Post COVID-19 infrastructure and jobs plan for Melbourne’s north released.
Urgent investment in infrastructure to drive economic growth and jobs post COVID-19 is needed in Melbourne’s North, according to an independent new report.
The Northern Horizons 2020 Report has identified four key projects – including the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal – that would create a combined 50,000 jobs in the area.
“Significant economic disruption has been caused by COVID-19, with Melbourne’s North impacted heavily and around 80,000 jobs lost”, NORTH Link Executive Director Chris James, said.
“Creating jobs is now the number 1, 2 and 3 issue in the region and economic confidence needs to be restored.”
The other projects identified in the report as critical for job creation in the region are:
- The $5 billion La Trobe University Redevelopment (est. 20,000 jobs);
- Developing an Epping Food Innovation Hub adjacent to the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market (est. 10,000 jobs); and,
- Accelerating the Broadmeadows Revitalisation process (est. 1,500 jobs)
The Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal is estimated to create 18,800 jobs.
The report recommended these projects be largely funded by the private sector, but Government endorsement and infrastructure support would enable them to come on stream more rapidly, boosting economic confidence and create jobs.
The report’s priorities align with the North West City Deal which also identified several transformational infrastructure projects, including the key Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal project, to allow the north west region to grow, thrive and respond to the challenge of COVID-19 recovery by delivering jobs when needed the most.
“Melbourne’s North has taken the initiative in developing its priorities and is also working closely with Melbourne’s West on a City Deal for Melbourne’s North and West – we now ask Commonwealth and State Governments to join us in helping to build a post-COVID future for our population and workforce,” Hume City Council Chief Executive Officer and Report Taskforce Chair Domenic Isola said on behalf of the Northern Councils Alliance.
Environment, health and wellbeing and liveability have also been prioritised, with proposals for more open space in the Inner North, enhancements to the Northern Centre for Health and Education Research, a new hospital in the Outer North and an acceleration of energy efficiency and renewable opportunities for business and residents.
The Northern Horizons 2020 Report also found that Melbourne’s North was well-positioned to help secure the country’s supply chains via local manufacturing, given the region’s strengths in this space, particularly around food and health, and the education, research and incubator infrastructure that supports manufacturing locally.