Liberal Nationals to ensure services catch up to population growth

At five million people, and growing at 2,700 people a week, Melbourne is jam packed.

Melbourne’s west has received the majority of this growth, with Tarneit increasing by 3,270 people (9%) in just one year between 2016 – 2017. Truganina increased by 2,975 people (11.9%). Sunbury continues to grow reaching 40,000 people in 2017. An increase of 18% in just 10 years.

Unplanned, unmanaged population growth is killing Melbourne's liveability. If we don’t take action now Melbourne will go from the world’s most liveable city to an urban claustrophobia.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will establish a Population Commission with a board of seven people appointed by the Premier and serviced by a secretariat based in the Department of Premier & Cabinet. 

The Commission will work with Wyndham City Council, The City of Brimbank, Hume City Council and the newly formed Sunbury City Council determine how growth in these LGAs should be managed including adequate road infrastructure and accessible public transport options.

Advice will also include the minimum number of police, doctors, teachers and healthcare workers needed to properly service the population levels in areas like Sunbury and Wyndham. We cannot continue to have a situation where suburbs are experiencing population growth but not experiencing a growth in the numbers of police, doctors, teachers and healthcare workers.

One of the problems with the current unplanned population growth is that there is no co-ordination between the Victorian and Federal Governments. Despite the undoubted good intentions of previous State and Federal Governments, policies and infrastructure funding has often been uncoordinated and sometimes counterproductive.  

That’s why a key function of the Population Commission will be to work with State and Federal Governments on agreement of what is a sustainable level of population in Melbourne and Victoria as well as coordinating federal and state policies to achieve that target.    

The Population Commission will also work with the Federal Government on policy changes to the visa program to direct migrants into long-term settlement in regional Victoria. But a critical, non-negotiable part of that plan is to build the necessary social and transport infrastructure in regional communities including additional police, doctors, teachers, and healthcare workers.

The Liberal Nationals are working on a positive plan to manage population growth in growth areas such as Cranbourne. The Population Commission will be at the centre of that plan. 

Only the Liberal Nationals will ease the squeeze on population growth.

Comments attributable to Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader, Margaret Fitzherbert:

 We cannot continue to grow Melbourne the way we have the past 30 years for the next 30 years.

 These localised population limits and targets are to assist with decentralising our population and protecting our communities from overdevelopment. 

 Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Sunbury, Cassandra Marr:

I have lived in the Sunbury community my entire life. I know what it’s like to have to add an extra 10mins to get down to the shops every year because of traffic. I know what it’s like to have to wait an extra 24hours to have my children seen by the local doctor. 

I want to ensure that services, roads and public transport in Sunbury and surrounding suburbs catches up with the population.

We must make sure we have enough police to keep us safe, enough teachers to teach our kids, and enough doctors to help us when we are sick.