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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.

 Download the 2019 Federal Election Advocacy Issues document (PDF - 4MB) or read below.

City Aquatics

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

Project scope:

  • Expanded indoor pool hall to include:
    • Dedicated learn to swim pool
    • Leisure pool / children’s water play
    • Expanded program pool
    • Spa and sauna / steam
  • Health and wellness gymnasium
  • Enhanced accessible change rooms

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:

Outdoor

  • 50m pool
  • Waterslide
  • Leisure pool/water play

Indoor

  • Small program pool
  • Program rooms
  • Foyer, café, amenities

Current limitations:

  • Limited range of facilities and year round access by the community.
  • Exceptionally low utilisation levels (2.4 visits per head of population, compared to industry benchmark of 16 visits)
  • Low participation by CGD residents
  • Poor financial performance

 Opportunities:

  • Large catchment (77K within 3km) - population centre of the municipality
  • Close proximity to future growth areas
  • Located within Ross Reserve – regional sport and recreation precinct
  • Highly accessible location
  • Capacity to extend existing building.
  • Offers a municipal solution to aquatics provision. Complements proposed Dandenong Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Project 2 Dandenong Aquatic and Leisure Centre (replacement of Dandenong Oasis)

Project cost: Approximately$50M

Background:

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:

  • Aging infrastructure and escalating operational and maintenance costs
  • Poor access for people with special needs (i.e. no ramp access to pools)
  • Small / undersized warm water pool, learn to swim pool and gymnasium
  • Lack of facilities for children and families (i.e. family change, water play)
  • Limited change room options
  • Inefficient building design (energy use).

Project scope:

New multi-purpose aquatic and leisure centre consisting of:

  • 25m 10-lane pool or 50m 8-lane pool
  • Two warm water exercise pool
  • Learn to swim pool
  • Leisure pool / water play
  • Spa and sauna / steam
  • Health and wellness gymnasium
  • Program rooms
  • Café, amenities etc.

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:
Paul Kearsley
Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business
Ph: 8571 1571
Paul.kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au

 

Community Revitalisation

Introduction

Council has been funded through the State Government over the past two years to undertake the Community Revitalisation (CR) Project.  

Taking a place-based approach, the aim of the project has been to assist our most disadvantaged jobseekers to take advantage of the jobs-rich community in which they live.

The project has undertaken a range of innovative approaches to building the employment capability of the jobseekers and the awareness of the employers of the untapped potential of this cohort.

Background

The project was informed by the research conducted by TACSI for the RDA Southern Region looking at the factors that contribute to the level of disadvantaged in the south east region of Melbourne.  Council’s One Percent project also provided an evidence base for the need to take a new and different approach to addressing the high level of unemployment in this region.

Evidence for continuance

Both the research and the live data obtained during the course of this project indicate that to have a long-term impact, there is a need for not only a place-based approach, but also a highly individualised tailored service to ensure optimum outcomes are achieved. Our data clearly demonstrates that the degree of engagement and intervention correlates to the employment outcomes.

Having undertaken a number of initiatives, we are now in a position to leverage the learnings and embed the implementation of those most effective – both with jobseekers and with employers – and inform other stakeholders for their development.

With a plethora of services and organisations to support jobseekers in the region, there is a need for an independent body to act as the connector to programs / organisations providing work preparation and referral to support agencies, as well as providing opportunities for jobseekers to address identified gaps in work readiness beyond resumes and interview training. Council has played this role through the Greater Dandenong Regional Employment Taskforce throughout the course of this project.

To be able to continue this project for a further period of time will enable ‘best practice’ activities to become embedded and scalable – with the potential to change the current employment landscape

Timeline 

The current funding agreement with the State Government is due to expire on 30 June 2019.


What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

Grant funding of $500,000 over a two year period.

Contact details for further information:

Paul Kearsley
Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business
8571 1571
Paul.kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au



Glasscocks Road Dandenong South

Background

Greater Dandenong is the 2nd largest employment area in Victoria outside central Melbourne and is home to the Dandenong South National Employment and Innovation Cluster which includes the Dandenong Activity Centre as well as the 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.

