Australia

Cities of Playford and Melton receive funding under Australian Government's Suburban Jobs Program

AUSTRALIAN Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, this month announced funding for the City of Playford and the City of Melton under the Australian Government's Suburban Jobs Program.

The $45 million Program, which was announced as a measure under the Sustainable Australia - Sustainable Communities Strategy in 2011, aims to provide for increased local employment opportunities in the suburbs of major capital cities that are subject to growth pressures.

In Adelaide, the City of Playford will receive $11.3 million to support the $15.3 million Stretton Centre, an employment research and development facility to be located within the Playford Alive project area.

The Stretton Centre will provide learning services for job seekers, co-locate industry development and support services for businesses, and conduct relevant, innovative employment related research. Local businesses will be able to access training, mentoring and specialist advice in the integrated community facility.

"This project will help create local jobs and take cars off the road, allowing Playford residents to spend more time with family and friends," Mr Burke said.

"Historically governments have put jobs on one side of the city and houses on the other. This program is only required because planning hasn't been as good as it could have been."

In Melbourne, Melton City Council will receive $14.6 million towards the establishment of the $21 million Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence, which will be built in the Toolern Precinct, located 19 kilometres west of Melbourne.

The funding will contribute towards a sustainably designed business hub which will provide office space and support for new and growing businesses, with a particular focus on supporting the building and construction sector.

Melton City Council will partner with Lend Lease, the Burbank Group of Companies and Kangan Institute to deliver the project. The University of Ballarat and Victoria University will provide research, education and training support.

In July, the University of Western Sydney was announced as the first successful applicant under the Program and will receive $13.5 million to support the $29.5 million Werrington Park Corporate Centre in Penrith.

The centre aims to create a focal point for new employment in the region and trigger the longer term development of a comprehensive business park in Penrith.

A competitive application process was conducted to select projects for funding under the Suburban Jobs program. The application period opened on 7 December 2011 and closed on 17 February 2012.

Construction of all projects will be completed by 30 June 2015.

The Suburban Jobs Program was initially established with a budget of $100 million but this was subsequently reduced to $45 million when the Australian Government released its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook on 29 November 2011 with a number of savings measures.

More information about the Suburban Jobs Program is available from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website at <http://www.environment.gov.au/sustainability/suburbanjobs/index.html>.

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