News & Updates

Just-released Grattan Institute research paints a grim picture of Australian cities ¬¬─ of long, congested commutes to work from the city-fringe property you can only just afford ─ but the Victorian city of Melton is defeating the trend.

According to the Grattan Institute publication ‘City Limits: why Australia’s cities are broken and how we can fix them’, the stark contrast in where Australians can afford to live and where good job opportunities exist means that many city residents have experienced a huge drop in the quality of their family and social life.

City Limits co-author Jane-Frances Kelly said the statistics are astounding.
“One in four full-time employees in Australia’s big cities spends more time commuting than with their children. That’s just not healthy, for anyone,” she said.

And the problem is getting worse, with most new jobs being created in the cities and younger generations either price-locked out of home ownership and forced to live in insecure tenancy arrangements, or pushed to the city fringes.
“We’re a nation of city dwellers. Our future prosperity depends on thriving cities offering good jobs and opportunities to everyone living in them,” Ms Kelly said.
But it’s not all bad news: The Victorian city of Melton, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia, is beginning to show that not all cities are ‘broken’.

The City of Melton is located about 40 kilometres west of the Melbourne centre and is predicted to grow from 127,638 residents in 2015, to 315,908 residents in 2036.

Expected to open in mid-2015, the Western BACE (Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence) facility in Melton area will become an innovative business hub designed to:
• stimulate jobs and business growth,
• improve training and employment options for local residents, and
• strengthen and build social capital in the region.
Funded through the Federal government’s Suburban Jobs program, Westerns BACE will help small to large businesses grow by providing facilities, support and meeting space’s for the area’s residents, and provide opportunities to up-skill as well as employment opportunities for residents of the area.

[Spokesperson from BACE] said the centre has the potential to reduce the social, economic and environmental pressures that the region currently experiences.

“Melton has a fast growing population and faces the challenge of providing diverse well-paying jobs for its residents, so they don’t need to travel long distances to and from work each day”

“Western BACE has been researched, master-planned and developed to face this challenge head-on,” [she/he] said.

Further propelling Melton’s growth is the building of new homes for an expected 14,000 new residents in the Atherstone community, developed by Lend Lease.

Atherstone is a 481 Hectare master planned community with waterways and Toolern creek flowing through the community, two schools, a childcare facility, a retail and business town centre, an additional neighbourhood centre, walking trails and a regional park that is over 50 times the size of the MCG.

In comparison to the expensive, small, Victorian houses available in Melbourne inner suburbs, the houses available at Atherstone are new, environmentally sustainable, affordable and come with the occasional friendly wildlife visitor on the deck.

Neil O’Connor, Lend Lease General Manager for Victoria, said that Melton’s growth is a clear indicator that perceptions on lifestyle are changing in Australia.

“I think we’ve hit a turning point where Australians are realising that you can find a breadth of choice and experience outside of the major cities, without the financial and lifestyle strain,” he said.

“Melton is a perfect example of a smaller city that can have it all: more jobs created at Western BACE and affordable, high-quality houses and land at Atherstone,” he said.