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:

  • Poor internal east west access which constrains economic activity and access to jobs and services.
  • Poor internal east west access by the absence of a fully constructed Glasscocks Road constrains the pace of subdivision and Industrial / Commercial development.
  • Increasing congestion caused by gaps in the surrounding arterial road network.
  • Poor access to the adjoining Growth Area which has a net shortage jobs. This adversely impacts outcomes for the region’s liveability and social inclusion, effectively locking out a proportion of the potential workforce.

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 (State Government) Dandenong South National Employment and Innovation Cluster.

Funding will eventually be available to develop parts of this road abutting the National Employment and Innovation Cluster through the approved 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:

  • Substantially upgrade east west access for Growth Area residents and workers with a destination in Dandenong South and beyond
  • The immediate full construction of Glasscocks Road is vital to opening up the industrial land supply in Dandenong South.
  • Substantially upgrade east west access for Growth Area residents and workers with a destination in Dandenong South and beyond
  • Significantly improve freight access to the National Employment and Innovation Cluster from the surrounding arterial and freeway network and help encourage investment, productivity and drive economic growth.


Cost to deliver Glasscocks Road

  • Full costs of the Glasscocks Rd construction as calculated in the DCP, which is $39,632,897 and inclusive of design work,the roadway itself constructed to two lanes- 1 in each direction, Bridges/ culverts and Intersections.
  •  The ‘ask’ of Federal government would be less than the $39m as some of the above has already been done, such as the $1,639,215 design work undertaken by Council.  Furthermore it might be sufficient to provide only that section of road between the Western Port Hwy and Taylors Rd as a catalyst/ accelerant for opening up that industrial area, and the cost could then be approximately $12m - $15m instead of the $39m.
  •  Suggested that work on Dandenong South could be undertaken in parts to make it more manageable.

Benefits accrued from early funding the accelerated construction of Glasscocks Road

  • Efficient and timely development 4 years land supply (i.e. 2022) at Dandenong South, (CKC, 2016)
  • The delivery of Glasscocks Road in 2019 is expected to bring forward:
    • between 114 to 289 jobs per annum to 2036 [and a ]
    • generation of between $12.2 million and $33.0 million per annum in value added within the Victorian economy.” (pg 37, Acceleration of delivery of Glasscocks Road, SGS Nov 2016).
  • Increased economic surpluses generated (accelerated urban development activities) – the gross operating surplus (GOS) yielded by induced construction activity, linked with Glasscocks Road, represents a benefit to Victorians.
  • Increased economic surpluses generated (accelerated business development) - the gross operating surplus generated by businesses occupying the accelerated urban development also represents benefits to Victorians.

 What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

  • Council’s aim is to provide improved freight and worker access to and within the Dandenong South National Employment and Innovation Cluster and support productivity and employment in this vital economic powerhouse.
  • We seek support from the Federal Government to help fund the transport infrastructure as outlined above which will underpin both metropolitan, regional and ‘last mile' projects within Dandenong South.

Federal Government funding it and recovering the cost through a redirection of DCP levies to the Federal Treasury.

Contact details for further information:

Paul Kearsley
Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business
8571 1571 
Paul.kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au

Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design and Amenity
8571 1530 
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au

Greater Dandenong Gallery of Art

Introduction

The Greater Dandenong Gallery of Art, proposed on a key pedestrian spine in the heart of central Dandenong, is an exciting new initiative celebrating art, culture and heritage in the City of Greater Dandenong.

The innovative proposal offers a contemporary refurbishment and extension to the existing 1920s Masonic Hall to create a new arts centre featuring spaces for local and touring exhibitions and artists, as well as community and creative events.


Background

The Masonic Hall is a significant heritage building in central Dandenong and an important enduring landmark for the community. In view of that, the proposal has been designed to respect the heritage and cultural importance of the site, while introducing a contemporary art space that contributes to the city’s rich arts and cultural heritage.

The proposal includes:

  • State-of-the-art exhibition spaces for touring content and local artists
  • Community, creative and workshop spaces
  • Cafe and micro retail opportunities
  • Active outdoor edge that integrates with Halpin Way
  • New and engaging public art

Council has prepared a full design and documentation package for the innovative refurbishment of the Masonic Hall project which is now ready for construction tender.  This follows on from an extended design and consultation process to ensure that the new facility meets all future requirements.


