Budget investment welcomed


Ewen McRae

By Ewen McRae

Melton council has welcomed federal government investment in the west, following last week’s budget.

While much of the investment in the region is likely to come in the state budget later in the year, the western suburbs did get a boost with more money for the Western Rail Project, among other announcements.

Council chief executive Kelvin Tori said the investment was a reflection of the growing needs for infrastructure and investment in one of the fastest-growing regions of the country.

“We’re very pleased that an additional $30 million has been allocated to the Western Rail Plan,” Mr Tori said.

“We hope this will bring us closer to electrification of the Melton line and better connect our residents to work, education, and social activities in the future.

“As we look toward economic recovery, it’s great to see a further $1 billion added to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

“With one of Australia’s fastest-growing populations, our infrastructure needs are significant and we hope that our high-priority projects will benefit from this fund.

“The new JobMaker and JobTrainer initiatives are hugely welcome, and I hope that for young people in the City of Melton, this will not only aid in post-pandemic recovery, but will help close a pre-existing local employment gap.”

Mr Tori said council would continue to advocate for further investment to help the region recover from the hard impact of the ongoing pandemic.

“With many of our residents and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, we also welcome the inclusion of significant tax concessions for individuals and businesses in this budget,” he said.

“We will continue to advocate to the federal government on behalf of our residents to ensure that the City of Melton’s vital infrastructure, employment and liveability needs are known and equitably prioritised.”