Wade Noonan, State Member for Williamstown

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  • About Wade

    Wade was elected to the Victorian Parliament to represent the seat of Williamstown district in September 2007, following the retirement of long serving Victorian Premier and Williamstown MP, Steve Bracks. Wade currently lives in Williamstown with his wife and two children, making him the fourth generation of his family to live in Melbourne’s inner west.

  • Williamstown

    The provenance of the electoral district of Williamstown extends back to the establishment of the first free and independent Victorian Parliament in 1856.

  • West Gate Distributor

    Local communities in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs have long been suffering from the influx of trucks travelling through their suburban and business districts. To address this, the Andrews Labor Government has made the West Gate Distributor project one of its top priorities in Project 10,000.

  • Sky High and the Education Precinct

    The Andrews Labor Government has committed $15 million in order to build a pre-school to tertiary education precinct in the inner west.

  • Investing in Local High Schools

    The Andrews Labor Government understands the importance of education and maintains a proud record of investing in our local schools.

  • About Wade

    Wade was elected to the Victorian Parliament to represent the seat of Williamstown district in September 2007, following the retirement of long serving Victorian Premier and Williamstown MP, Steve Bracks. Wade currently lives in Williamstown with his wife and two children, making him the fourth generation of his family to live in Melbourne’s inner west.

Media Centre

Members Statement: Luke Shambrook – Tuesday 14 April 2015

NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I rise to thank the dedicated men and women who helped find Luke Shambrook. Luke is an 11-year-old boy with autism who wandered away from his family's camp site near Lake Eildon on the morning of Good Friday. Five days later he was found sitting on the edge of a ridge, exhausted, dehydrated and suffering hypothermia. The outcome could have been so different. The bush can be a harsh place. I am sure all in this house felt incredible relief when Luke was found. Luke's rescue has been called a miracle, but it was not. Luke is alive because almost 100 police as well as Victoria State Emergency Service volunteers, bushwalkers and other volunteers amassed their expertise to find him. Whether from a police helicopter sweeping over the ridges and gullies or on the ground tramping through the scrub, these people searched from dawn until last light. Luke is now back at home with his family. He is a very lucky boy. Victoria is lucky to have people like Senior Sergeant Dan Hilton, who was the first police officer to reach Luke. We are also lucky to have Sergeant Gerard Warrin from Cobram police station, who was on the search team; Senior Constable Michael Gale from the dog squad; Sergeant Rebecca Phillip, who searched for Luke on horseback; and Leading Senior Constable Brad Pascoe of the air wing, who first saw Luke. These names are a small selection — I cannot name all of those involved in the search for Luke, but I would like them to understand how grateful Victorians are for their dedicated service.

Members Statement: Luke Shambrook – Tuesday 14 April 2015

NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I rise to thank the dedicated men and women who helped find Luke Shambrook. Luke is an 11-year-old boy with autism who wandered away from his family's camp site near Lake Eildon on the morning of Good Friday. Five days later he was found sitting on the edge of a ridge, exhausted, dehydrated and suffering hypothermia. The outcome could have been so different. The bush can be a harsh place. I am sure all in this house felt incredible relief when Luke was found. Luke's rescue has been called a miracle, but it was not. Luke is alive because almost 100 police as well as Victoria State Emergency Service volunteers, bushwalkers and other volunteers amassed their expertise to find him. Whether from a police helicopter sweeping over the ridges and gullies or on the ground tramping through the scrub, these people searched from dawn until last light. Luke is now back at home with his family. He is a very lucky boy. Victoria is lucky to have people like Senior Sergeant Dan Hilton, who was the first police officer to reach Luke. We are also lucky to have Sergeant Gerard Warrin from Cobram police station, who was on the search team; Senior Constable Michael Gale from the dog squad; Sergeant Rebecca Phillip, who searched for Luke on horseback; and Leading Senior Constable Brad Pascoe of the air wing, who first saw Luke. These names are a small selection — I cannot name all of those involved in the search for Luke, but I would like them to understand how grateful Victorians are for their dedicated service.

