the MAV position on this funding.
Federal funding (approximately $100 million per year for Victoria) is due to conclude in December 2019. It funds five of the 15 kindergarten hours each week for four year-olds, with the Victorian Government funding the other 10 hours.
Without Federal funding for the five hours for four year-old kindergarten - families could face fee increases of $2000 per year. Given parent fees and fundraising already subsidise kindergarten operational costs by about 30%, any additional costs to families and communities is unacceptable. The other alternative is that State and/or Local Governments make up this large funding gap.
In October 2018, the Federal Opposition committed to fund four year-old kindergarten ongoing if they are elected in 2019. The Victorian Government has also committed to fifteen hours of funded four year-old kindergarten.
The Federal Government has it under consideration for the Federal Budget but has made no commitments so far.
This campaign benefits families in the Greater Dandenong community which rely on quality, well-funded, public kindergarten services
The Federal Government to continue its funding of five hours a week of four-year-old kindergarten for every child.
Director Community Services
For over 20 years the City of Greater Dandenong and its community have been expressing their grave concerns about and opposition to the depositing of contaminated waste at the Lyndhurst Landfill facility and seeking its earliest possible closure. The facility commenced operations under permits granted in the early 1990s by the then Shire of Cranbourne.
Following Council amalgamations in the mid 1990s the landfill operates within the municipal boundary of Greater Dandenong Council.
The State Government, in abandoning the proposal of a site containment facility at Nowingi in north western Victoria, determined that the Lyndhurst landfill would accommodate prescribed industrial wastes until 2020. On 26 February 2007 Council passed an 8-point resolution reinforcing key expectations relating to the earliest possible closure of Lyndhurst, potential health risks, and the development by the State Government of a state wide strategy for the proper operation and management of waste.
That resolution was conveyed in letters of February 2007 to the Hon John Thwaites, Deputy Premier and Minister for Water, Environment and Climate Change, as well as to the Hon Justin Madden, Minister for Planning.
In the ensuing years there have been a number of communications with Ministers and with members of Parliament but unfortunately there has been no satisfactory response to Council’s advocacy in seeing the activities on the site curtailed or in committing to an early closure of the facility.
The matter has remained one of significant concern to the community of the City of Greater Dandenong and on 24 March 2014 Council passed a resolution that:
Twenty years on, Council remains firmly committed to the earliest possible closure of the landfill site and part of this advocacy on 3 June 2014 the then Mayor, Cr Jim Memeti wrote to the Premier of Victoria expressing this Council and community’s concerns with its ongoing operation and seeking its early closure. A response dated 22 July 2014 received from the Hon Ryan Smith, Minister for Environment and Climate Change gave no comfort at all to the concerns raised.
On 6 December 2013 Council made a submission on Plan Melbourne – the final version of Plan Melbourne failed to address this major concern. And on 17 December 2015 a submission on the draft ‘Victorian Government’s Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan’ using that opportunity to again raise the matter and drawing attention to the statement by former Premier Steve Bracks that “We should have determined exactly what we wanted to do and the reasons why we had to do it, then tied down the details. As it now stands, toxic waste continues to be stored at Lyndhurst, one of Melbourne’s outer suburbs, which is a far-from-satisfactory outcome.” - [Bracks, S, 2012, A Premier’s State, pg 165, Melbourne University Press].
The above concerns have been consistently and vigorously conveyed to both State and Federal politicians over many years, with this topic appearing in each of Council’s advocacy documents prior to the respective elections.
Over the last 12 years, the Greater Dandenong community has told Council loudly and clearly that it wishes to see this facility, the only licensed Prescribed Industrial Waste facility in Victoria, to be closed at the earliest possible time. Our community believes it presents an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of both Greater Dandenong and neighbouring Casey residents.
Council seeks support from candidates to advocate for policy to recognise the role and need for landfills which receive solid Prescribed Industrial Waste and to provide options to facilitate unknown requirements which eventuate in the future, taking into account the very legitimate concerns of this Council and its community of it being in a location relatively close to residential areas.
