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Advocacy

Advocating to other levels of government in the interests of our community is an essential role of local government.

Through our advocacy we are the voice of our community, working to deliver infrastructure, services and policy in partnership with other levels of government to meet current and long-term needs.

Our advocacy leading into the 2022 Victorian election is focusing on three key themes that support the aspirations of the Bayside community as expressed in the Bayside 2050 Community Vision and Council's priorities as expressed in the Council Plan 2021-2025.

Our Planet

Climate change represents significant challenges for Bayside, now and into the future. Our advocacy includes initiatives targeting climate mitigation as well as adaption.

Key initiative - Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve

The transformation of Yalukit Willam (formerly Elsternwick Park) Nature Reserve represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to create an extraordinary natural space in an urban setting.

It also has significant potential benefits for improving water quality in Port Phillip Bay via nitrogen capture as well as flood management, biodiversity and urban cooling benefits. 

Council has adopted a $24 million masterplan to realise the vision for the reserve as an oasis for both people and nature and has allocated $9 million towards the initiative.

The Australian Government has committed $6 million to the implementation of the masterplan and pledged a further $11.7 million towards the reserve and Elster Creek at the recent federal election.

Bayside is seeking a tripartite approach to this regionally significant project.

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking funding from the Victorian Government for the continued transformation of the reserve and expansion of the wetlands.

1,197ML of stormwater flows through the reserve annually from the 3,200ha Elster Creek Catchment. The wetlands will lead to improved water quality in Port Phillip Bay by removing nitrogen and other pollutants from stormwater flowing through the reserve. 

The wetlands will also contribute to flood management, reducing flood risk for nearly 2,000 local property owners.

Increased biodiversity in the reserve through extensive planting, including aquatic plants in the wetlands, will create habitat for wildlife and achieve urban cooling benefits.

The reserve will also provide facilities for significant passive recreation and community education activities. These include a focus on environmental, First Nations cultural and sustainability education.

We are also calling for the Victorian Government to expedite funding for the Elwood Main Diversion Drain project which will complement the reserve wetlands and reduce flood risk in North Brighton and Elwood.

Find out more about Yalukit Willam Nature Reserve

Key initiative - Recycled Water Pipeline

The Dingley Recycled Water Scheme’s new 42km pipeline will deliver recycled water to 46 sites across the Kingston, Monash, and Bayside communities, including local parks, world-class golf courses, sports ovals, and nurseries, while preserving our drinking water supply.

The Victorian Government has allocated $24.8 million from the 2022/23 Budget for the construction of the pipeline. The project will unlock 1,800 ML of recycled water each year.

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking funding from the Victorian Government for local connections to the Dingley Recycled Water Scheme pipeline.

The pipeline will carry recycled water to Bayside parks, reserves and golf courses helping them to remain green during dry spells. This will provide our community with high quality public open space all year round.

The project will support international golf tourism at Sandringham’s renown courses, generating 240 jobs. It will also provide a climate resilient source of water for local businesses.

Local connections will bring the benefits of the pipeline deeper into Bayside.

Key initiative - Minister for the Bay

As a coastal municipality, Bayside is significantly exposed to the impacts of climate change. Brighton in particular is rated in the top ten suburbs nationally for property value at coastal risk due to erosion and storm surge caused by climate change.

Currently more than nine government departments/agencies, ten Councils and multiple private/community bodies have responsibility for foreshore management, with others responsible for marine transport, ports, and other services. Conflicting policy positions and application leads to time, cost, and lost opportunities to manage our coastline effectively and proactively.

2022 Victorian election priority

We are calling for a coordinated government body to manage and invest along the Port Phillip coastline. 

A dedicated Minister for the Bay would create a streamlined focus on policy priorities including establishing a leadership position on climate change adaption and coastal erosion, cutting red tape, protecting jobs and the heritage values of coastal assets.

A single line of governance would help the 4.5 million people living in bay communities by providing greater certainty on climate change adaption measures through a coordinated government approach.

This would provide focused policy direction and funding to develop integrated planning and action to deal with the challenges of ageing infrastructure and population growth.

A Minister for the Bay would also support the delivery of the Victorian Government’s Marine and Coastal Strategy – building resilience in our marine and coastal areas.

Other advocacy initiatives

We are also seeking action on:

Our Place

We are advocating to the Victorian Government for improved public transport services in Bayside, particularly in the southern part of our municipality.

Key initiative - Level crossing removals

The Victorian Government’s level crossing removal project is removing 85 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne by 2025. To date 65 crossings have been removed including 10 along the Frankston line.