Second Reading: Mental Health Amendment Bill 2015 – Tuesday 14 April 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I understand this is the first bill that the Minister for Mental Health has introduced on this subject. Having entered the Parliament with the minister in 2007, I am sure he understands the great responsibility that this area of government carries, particularly for consumers of mental health services and also service providers both in the acute hospital area of mental illness and more broadly in the community. I wish him well. He is a person of integrity, and he will bring great energy to this area of his responsibility. I also acknowledge the contribution of the member for Gippsland East. In the time I have been in the Parliament I do not think I have heard too many members speak on a bill on mental health without touching on some personal experience. The member brought some personal experience to the table, and I think it is a reminder of the importance of the work that needs to be done by the government of the day in relation to mental health. His contribution also reminded me of the contributions that were made last year. I was very privileged to be here when the previous Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, introduced the Mental Health Bill 2014 into the Parliament. I think it is important to touch on some aspects of that bill because at the time Victoria had the oldest mental health legislation in the country. It is worth making the point that the process of updating and rewriting the Mental Health Act commenced under the former Labor government when the member for Bellarine was the minister. I am reminded from re-reading my contribution made at the time that the former Labor government set aside $36 million to complement the introduction of a new Mental Health Act. That was a very considerable amount of money to set aside at the time for the transition phase, but the process was to move from the oldest piece of legislation to a modern act. By the end of the process we did end up with a modern act in which consumers of services were placed very much at the centre of mental health treatment. That was a big shift in the legislation. Also significant within the new act was the role of families and carers in the decision-making process. The act also promoted voluntary treatment over compulsory treatment, and there was a big shift towards supported decision-making. Again these were the sorts of things the sector had been talking about for many years and that consumers of services had been talking about for many years. The other areas of the act that came into being as a result of the debate on the legislation were the creation of the Mental Health Tribunal and the appointment of a mental health commissioner to help resolve complaints about public mental health services. These were some of the key features of that act. As the member for Gippsland East said, and I am sure others will say during the course of this debate, mental illness is complex. We know that approximately 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience mental illness in any given year. It would be fair to say that demand for services continues to grow — it even continues to surprise. But that is due in part to the ever-increasing understanding of mental illness and perhaps better diagnosis today than there was in the past. To those service providers both in the community and in hospitals and to those living with mental illness, we pay tribute to each of you. This bill does a number of things. It facilitates, if you like, a mental health annual report to be provided to Parliament. It enables the transfer and return of forensic prisoners to designated mental health services. In my capacity as Minister for Corrections I want to touch on that in greater detail. The bill also addresses a number of technical or operational issues which have been identified out of the implementation of the act on 1 July 2014. It is reasonable to expect that where essentially there is a rewrite of an act, a number of gaps or a number of unintentional consequences are probably going to occur which will need to be addressed. This is what the bill is about. To go to the area of corrections, we know that the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 applies to mentally ill people who have been charged with criminal offences and are found to be unfit to stand trial or who are mentally impaired at the time the offence was committed. These people, where there are no practical alternatives in the circumstances, can be held in prison under a custodial supervision order. This act also ensures that a person held under such an order is not subject to compulsory treatment while held within a prison. Given this, the act requires that a mentally ill person be transferred to a mental health facility if compulsory treatment is to be provided. However, the legislation fails to provide for the return of that prisoner when required. This amendment ensures that the original court order can be applied and that a person can be returned to prison once temporary, compulsory treatment is completed. As the member for Gippsland East touched on, there are not too many cases where this occurs. It would be fair to say that we need to legislate in such a way that options are provided and the safety of the community and the safety of the staff in our various institutions, whether they be prisons or mental health facilities, are placed at the fore. That is a responsibility that weighs very heavily on the government, because it is a difficult balance to have to strike. We take no pleasure in having to repair this act. The act allows, at the court's discretion in circumstances where there is no discernible alternative, for a mentally ill person who has not been found guilty in a court of law to be placed in prison and indeed returned to prison once temporarily treated for their mental illness. We must remain somewhat uncomfortable about this. We must keep seeking new solutions so we can ensure that the most dangerous, desperately mentally ill people are managed in ways that respect their illness and their vulnerability but also provide safety to the community and the staff in our various institutions. I recently visited Thomas Embling Hospital with the Minister for Mental Health. Whilst I saw very clearly an environment in which patients are treated in the best available circumstances, notwithstanding the secure walls, it is still fairly confronting to be in an environment like that and to understand, if you like, the desperate circumstances that some people find themselves in. I would have to say that Thomas Embling overwhelmingly supports those patients in a highly professional way, and we should all admire and appreciate the work of its dedicated team of professionals. It is very rare that a patient cannot be managed within the Thomas Embling facility. However, as I indicated, we need to be persistent and look to solutions for the future that respond to the practical situations that arise from time to time and force us to think outside of the square. Again, I have worked fairly closely with the Minister for Mental Health in relation to this amendment to the Mental Health Act. We have landed, I think, in a place that strikes the right balance in ensuring the community's safety, the safety of the individual consumers and obviously the safety of those staff who work in those facilities. In the very short time I have left to speak, once again I am encouraged that we have a situation where a minister has committed to provide transparency to the Parliament and the Victorian community about the quality of and access to mental health services around Victoria, and there is also a commitment to produce a longer term plan. I do not think we can ever grow complacent about mental health in our community — it is too big an issue — but I am sure we can bring bipartisan support to the issue of mental illness across the Parliament.

