Monday, 02 October 2017 13:08

Interface issues

PEOPLE living in the State interface region on Melbourne’s fringe are living with significantly less services and infrastructure than people in inner or middle Melbourne, and in some cases, even regional areas.
The Interface Councils Liveability Snapshot, released in the Victorian Parliament on September 19, reveals data of the alarming divide.
Interface Councils comprises Mitchell Shire Council and the City of Whittlesea along with Hume City Council, Cardinia Shire Council, City of Casey, Melton City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Wyndham City Council and Yarra Ranges Shire Council.
The Interface region is home to over 1.5 million people, including 410 thousand families, and the interface councils group formally represents these ten municipalities.
Based on State Government data accessed by interface councils, the more alarming figures include public transport issues, high levels of unemployment (1.1 per cent above the state average).
Almost one in five people travel more than two hours each day for work and the number of people who travel to work by car is almost 3 out of 4 workers, again the highest in the state.
While the interface region offers the highest levels of open space in the state, their access to these parks and reserves by foot is significantly limited. The walk score for parks in the region is 17 per cent, almost three times less than the walk score for parks in middle Melbourne.
“The Liveability Snapshot reveals some startling figures that any State Government should be deeply concerned by,” an Interface Councils spokesperson said.
“The situation has been created by years of solid growth, a key driver for the Victorian economy, as well as historic underfunding for the municipalities on the fringe of Melbourne.Last year’s budget saw the largest increase in government interface spending but this follows 16 years of budget drought.