The Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) and Brimbank City Council are planning for major changes in Sunshine that will significantly enhance its business amenity and boost jobs.
Sunshine has been identified as a future National Employment Cluster under the refreshed metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne, due to be released later this year.
With good planning, Clusters such as Sunshine can be transformed into thriving new hubs of jobs, business and local services, making them local powerhouses that drive productivity and innovation.
The MPA has been working with council to devise a series of key ideas that will help unlock Sunshine’s potential.
Chief ideas include rezoning sites to promote desirable commercial uses; greening the suburb with attractive boulevards; improving worker amenity through a plethora of dynamic, world-class services; and boosting transport connections.
A traditional manufacturing heartland in Melbourne’s west, Sunshine has undergone significant change in recent years.
More than $2 billion has been injected into the Cluster in recent times, resulting in the redevelopment of Sunshine Station through Regional Rail Link, the creation of the Victoria University Construction Futures facility and the planned $200 million Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Other significant developments include the cutting-edge Brimbank City Council Community and Civic Centre and illustrious Foundry Towers apartments.
These are important facilities that will help leverage further growth and investment in the area. With the right interventions, the MPA believes the Sunshine Cluster can successfully attract even more new businesses, jobs and workers.
The Cluster takes in the important administrative and retail centre of Sunshine as well as neighbouring St Albans. These are both important activity centres with a wealth of shops, small businesses and services that provide the area with its vibrancy.
The MPA will now be consulting with workers, business owners and employers in Sunshine and St Albans, to hear their feedback on the key principles for boosting jobs.
On July 18 the MPA will host a business seminar outlining its vision for the Sunshine Cluster, and on July 21 and 26 it will run two focus groups with local business people and workers.
Furthermore, the MPA will also be running a survey on its online engagement platform, which all Sunshine residents and workers are invited to complete, by visiting shapevictoria.vic.gov.au.
The survey will be open until July 31, when consultation closes.
All ideas will be used to inform a Framework Plan for the area, due to be released in 2017.
MPA chief executive, Peter Seamer, said: “Located just 15km from the city centre, the Sunshine Cluster has huge potential to be an economic powerhouse that attracts new businesses and provides employment to hundreds of thousands of people.”
“We want Sunshine to be a magnet for business, providing people living in Melbourne’s booming west the opportunity to work close to their homes.”
Chair of Brimbank Administrators, John Watson, said: “The Sunshine National Employment Cluster has the right combination of services, industry, transport and location to support the booming growth in Melbourne’s west.”
“It has great potential for generating local jobs and economic investment to the benefit of the Brimbank community. It is unique in this region to have a major hospital, tertiary campuses, bustling commercial centres and available business land all in one location.
“We are confident the Sunshine Cluster has and will continue to attract significant development and be a focus of healthcare services, research, education, transport business and retail services for Melbourne’s West.”
“Brimbank City Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Metropolitan Planning Authority and the State Government on this important project.”