Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks was today the public face spruiking a new report proposing Sunshine become the capital of Melbourne’s west.
Sunshine – Daring to be Different – aims to take advantage of the suburb train station becoming a stop-over for commuters using the proposed Airport Rail Link, construction of which is expected to begin in 2022.
Another piece of rail infrastructure – the $50 billion suburban train loop – also plans to pass Sunshine – possibly via the existing station.
Mr Bracks described Sunshine as effectively, the centre of Melbourne’s west – and that it could be to the city the hub which Parramatta is to Sydney.
Over the coming 17 years, Melbourne’s western suburb population is expected to rise by about 600,000.
At that stage, about 1.2 million residents will be within Sunshine’s catchment: numbers Mr Bracks said make the precinct comparable to metropolitan Adelaide.
The Williamstown-based former teacher and politician turned executive said about 50,000 new jobs could to be created in and around Sunshine within two decades.
Many, he said, would grow as a consequence of the region’s public transport accessibility.
Others, Mr Bracks added, would be related to airport functions (Sunshine is on the same side of the city as both Melbourne Airport and Avalon Airport).
The Sunshine – Daring to be Different report, created and published by Victoria University’s West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (otherwise known as WoMEDA), can be found, here.
It expects 27.9 per cent of upcoming jobs to be in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. This is followed by Construction (13.2 per cent), Education and Training (12.6 per cent), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (11.9 per cent) and Accommodation and Food Services (9.1 per cent).
The report also proposes to “hyper-charge” plans to build a VU Polytechnic complex and to build a branch of the National Gallery of Victoria, a Convention Centre and a major stadium, at Sunshine, a suburb about 10 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.