Second Reading: Mental Health Amendment Bill 2015 – Tuesday 14 April 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I understand this is the first bill that the Minister for Mental Health has introduced on this subject. Having entered the Parliament with the minister in 2007, I am sure he understands the great responsibility that this area of government carries, particularly for consumers of mental health services and also service providers both in the acute hospital area of mental illness and more broadly in the community. I wish him well. He is a person of integrity, and he will bring great energy to this area of his responsibility. I also acknowledge the contribution of the member for Gippsland East. In the time I have been in the Parliament I do not think I have heard too many members speak on a bill on mental health without touching on some personal experience. The member brought some personal experience to the table, and I think it is a reminder of the importance of the work that needs to be done by the government of the day in relation to mental health. His contribution also reminded me of the contributions that were made last year. I was very privileged to be here when the previous Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, introduced the Mental Health Bill 2014 into the Parliament. I think it is important to touch on some aspects of that bill because at the time Victoria had the oldest mental health legislation in the country. It is worth making the point that the process of updating and rewriting the Mental Health Act commenced under the former Labor government when the member for Bellarine was the minister. I am reminded from re-reading my contribution made at the time that the former Labor government set aside $36 million to complement the introduction of a new Mental Health Act. That was a very considerable amount of money to set aside at the time for the transition phase, but the process was to move from the oldest piece of legislation to a modern act. By the end of the process we did end up with a modern act in which consumers of services were placed very much at the centre of mental health treatment. That was a big shift in the legislation. Also significant within the new act was the role of families and carers in the decision-making process. The act also promoted voluntary treatment over compulsory treatment, and there was a big shift towards supported decision-making. Again these were the sorts of things the sector had been talking about for many years and that consumers of services had been talking about for many years. The other areas of the act that came into being as a result of the debate on the legislation were the creation of the Mental Health Tribunal and the appointment of a mental health commissioner to help resolve complaints about public mental health services. These were some of the key features of that act. As the member for Gippsland East said, and I am sure others will say during the course of this debate, mental illness is complex. We know that approximately 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience mental illness in any given year. It would be fair to say that demand for services continues to grow — it even continues to surprise. But that is due in part to the ever-increasing understanding of mental illness and perhaps better diagnosis today than there was in the past. To those service providers both in the community and in hospitals and to those living with mental illness, we pay tribute to each of you. This bill does a number of things. It facilitates, if you like, a mental health annual report to be provided to Parliament. It enables the transfer and return of forensic prisoners to designated mental health services. In my capacity as Minister for Corrections I want to touch on that in greater detail. The bill also addresses a number of technical or operational issues which have been identified out of the implementation of the act on 1 July 2014. It is reasonable to expect that where essentially there is a rewrite of an act, a number of gaps or a number of unintentional consequences are probably going to occur which will need to be addressed. This is what the bill is about. To go to the area of corrections, we know that the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 applies to mentally ill people who have been charged with criminal offences and are found to be unfit to stand trial or who are mentally impaired at the time the offence was committed. These people, where there are no practical alternatives in the circumstances, can be held in prison under a custodial supervision order. This act also ensures that a person held under such an order is not subject to compulsory treatment while held within a prison. Given this, the act requires that a mentally ill person be transferred to a mental health facility if compulsory treatment is to be provided. However, the legislation fails to provide for the return of that prisoner when required. This amendment ensures that the original court order can be applied and that a person can be returned to prison once temporary, compulsory treatment is completed. As the member for Gippsland East touched on, there are not too many cases where this occurs. It would be fair to say that we need to legislate in such a way that options are provided and the safety of the community and the safety of the staff in our various institutions, whether they be prisons or mental health facilities, are placed at the fore. That is a responsibility that weighs very heavily on the government, because it is a difficult balance to have to strike. We take no pleasure in having to repair this act. The act allows, at the court's discretion in circumstances where there is no discernible alternative, for a mentally ill person who has not been found guilty in a court of law to be placed in prison and indeed returned to prison once temporarily treated for their mental illness. We must remain somewhat uncomfortable about this. We must keep seeking new solutions so we can ensure that the most dangerous, desperately mentally ill people are managed in ways that respect their illness and their vulnerability but also provide safety to the community and the staff in our various institutions. I recently visited Thomas Embling Hospital with the Minister for Mental Health. Whilst I saw very clearly an environment in which patients are treated in the best available circumstances, notwithstanding the secure walls, it is still fairly confronting to be in an environment like that and to understand, if you like, the desperate circumstances that some people find themselves in. I would have to say that Thomas Embling overwhelmingly supports those patients in a highly professional way, and we should all admire and appreciate the work of its dedicated team of professionals. It is very rare that a patient cannot be managed within the Thomas Embling facility. However, as I indicated, we need to be persistent and look to solutions for the future that respond to the practical situations that arise from time to time and force us to think outside of the square. Again, I have worked fairly closely with the Minister for Mental Health in relation to this amendment to the Mental Health Act. We have landed, I think, in a place that strikes the right balance in ensuring the community's safety, the safety of the individual consumers and obviously the safety of those staff who work in those facilities. In the very short time I have left to speak, once again I am encouraged that we have a situation where a minister has committed to provide transparency to the Parliament and the Victorian community about the quality of and access to mental health services around Victoria, and there is also a commitment to produce a longer term plan. I do not think we can ever grow complacent about mental health in our community — it is too big an issue — but I am sure we can bring bipartisan support to the issue of mental illness across the Parliament.

