Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan) — Last week I had the pleasure of opening the Melton Botanic Trail project on behalf of the Minister for Local Government, the Honourable Marlene Kairouz. The Melton Botanic Trail will provide a crucial connection between the Toolern Creek Trail and the Melton Botanic Garden. Previously pedestrians were not able to cross Toolern Creek, which severely limited access to some facilities for many who frequently visit the gardens. The project creates an excellent space for those living in the north-west of my electorate to exercise and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of the local area. The kilometre of shared path, boardwalk and three pedestrian bridges will be accessible for running, walking, cycling and other recreational activities.

This project comes as part of the Growing Suburbs Fund. The fund involves a $150 million funding injection into community projects in outer suburban growth corridor areas. Projects chosen for funding are perceived to enhance the amenity of municipalities and improve the livelihoods of those that live in the area. Other projects supported by the Growing Suburbs Fund in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region include $3.2 million for the transformation and redevelopment of Wyndham Park and $2.5 million for the Caroline Springs Leisure Centre expansion.

The Andrews Labor government is working so hard for our vibrant and fast-growing outer suburban areas. This is in contrast to those opposite, who have shown a consistent disinterest in supporting these communities when in government. I commend the excellent results being achieved by the Growing Suburbs Fund. I hope the people of Melton enjoy their new facilities.

12 December 2017