Footscray’s status as a key cultural, commercial and educational hub has been recognised with the Andrews Labor Government today confirming that the fast-evolving suburb would become Melbourne’s sixth priority precinct.
Minister for Priority Precincts Gavin Jennings said Footscray has been endorsed because of its strategic importance not only to the west, but to Victoria.
The famous suburb joins Fishermans Bend, Parkville, Arden, the Richmond to Docklands corridor, and Sunshine as a designated established precinct with the potential to deliver significant returns for the community in terms of jobs growth, sustainable development and enhanced liveability.
Footscray forms the cultural heart of the west and is also a major health and education centre.
It is the gateway between Melbourne’s CBD and the wider western suburbs and provides key access beyond the city limits to regional Victoria. Major infrastructure projects under way including Melbourne Metro and the West Gate Tunnel will make Footscray more accessible than ever to greater Melbourne.
Victoria University spearheads a burgeoning educational sector while the Labor Government committed $1.5 billion in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 for a new hospital in Footscray, which will further drive the growth of the suburb as a knowledge centre for the west.
Footscray’s population is growing fast, moving from 11,400 in 2006 to more than 16,300 at the 2016 Census.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will lead co-ordinated planning and development for Footscray to provide more jobs, boost investment and strengthen social connection.
Declaring Footscray as a priority precinct will ensure that the Government’s record local investments are co-ordinated and delivered in partnership with the community, local government and other stakeholders.
The Government allocated $25 million in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 to help develop the potential of Melbourne’s priority precincts. This investment will add value in established urban areas through investment and better use of infrastructure, and build on Melbourne’s distinctive liveability and sustainability.
As noted by Minister for Priority Precincts Gavin Jennings
“From Fishermans Bend to Sunshine, Richmond to Footscray, we want to make sure that Melbourne residents have affordable housing, access to local jobs and can get where they need be, when they need to be there.”
“More people than ever are calling Melbourne’s west their home.”
“We’re working to ensure that Footscray retains its distinctive character while leading the way with improvements that can make this famous suburb an even better place to live, work and play.”
As noted by Member for Footscray Katie Hall
“Footscray is a special place and it’s important to have a vision for what our future will look like.”
“Making Footscray a priority precinct will help ensure that our local community and businesses are at the heart of vital planning decisions and infrastructure investments.”