Ministers Responses: Police, Ambulance and Clinical emergency response unit – Tuesday 14 April 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I am very pleased to respond to the members for Macedon and Narre Warren South on two very important issues of policy. I will respond initially to the member for Macedon, and I thank her for raising this very important issue and sharing some very kind words as well. I know community safety is very close to home for the member for Macedon. I am not surprised that already in the short time she has been a member she has sought to involve herself in the local community safety committee. I want to place on the record an endorsement of the member's comments in terms of the paramount significance of family violence, which has been clearly articulated by this government as the no. 1 law and order issue. To the member for Macedon I say I look forward to visiting her electorate at the first available opportunity to talk about the importance of upgrading the police radio system in country Victoria from an analog system to a digital system. This issue was first raised directly with the Premier and I when we attended the Police Association's conference late last year. In fact we heard from the local sergeant, Eamon Leahy, from Maffra, who told us about this ability of people with criminal intent to download an app onto their smart phone to listen to police radio communications on about a 10-second delay. As a result of that we were invited — and I was invited personally — to travel to the Gippsland region to experience firsthand, by sitting in a police car, what that translated to. I was quite astounded because there was an exchange of personal information over the radio network that the police use. Obviously across vast geographical areas of country Victoria that creates some real difficulties in terms of police being able to do their job well. This issue was brought to a head late last year when there was a police pursuit which moved right through the Gippsland region. At one stage almost 9000 people were listening in to that chase live. That cemented Labor's policy position in opposition to commit $10 million to upgrade the police radio system from analog to digital. It is a very big commitment; it is a commitment which is about lifting safety for our serving dedicated police men and women; it is also a very important policy in terms of improving community safety outcomes. Again, I thank the member for raising that issue tonight on the adjournment, and I look forward to visiting her in her electorate. To the member for Narre Warren South, I say that, again, this is a very important policy issue, and I am grateful to her for raising the police and clinical emergency response units on the adjournment debate. As the member said, it is very timely because we have been debating amendments to the Mental Health Act. The member would be acutely aware of the significance of mental illness in our community and the difficulties of the interface when people with mental illness come into contact with police. The member has properly outlined that there are some real advantages in police working with our mental health clinicians, and I note that the Minister for Mental Health is also in the chamber — so that police and experienced clinicians are in the same car to respond to emergency calls when a person with a mental illness is becoming acutely unwell. I acknowledge the member's interest in this issue, and I say to her that this is the sort of initiative that is supported across the chamber. I am well aware of that because it was something we initiated when we were last in government by way of trial. It was then picked up by the previous government and it has been embraced wholeheartedly by our government. I very much look forward to making a visit to the member's electorate and to speaking with both police and the mental health clinicians, if possible, during that visit. I would also make the point that this is a much more effective way for the consumer — the person who is acutely unwell — to receive the sort of treatment and care that they so dearly deserve when they are at the most acute end of their illness. I thank the member for raising this matter.