Council has concerns that in the absence of State policy, the use of the Lyndhurst landfill facility may continue to have its life extended as has been the situation to date. We ask that Governments commit to a process of planning and policy development which will address the matter of future land use and location of landfill sites, particularly in respect of Prescribed Industrial Waste, ultimately ensuring the earliest possible closure of this site.
Council also seeks this work to take part from the accumulated funds of waste levies for the identification of a suitable Prescribed Industrial Waste site for Melbourne in the decades ahead.
Director City Planning, Design and Amenity
Shepley Oval is a regional sports facility located in Dandenong – a suburb in Melbourne’s south east. The oval is currently used for Cricket and Australian Rules Football. To ensure Shepley Oval’s relevance and future longevity Council is currently advocating for funding to build a Regional Multipurpose Centre on the site. The centre will cater for hosting business forums and promoting local employment opportunities as well as support to sporting clubs to access the south-east region of Melbourne, while continuing to provide an operating base for Cricket Victoria, Dandenong District Cricket Association, Dandenong Cricket Club and the Dandenong Southern Stingrays Football Club.
The perceived need for a community accessible multipurpose indoor training centre (MPITC) at Shepley Oval, Dandenong Park was first identified by Dandenong Cricket Club and Dandenong District Cricket Association in 2009.
Need and demand for the new facility has been assessed through consultation with a broad range of regional community sporting clubs, relevant community groups, Victorian peak sporting bodies and Sport and Recreation Victoria.
Targeted stakeholder consultation has been undertaken with over 27 sporting clubs and state sporting associations who identified demand for the new facilities. An online survey was undertaken with community sporting clubs in Greater Dandenong and 17 clubs with over 2,000 current participants responded.
Meetings and workshops were held with Cricket Victoria, AFL Victoria Southern Metro, Dandenong Premier Men’s and Women’s Cricket Club, Dandenong Stingrays Football Club, Melbourne Football Club, Australian Futsal, Hockey Victoria and Indoor Sports Victoria.
Cricket Victoria is strongly interested in utilising the facility and view the facility as a regional/metropolitan hub. They have indicated that they would hope to base regional Cricket Victoria staff at the venue. In addition, they would like to conduct various participation and sports development programs, including multicultural (Harmony) programs, school and community offerings, and conduct training and coaching seminars from the facility.
AFL Victoria has indicated they would like to deliver school and community programs, sports development and training seminars from the facility. They have also advised that the St Kilda Football Club will be interested to deliver programs from the venue.
Council’s Sport and Active Recreation Strategy, Activate 2014-2019 identifies the need for a regional indoor training facility.
An assessment of need and demand established the following:
Schematic design has been completed with detailed design and documentation to be completed in 2019-20, with construction proposed to commence in 2020-21, dependent on funding.
Capital grant funding assistance with a total project cost of $12 million for the development of the Shepley Regional Multipurpose Centre.
Contact details for further information:
Director Community Services
The Federal Government cuts to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program came into effect in 2018. The change in eligibility to its SRSS program has meant that an increasing number of people seeking asylum are no longer eligible to receive payments.
In response to the drastic cuts, Greater Dandenong Council established the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum, a coalition of councils banding together to put pressure on the Federal Government to reverse its cuts.
The Taskforce is now made up of 23 councils, and launched the Back Your Neighbour campaign in December 2018. The campaign seeks to mobilise community support to influence federal and state policies around the support for people living in the Australian community awaiting refugee determination.
People seeking asylum often require support, while they wait for their claims for protection to be processed. Financial insecurity is a serious concern for many, as they may experience difficulty finding work because of their lack of permanent status and are not entitled to the social security payments available to others. The precariousness of short term work also contributes to financial insecurity.
The SRSS program has provided support in recent years for people seeking asylum. The program provides a basic living allowance (typically 89% of Newstart allowance, or approximately $250 per week), casework support and access to torture and trauma support.