Current demand for Greater Dandenong Gallery of Art


The City of Greater Dandenong’s only dedicated public art gallery, Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre is located nearby.  As noted in the Arts and Cultural Heritage Strategy, the current facility is limited in its ability to meet the future needs of a premium art exhibition space.

Further information including the prospectus and draft plans are available at greaterdandenong.com/masonichall

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
Commence construction
Proposed Gallery of Art opening 2020

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

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.

Contact details for further information:

Tilla Buden - Manager Community Arts, Cultural and Library Services
8571 5242 tilla.buden@cgd.vic.gov.au

Kevin van Boxtel – Manager Activity Centres Revitalisation
8571 1570 kevin.vanboxtel@cgd.vic.gov.au

Keysborough South Community Hub

Introduction

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.

Background

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.

Current demand for Early Years Services

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.

Timeline 

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.

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

Capital grant funding of $1.6 Million for the development of an Integrated Children’s Centre within the Community Hub at Keysborough South.


Contact details for further information: 

Martin Fidler
Director Community Services
8571 5211
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Kindergarten Funding

Introduction

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. 


Background

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

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

The Federal Government to continue its funding of five hours a week of four-year-old kindergarten for every child.

Contact details for further information:

Martin Fidler
Director Community Services
8571 5211
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Lyndhurst Landfill

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:

  1. Council reaffirms its long held objective that the Lyndhurst Landfill Facility – and in particular, the Prescribed Waste Facility – be closed at the earliest possible date

  2. Advice be sought from the Premier of Victoria on his Government’s position, and the status of any work, on the development of an alternate State wide Strategy that would see the closure of the Lyndhurst site arising from the introduction of other disposal solutions elsewhere – a key element of Council’s 2007 position

  3. It be noted the numerous other facilities and actions have reportedly reduced demand for the Prescribed Waste Facility including modern, high technology soil facilities; and, State based landfill levies that have had a desired effect of redirecting waste from landfill and that these changes in direction, serve as a catalyst for State action to confirm an alternate State wide Strategy and close the current Lyndhurst facility and

  4. The leaders of major parties in the (then) forthcoming State election; all candidates in the vicinity – deemed to include communities with a direct interest in the facility – publicly declare:
    • their position on the Lyndhurst Prescribed Waste Facility
    • action they will take to ensure the earliest closure of the facility and
    • a date by which they will seek to ensure that closure will occur and, for which they will be publicly accountable.

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.


What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

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.

Contact details for further information:

Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design and Amenity
8571 1530
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au

Shepley Regional Multipurpose Centre

Introduction

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.

Key Features of the Centre include:

  • Multipurpose indoor training space, which can be converted into a six lane cricket net facility.
  • Multipurpose space for community use.
  • Multipurpose space to host industry forums to promote local employment and to profile the region’s manufacturing and industrial sectors.
  • Six unisex change rooms with adjoining showers and toilets.
  • Referees unisex change room with adjoining showers and toilets.
  • Kiosk.
  • Male, female and accessible public toilets.
  • Administration ‘hot desk’ space for state, sporting and community group use.
  • Two meeting rooms.
  • New accessible grandstand for Shepley Oval.
  • Environmental standard design – 5-star or equivalent.

Background

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.

Current demand for indoor multi-purpose space

An assessment of need and demand established the following:

