Time to invest in health, education and jobs


Brimbank needs an urgent program of “catch up” investment in health, education and jobs to bring “considerably poorer outcomes” up to par with Melbourne averages, Brimbank Council says.

Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said Council would write to major political parties seeking commitments to fund “catch-up” programs – as recommended in the recent West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA) Economic Development Strategy.

“The WoMEDA report – overseen by senior community leaders in Melbourne’s West and chaired by former Premier Steve Bracks – acknowledges that we have a real problem with ‘considerably poorer’ health, education and jobs outcomes in this community, compared with Melbourne averages.

“It is time for our State and Federal Governments to invest in the West so that our communities can thrive,” Cr Giudice said.

The Strategy recommends the introduction of five-year targets for the Department of Health and the Department of Education to bring key outcomes in the west up to Melbourne’s averages. It also calls for the introduction of an independent West of Melbourne Education Performance Monitor.

“Council has a strong focus on advocating for investment to address significant, health, wellbeing and social challenges facing our community.

“The WoMEDA strategy recommendations support Council’s calls for investment to meet challenges across education, health and jobs participation,” Cr Giudice said.

Council will also write to Western Region Councils seeking support to ask LeadWest to take a region-wide approach to lobbying for “catch-up” investment in these areas.

Cr John Hedditch, who raised a Notice of Motion asking Council to write to major political parties and other Councils on this issue, said catch up programs focusing on health, jobs and education outcomes were crucial to the West of Melbourne.

“We have a lot to do in terms of catch-up – we need five-year catch up programs to bring health, education and jobs outcomes up to Melbourne’s averages.

“The WoMEDA report finally acknowledges we have a problem with outcomes in this community – outcomes where west of Melbourne averages are below that of Melbourne.

“Now we have the opportunity to go and advocate for the sets of outcomes in this strategy and we need to do this passionately,” Cr Hedditch said.