As eligibility to the SRSS program has been tightened by the Federal Government, very few people will fit the restrictive criteria. According to the Refugee Council of Australia, this will see a reduction of the current program by over 60%. This translates to 7,000 vulnerable people losing access to basic income assistance, a caseworker and torture and trauma counselling. Thousands more will not be able to access this life-saving support if they need it again (for example, if they lose their jobs).
State and local governments are being left to pick up the pieces and respond to the additional demand for crisis support, with many aid organisations becoming overstretched in their ability to provide appropriate levels of support.
Immediate action is required by the Federal Government to reinstate the SRSS program to its previous level of support.
Director Community Services
Based on Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2) data Greater Dandenong is the second largest employment area in Victoria outside central Melbourne and is home to the Dandenong National Employment and Innovation Cluster which includes the Dandenong Activity Centre and Dandenong South State significant industrial precinct.
Dandenong South has major manufacturing, warehousing /distribution and is an employment powerhouse in providing a vital source of jobs for the abutting and fast growing South East Growth Area.
It is home to very large industries such as Bombardier, Volgren, Iveco, Visy, Nissan, Kraft, Pilkington and Jayco as well as numerous warehousing and distribution companies such as Woolworths, Aldi and Bunnings.
While Dandenong South has a surrounding freeway and arterial road network that provides excellent access to the Port of Melbourne and the broader metropolitan area, it is constrained by a range of “last mile” transport problems. These include:
Council’s Transport Plan proposes a range of infrastructure projects to fix existing problems and build for the future. Many of these are well beyond the resources of Council to fund but are critical in ensuring that the National Employment and Innovation Cluster fulfils its ongoing role as an employment and economic powerhouse.
The following four transport projects have potential to unlock the productivity of this area and the liveability of the adjoining Growth Area by moving people and freight around more quickly, more safely and more efficiently. These projects are listed below and shown on the below diagram.
This project will connect the eastern end of the existing Dandenong Bypass at the South Gippsland Highway with the South Gippsland Freeway. Its completion will:
Indicative Cost: $265m
Internal east-west connectivity in parts of Dandenong South is poor and inefficient. This project completes a continuous link through the heart of the precinct to provide access for freight and the local workforce. It accesses the South Gippsland Freeway through a series of arterial roads with potential for a longer term connection with EastLink. Parts of this route have already been completed or have been committed to be built. The accompanying figure shows those parts of the link that have been completed, committed and yet to be constructed. Completion of the outstanding components will:
Indicative Cost: $38m (One lane in each direction – does not include EastLink ramps)
Glasscocks Road is planned as a major east west arterial linking the Casey Growth Area to employment and other opportunities and to also directly serve the developing areas of the National Employment and Innovation Cluster. Funding will eventually be available to develop parts of this road abutting the National Employment and Innovation Cluster through a Development Contributions Plan however it will be many years before sufficient funds are available. There are no commitments to fund other parts of the road. Construction of Glasscocks Road will have the following benefits:
Indicative Cost: $220m (Linking across Casey to Growth Area)
This Hub will support thousands of jobs and make exports more competitive by ensuring it is cheaper and faster to move goods overseas. The South East Freight Hub (also known as an inland port) is part of the Melbourne-wide Port Rail Shuttle Network scheme, with freight hubs in the southeast, north and west.
Victorian and Federal Governments have allocated a total of $58 million to Melbourne’s Port Rail Shuttle Network scheme.
Before the 2018 Victorian election, the state ALP pledged to construct the freight hubs in Melbourne’s north and west.
On 26 October 2018, a statement from the Victorian Premier said: “Options to connect Melbourne’s south-east to the Port Rail Shuttle network are still being investigated.”
The Dandenong NEIC is the largest destination in Victoria for imported containers, all of which now arrive by road. It also receives large amounts of other road freight that has been broken down closer to the port. Its growing role as a huge logistics, warehousing and distribution centre underpins the need for improved freight links and a reason to transfer a proportion of freight to rail.
Director Engineering Services
Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business