Ministers Responses: Police, Ambulance and Clinical emergency response unit – Tuesday 14 April 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I am very pleased to respond to the members for Macedon and Narre Warren South on two very important issues of policy. I will respond initially to the member for Macedon, and I thank her for raising this very important issue and sharing some very kind words as well. I know community safety is very close to home for the member for Macedon. I am not surprised that already in the short time she has been a member she has sought to involve herself in the local community safety committee. I want to place on the record an endorsement of the member's comments in terms of the paramount significance of family violence, which has been clearly articulated by this government as the no. 1 law and order issue. To the member for Macedon I say I look forward to visiting her electorate at the first available opportunity to talk about the importance of upgrading the police radio system in country Victoria from an analog system to a digital system. This issue was first raised directly with the Premier and I when we attended the Police Association's conference late last year. In fact we heard from the local sergeant, Eamon Leahy, from Maffra, who told us about this ability of people with criminal intent to download an app onto their smart phone to listen to police radio communications on about a 10-second delay. As a result of that we were invited — and I was invited personally — to travel to the Gippsland region to experience firsthand, by sitting in a police car, what that translated to. I was quite astounded because there was an exchange of personal information over the radio network that the police use. Obviously across vast geographical areas of country Victoria that creates some real difficulties in terms of police being able to do their job well. This issue was brought to a head late last year when there was a police pursuit which moved right through the Gippsland region. At one stage almost 9000 people were listening in to that chase live. That cemented Labor's policy position in opposition to commit $10 million to upgrade the police radio system from analog to digital. It is a very big commitment; it is a commitment which is about lifting safety for our serving dedicated police men and women; it is also a very important policy in terms of improving community safety outcomes. Again, I thank the member for raising that issue tonight on the adjournment, and I look forward to visiting her in her electorate. To the member for Narre Warren South, I say that, again, this is a very important policy issue, and I am grateful to her for raising the police and clinical emergency response units on the adjournment debate. As the member said, it is very timely because we have been debating amendments to the Mental Health Act. The member would be acutely aware of the significance of mental illness in our community and the difficulties of the interface when people with mental illness come into contact with police. The member has properly outlined that there are some real advantages in police working with our mental health clinicians, and I note that the Minister for Mental Health is also in the chamber — so that police and experienced clinicians are in the same car to respond to emergency calls when a person with a mental illness is becoming acutely unwell. I acknowledge the member's interest in this issue, and I say to her that this is the sort of initiative that is supported across the chamber. I am well aware of that because it was something we initiated when we were last in government by way of trial. It was then picked up by the previous government and it has been embraced wholeheartedly by our government. I very much look forward to making a visit to the member's electorate and to speaking with both police and the mental health clinicians, if possible, during that visit. I would also make the point that this is a much more effective way for the consumer — the person who is acutely unwell — to receive the sort of treatment and care that they so dearly deserve when they are at the most acute end of their illness. I thank the member for raising this matter.