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking the removal of the Highett Road and Wickham Road railway level crossings.

These crossings are the last remaining at-grade crossings in the northern section of the Frankston line above Mentone. They are not included on the current schedule for removal.

The crossings delay commuter journeys on the railway line, extending travel time including for express trains. This makes sustainable travel a less attractive choice now and into the future despite the construction of the Suburban Rail Loop Cheltenham station within 1kms of both crossings.

The crossings also contribute to significant traffic congestion in the Highett activity area and represent an unacceptable level of safety risk to road users and pedestrians.

Key initiative - Better buses

Bus services in Bayside are indirect, infrequent and not well connected with rail services, particularly in Black Rock and Beaumaris.

The lack of regular and convenient services increases reliance on private car transport. Transport is Bayside’s second equal largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (20%).

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking immediate action to finalise a bus route review by the Department of Transport on routes 600, 922, 923.

These bus routes link Beaumaris and Black Rock shopping villages, Beaumaris Secondary College and other key destinations along the route with public transport hubs such as Sandringham and Cheltenham railway stations and Southland bus interchange.

The Victorian Government’s $45 million investment in the new Beaumaris Secondary College is attracting young families to the catchment area however public transport servicing the school is very poor.

Key initiative - Suburban Rail Loop

The Victorian Government’s Suburban Rail Loop is a city-shaping project that will transform Melbourne’s public transport system, connecting suburbs and creating opportunities in great places. 

The selection of Sir William Fry Reserve in Cheltenham as a station location represents an opportunity to improve sustainable, efficient, and connected public transport across and onward from Bayside. Initial works for Stage One are expected to commence in 2022 with commissioning of the railway expected by 2035.

Council is providing strong input to the Suburban Rail Loop Authority to advocate on behalf of the Bayside community to minimise impacts from the construction of the new station and maximise long term benefit from the new transport infrastructure.

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking to maximise the benefit of the Suburban Rail Loop to Bayside through strong and active engagement with Council and the community.

This includes advocating for positive outcomes in the station precinct and adjacent areas where the Suburban Rail Loop Authority is the responsible authority.

We are also seeking strong integration between the Suburban Rail Loop and other sustainable transport modes to improve public transport services overall resulting in reduced reliance
on private vehicles.

Minimising any impacts of construction to local residents, community organisations and businesses is also a priority for Bayside.

Find out more about the Suburban Rail Loop.

Other advocacy initiatives

We are also seeking action on:

  • expanded commuter parking at Bayside railway stations
  • enhanced safety on pedestrian railway crossings across Bayside including at New/Dendy Street in Brighton.

Our People

We are seeking policy reform and funding to ensure that all Bayside residents are celebrated, included and feel they can actively participate in community life.

Key initiative - Warm Water Pool

There are many proven benefits of regular warm water exercise for all ages, but particularly for older people and people with a disability. 

Bayside’s population is aging, with an increasing percentage of older residents and those with a disability, obesity, or health conditions. High participation in sport and rehabilitation after injury; as well as strong demand for younger children’s swimming lessons supports the need for a warm water pool. Our community does not currently have access to a warm water pool locally.

We recently completed community feedback on the proposal to build a warm water pool at Brighton Golf Course. Find out more

2022 Victorian election priority

We are seeking $5 million from the Victorian Government towards an environmentally sustainable warm water pool to complement Council’s $12 million investment.

A new local warm water pool would improve access to gentle exercise facilities for older residents as well as a range of other users. The pool would supply local rehabilitation and allied health services, aiding residents to regain and maintain mobility, confidence and health after injury.

In keeping with Council’s climate emergency action plan, the warm water pool would have a carbon neutral footprint. The facility includes many efficient energy management features with renewable energy, water recycling and structural design details to ensure the integrity of the building’s thermal envelope.

Other advocacy initiatives

We are also seeking action on:

  • greater affordable and social housing in our region, particularly for low income residents and key workers. Much of Bayside’s social housing stock is ageing and in many cases, no longer fit for purpose. Bayside welcomes the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build program to upgrade and expand social housing including at New Street in Brighton and Hampton East and seek further improvements at other social housing sites across Bayside. Our Affordable Housing Strategy guides how we can assist the increase in supply of appropriate and accessible affordable housing in Bayside.
  • support to help our residents navigate upcoming changes to aged care assessments and the provision of in-home aged care services
  • support for residents experiencing homelessness through our participation in the Homelessness and Social Housing Group
Red Bluff Cliffs in Black Rock.