  • Regional and community sporting clubs have indicated that the provision of appropriate new training facilities will play a key role in enabling sports participation growth in Greater Dandenong by providing greater access to all weather day and night facilities.
  • The availability of the facility on a year round basis will maximise opportunities to increase participation across a number of sports.
  • Dandenong Cricket Club (men’s and women’s), both of which have Premier teams competing at the top level of Victorian cricket, have demonstrated a strong interest in the development of an indoor facility to enable year round training and expanded delivery of development programs that have high potential to increase participation in the region from junior levels upwards.
  • The lack of access to indoor training facilities is currently restricting program delivery by one of the region’s largest sporting entities, the Dandenong Stingrays Football Club, whose extensive activities include development and inclusion programs from junior to elite levels and encompassing girl’s and women’s, multicultural and indigenous football development.
  • Melbourne Football Club has partnered with the Stingrays for the delivery of multicultural participation and talent development programs and have indicated their need and desire to use the new facility. The Centre will also assist in facility provision for a female AFL academy, state level events and programs with the potential for significant visitor economy benefit.
  • The multipurpose facility will be designed to provide use by futsal, hockey and other community sports. It will also provide administrative offices for the Dandenong District Cricket Association and Indoor Sports Victoria.
  • Greater Dandenong has a significant sub-continent community with a strong interest in cricket. This facility will provide further opportunity to deliver structured programs and cricketing opportunities, which will help satisfy the current year round demand from Sri Lankan, Indian and Pakistani residents of the city.
  • Additional programming opportunities for schools and for the large refugee and asylum seeker community in the area may be afforded by the new facility.

Timeline 

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.

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

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: 

Martin Fidler
Director Community Services
8571 5211
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Shepley Oval 1
Shepley Oval drawing

Status Resolution Support Services

Introduction

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.

Background

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.


Timeline 

Immediate action is required by the Federal Government to reinstate the SRSS program to its previous level of support.

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

  • A reversal of its funding cuts to fully reinstate the Status Resolution Support Services program.
  • The Federal Opposition to commit to the full reinstatement of the SRSS program in its first year of government (if elected).

Contact details for further information:

Martin Fidler
Director Community Services
8571 5211
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Transport Infrastructure


Addressing shortfalls in transport infrastructure

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:

  • Poor internal east west access which constrains economic activity and access to jobs and services.
  • Increasing congestion caused by gaps in the surrounding arterial road network.
  • Poor access to the adjoining growth area which has a net shortage jobs. This adversely impacts outcomes for the region’s liveability and social inclusion, effectively locking out a proportion of the potential workforce.


Fixing issues in Dandenong South

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.

Transport map

 
Project 1 – Complete the Dandenong Bypass

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:

  • provide a direct east west link between the South Gippsland Freeway/Western Port Highway easing pressure on the congested South Gippsland Highway and surrounding access roads
  • help separate traffic which does not have a destination in the National Employment Cluster from that that does
  • finalise the bypass of the Dandenong Activity Centre
  • if combined with a right hand turn interchange between the South Gippsland Freeway and Monash Freeway, provide an overall high capacity network capable of moving all forms of traffic across this part of the region.

  Indicative Cost: $265m


Project 2 – Complete the remaining components of an internal ‘last mile’ east west route

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:

  • significantly improve connectivity and access to existing businesses
  • lift productivity and help drive economic growth
  • increase the legibility of the precinct for those accessing the area

Indicative Cost: $38m (One lane in each direction – does not include EastLink ramps)


Project 3 – Build Glasscocks Road

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:

  • substantially upgrade east west access for Growth Area residents and workers with a destination in Dandenong South and beyond
  • significantly improve freight access to the National Employment and Innovation Cluster from the surrounding arterial and freeway network and help encourage investment, productivity and drive economic growth.

Indicative Cost: $220m (Linking across Casey to Growth Area)

 
Project 4 – South east Freight Hub

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.

Jobs impact:

  • 6,100 new jobs when operational - 2,800 FTE jobs during construction.
  • Exports: Moving freight by rail will cut export freight costs by 25%
  • Imports: Moving freight by rail will save importers 23%
  • Congestion: Freight rail would take 3,500 trucks a day off Melbourne’s roads.
  • Environment: 66 per cent cut in carbon emissions per container moved by rail, 63% cut in fuel use per container.
  • Project proposal: Commitment to undertake a business case investigating public / private delivery of the rail freight connection


Background:

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. 


What we are seeking from the Federal Government

  • Council’s aim is to provide improved freight and worker access to and within the Dandenong South National Employment and Innovation Cluster and support productivity and employment in this vital economic powerhouse.

  • Support from the Federal Government to help fund the transport infrastructure as outlined above which will underpin both metropolitan, regional and ‘last mile' projects within Dandenong South.

Contact details for further information:

Julie Reid
Director Engineering Services
8571 5269 
julie.reid@cgd.vic.gov.au

Paul Kearsley
Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business
8571 1571
paul.kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au