House debates

Monday, 27 May 2013

Constituency Statements

Jagajaga Electorate: West Heidelberg Neighbourhood Renewal Program

10:51 am

Photo of Jenny MacklinJenny Macklin (Jagajaga, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Disability Reform) Share this | | Hansard source

Throughout the electorate of Jagajaga there are some fantastic people who work very, very hard together to improve their communities. Today I want to pay tribute to the people who live in postcode 3081, West Heidelberg, and the work that they have been doing to renew their community.

It is true that West Heidelberg faces very high levels of disadvantage, but the people who live there recognise that it is a place that has a lot to offer. There are people there who are very, very proud and very strong. In 2005 the Victorian state Labor government acted on the needs of West Heidelberg by including it in the Neighbourhood Renewal program. One of the goals of the program has been to increase community pride and participation. As this Neighbourhood Renewal program draws to a close in West Heidelberg, I want to acknowledge and celebrate the terrific work that has been done by a large number of volunteers and staff who have really made a difference to this area.

This part of Melbourne actually includes the 1956 Olympic Village and of course that celebration saw much infrastructure come to this part of Melbourne. But over time the infrastructure has really been allowed to decline and it has been seriously neglected. The Neighbourhood Renewal program has really taken on the task of giving locals the opportunity to revitalise this great area.

One of the best signs has been the rejuvenation of the Olympic Village shopping strip. It is no longer the very sorry place that it used to be. Now it is a place where families can come together. There is a popular Makers Market for craft makers and musicians. One of the other areas that has been rejuvenated is the Malahang Reserve where lots of people and families come. There is a skate park. We have seen terrific play equipment and landscaping put in and, instead of just a dry paddock, it is now a place where many, many people can enjoy themselves including at the annual Eid celebration.

Another space has been the new community garden. That too is a place where people develop new friendships and connections. Soon we will see a new child and family centre at the Olympic Village Primary School campus of Charles La Trobe. All of these initiatives are part of the pride and development of 3081. Today I am wearing my 'I love 3081' T-shirt. I am not the only one. I am reliably informed that these T-shirts are selling very well and I join with everyone in celebrating the terrific work that is been done by Neighbourhood Renewal.