Ministers Responses: Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce – Thursday 19 March 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I thank the member for Frankston for raising with me the issue of the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce and for issuing me with an invitation to visit his electorate. I commend him on his early work as the new member for Frankston in terms of advocating for his electorate. As the member outlined, the Premier and the Minister for Public Transport announced the task force in January. It will provide recommendations to the Minister for Public Transport for the future direction of the Frankston railway station precinct. In my capacity as the Minister for Police I look forward to learning more about this when I visit. I can inform the house that the Frankston transport hub is one of three high-risk community locations within the Frankston police service area. I am advised that Victoria Police maintains a highly visible presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using regular foot patrols, with increased resources across Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Victoria Police's leadership in Frankston is also engaged in a range of activities, including things such as community forums, and of course the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce. I look forward to visiting the member's electorate and learning more about the task force and about how Victoria Police can continue its engagement with the local community. In particular I look forward to the work and recommendations of the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce.

Ministers Responses: Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce – Thursday 19 March 2015

Mr NOONAN (Minister for Police) — I thank the member for Frankston for raising with me the issue of the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce and for issuing me with an invitation to visit his electorate. I commend him on his early work as the new member for Frankston in terms of advocating for his electorate. As the member outlined, the Premier and the Minister for Public Transport announced the task force in January. It will provide recommendations to the Minister for Public Transport for the future direction of the Frankston railway station precinct. In my capacity as the Minister for Police I look forward to learning more about this when I visit. I can inform the house that the Frankston transport hub is one of three high-risk community locations within the Frankston police service area. I am advised that Victoria Police maintains a highly visible presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using regular foot patrols, with increased resources across Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Victoria Police's leadership in Frankston is also engaged in a range of activities, including things such as community forums, and of course the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce. I look forward to visiting the member's electorate and learning more about the task force and about how Victoria Police can continue its engagement with the local community. In particular I look forward to the work and recommendations of the Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce.

Campaigns

Investing in Local High Schools

The Andrews Labor Government understands the importance of education and maintains a proud record of investing in local schools. That’s why the Andrews Government has committed $300,000 for Bayside Secondary College to upgrade to their technical wing, as well as $500,000 for Williamstown High School to build a new performing arts centre of excellence. Under the previous Victoria’s Government’s term, there was no new capital funding for schools in the Williamstown electorate, in contrast to the large investments provided by the Bracks and Brumby Labor Governments prior to 2010.

Investing in Local High Schools

The Andrews Labor Government understands the importance of education and maintains a proud record of investing in local schools. That’s why the Andrews Government has committed $300,000 for Bayside Secondary College to upgrade to their technical wing, as well as $500,000 for Williamstown High School to build a new performing arts centre of excellence. Under the previous Victoria’s Government’s term, there was no new capital funding for schools in the Williamstown electorate, in contrast to the large investments provided by the Bracks and Brumby Labor Governments prior to 2010.

