12 March 1991 - Current
Mr McGUIRE (Broadmeadows) (18:23:46): Melbourne’s north aggregates assets that communities and governments can leverage and capital crave—proximity to the heart of the CBD, blue-chip infrastructure, affordable land and population growth. Boasting Australia’s largest concentration of advanced manufacturing, the gross regional product is $37 billion. It is the most sustainable and affordable region to cope with population growth and has the highest proportion of undeveloped industrial land in Melbourne, about 60 per cent. Melbourne Airport plans to soon build another runway, expanding its importance in air passenger and freight transport. A secondary airport is nearby at Essendon Fields. Road networks include the newly widened Tullamarine Freeway linking Melbourne’s central business district. The area also features the M80 ring-road and the Hume Highway to Sydney. Rail links include suburban and regional lines and the spur into the Ford Motor Company’s prime 87-hectare site. Ford plans to sell about half the site. As chair of the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board, I have advocated for this strategic resource to be transformed into an industry hub for jobs and innovation. It provides the opportunity to establish a collaborative working centre between universities, major companies, three tiers of government and business start-ups. La Trobe University’s $5 billion investment during the next decade should be leveraged into a campus city as the next evolution of the academy established just over half a century ago in a paddock behind a wildlife sanctuary. Such investment is predicted to add $3.5 billion to the gross regional product of Melbourne’s north in 10 years and create more than 20 000 new jobs. It also addresses the need for higher education and skills, which are critical to the region’s ability to adapt to changing economies and drive employment growth. A priority precinct at Clayton would harness the economic powerhouse of Monash University and Australia’s leading science institute, the CSIRO, linking it by the aptly named Innovation Walk. Monash University would be ranked in Australia’s top 80 companies if it was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Combining these institutions would deliver enormous economic clout and innovation for future industries and jobs. Monash directly accounts for $5.2 billion in economic activity annually. The Monash precinct is also the largest employer in Victoria outside Melbourne’s central business district. Australia’s first dedicated heart hospital, the Victorian Heart Hospital, is located on this site. It has the Australian Synchrotron, the nation’s most important research tool, and it has the Monash Clayton microgrid—its own network to receive and store energy from renewable sources on campus. It is a great hub for fostering innovation and driving the knowledge generation. Australia is a world leader in medical research. Harnessing the Monash precinct helps leverage the elegant science that recently delivered an exceptional 47 per cent of funding from the independent experts, the National Health and Medical Research Council, to Victorian institutions. The lion’s share goes to the lion. I was delighted to have been reappointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, and we will continue to help Victoria lead like the lion again this term. I also want to continue to advocate for the triumph of science over politics. If the Australian government allocates funding on merit, Victoria should receive almost half of the Medical Research Future Fund, which will rise to $20 billion—real money. Combining Melbourne’s west in a city deal provides one of Australia’s greatest economic development proposals for communities, the three tiers of government, business and civil society. Melbourne’s west is also an economic engine room of national importance. Gross regional product is almost $40 billion. The population is expected to grow in this region to about 1.1 million people by 2030, making Melbourne’s west a key to our future growth. It is the link between the two largest cities in Victoria—Geelong and greater Melbourne—and is the gateway to Melbourne for western Victoria. New and established industries present an innovative environment for economic growth and the opportunity to support the knowledge economy, smart technology investment and higher education providers. Melbourne’s west is expected to have the highest rate of employment growth of any region in Melbourne in the next 15 years. A city deal would help drive this innovation, which would also benefit social cohesion and national security. Gainful employment is the best form of welfare. Connecting the disconnected through jobs is an astute anti-radicalisation strategy. All seven municipalities in Melbourne’s north are united in supporting a city deal. Likewise, the six local councils in Melbourne’s west are united in working towards better results and a city deal through LeadWest. This is not just the right priority but a smart one. Postcodes of disadvantage are bearing a greater burden and complexity. We know where crime lives; half of it is in the same place as disadvantage. Fifty per cent of Victoria’s prisoners come from only 6 per cent of postcodes, so we need a whole-of-government strategy to address causes, not just symptoms. The law and order debate must rise above endless loop arguments over which political party is supposedly tougher on crime to a coordinated strategy that is smarter on crime. Such a shift requires focusing more on the causes of crime than its symptoms. A whole-of-government strategy to deliver smarter taxpayer investments where they are needed most is required. While some crimes are so heinous the perpetrators should never be released, an estimated 90 per cent of male prisoners and 80 per cent of female prisoners are illiterate. Therefore greater balance is essential when investing in the attributes which largely define where everyone ends up in life: attitude, education and opportunity. This year marks the 20th anniversary since I founded the Global Leaning Village model in Broadmeadows to coordinate these approaches and to address inequality. Cultural blind spots and politics must be confronted, and it is a strategy that I will be advancing as the Parliamentary Secretary for Crime Prevention. Whipping up anxiety and fear is the easiest politics but solves nothing. Dividing cultures through the chain reaction of race, rights and taxes is perilous. The forthcoming national election provides a landmark opportunity for the next Australian government to become a partner instead of a bystander. For change to be regarded as a friend, not an enemy, we must drive economic and cultural development to deliver a fairer go for all. Democracy, as always, is personal and invisible. As the first person to grow up in Broadmeadows to represent this proud, resilient community in this Parliament, I am humbled and grateful for the support of families who have underwritten prosperity through their muscle and manufacturing nous for generations. It’s time for a New Deal for the truest believers.