Sky High and the Education Precinct

For over a decade, local residents in Yarraville, Seddon and Kingsville have been campaigning to have a high school built in the local area. The development of such a school was increasingly becoming a priority due to population growth in the area. The Andrews Labor Government has committed $15 million in order to build a pre-school to tertiary education precinct in the inner west. The Project will be a national first, bringing together early childhood education providers with local schools, Victoria University, as well as Sky High parents. Labor’s $15 million commitment will also allow for the potential relocation of Footscray City College within the precinct, providing staff and students with state-of-the-art facilities.

Sky High and the Education Precinct

For over a decade, local residents in Yarraville, Seddon and Kingsville have been campaigning to have a high school built in the local area. The development of such a school was increasingly becoming a priority due to population growth in the area. The Andrews Labor Government has committed $15 million in order to build a pre-school to tertiary education precinct in the inner west. The Project will be a national first, bringing together early childhood education providers with local schools, Victoria University, as well as Sky High parents. Labor’s $15 million commitment will also allow for the potential relocation of Footscray City College within the precinct, providing staff and students with state-of-the-art facilities.

Woollen Mills site

Over the past few years, local residents of Williamstown have been campaigning against the development of a series of high rise properties on the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site at the end of Nelson’s Place. This immediately followed a decision by Matthew Guy, the former Planning Minister, to approve a new planning scheme overlay that sanctioned the construction of the high rise development without any consultation with the local community or the local council. On the 24 February 2015, the Hobsons Bay City Council voted unanimously to approve the Planning Scheme Amendments which would limit any development on the Woollen Mills site to 25 metres. This was the original recommendation by the Port Phillip Woollen Mill Advisory Committee Report, commissioned but then not adopted by former Minister Guy. The Andrews Labor Government made a commitment to accept and validate any planning scheme amendment in this guise that was supported by the Council, and we are currently working to deliver those controls for the site.

Woollen Mills site

Over the past few years, local residents of Williamstown have been campaigning against the development of a series of high rise properties on the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site at the end of Nelson’s Place. This immediately followed a decision by Matthew Guy, the former Planning Minister, to approve a new planning scheme overlay that sanctioned the construction of the high rise development without any consultation with the local community or the local council. On the 24 February 2015, the Hobsons Bay City Council voted unanimously to approve the Planning Scheme Amendments which would limit any development on the Woollen Mills site to 25 metres. This was the original recommendation by the Port Phillip Woollen Mill Advisory Committee Report, commissioned but then not adopted by former Minister Guy. The Andrews Labor Government made a commitment to accept and validate any planning scheme amendment in this guise that was supported by the Council, and we are currently working to deliver those controls for the site.

West Gate Distributor

Local communities in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs have long been suffering from the influx of trucks travelling through their suburban and business districts. To address this, the Andrews Labor Government has made the West Gate Distributor project one of its top priorities in Project 10,000. The first stage of the development includes the widening of Moreland Street to provide a four lane divided road, along with an upgraded connection to Footscray Road. Shepherds Bridge, running over the Maribyrnong River, will also be widened and strengthened. New signalised intersections will also be placed at Footscray Road, Parker Street and Whitehall Street. On the 29th January 2015 VicRoads also implemented a new truck curfew in Moore Street, Footscray, and additional truck curfews during school hours on Somerville Road, Yarraville, in order to enhance the benefits of the project. This project will increase the liveability of the inner west as well as improve the safety of our local roads.

West Gate Distributor

Local communities in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs have long been suffering from the influx of trucks travelling through their suburban and business districts. To address this, the Andrews Labor Government has made the West Gate Distributor project one of its top priorities in Project 10,000. The first stage of the development includes the widening of Moreland Street to provide a four lane divided road, along with an upgraded connection to Footscray Road. Shepherds Bridge, running over the Maribyrnong River, will also be widened and strengthened. New signalised intersections will also be placed at Footscray Road, Parker Street and Whitehall Street. On the 29th January 2015 VicRoads also implemented a new truck curfew in Moore Street, Footscray, and additional truck curfews during school hours on Somerville Road, Yarraville, in order to enhance the benefits of the project. This project will increase the liveability of the inner west as well as improve the safety of our local roads.