About Western BACE

In 2012 the City of Melton, together with their consortium partners (Lend Lease, the Growth Areas Authority, Victoria University, Kangan Institute, Burbank Homes, Federation University Australia) were successful in securing funding through the Federal government’s Suburban Jobs program.

The Suburban Jobs program offers funding to support the creation and provision of increased employment opportunities to local residents in the suburbs of Australia’s major capital cities that are experiencing elevated growth and associated pressures. Local employment precincts will assist growth communities to become more sustainable over the longer term, and will improve the economic and social/community fabric of each region. The City of Melton was one of three successful regions to receive a share of the $45 million Suburban Jobs program funding. The other two successful funding applications were the University of Western Sydney's Werrington Park Corporate Centre and the City of Playford's Stretton Centre (located in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide).

The City of Melton’s application was for the building of the Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence (Western BACE). Currently under construction at Toolern, Western BACE will become a major site for business accelerator activities for the City of Melton and surrounding regions. Consistent with the objectives of the Suburban Jobs program, the Western BACE project was designed and developed to accommodate a multifunction centre offering a range of business accelerator activities, including:

  • The construction of an environmentally sustainable building and business support and development through the Centre for Excellence;
  • Office space, data centre, training and training spaces for tenant businesses, social services, local education providers and growing businesses in the City of Melton;
  • Research and design necessary for sustainable urban development and business/industry innovation and growth in Melton and Melbourne’s Western Region.

The Western BACE 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.

The challenges for regional growth corridors

Melton experiences labour force challenges that are exacerbated by its significant, growing population. For example, current census data suggests that over 80% of residents leave Melton for their work. This represents a substantial movement of population each day across the City’s boundaries. Furthermore, the region experiences higher than average levels of unemployment, reduced job diversification and relies heavily on employment in the construction industry. Each of these challenges has broad implications for the social, economic, and environmental fabric of the region. Through stimulation of jobs growth and the diversification of career and training opportunities for Melton residents, the Western BACE has the potential to reduce the social, economic and environmental pressures that the region currently experiences.

Additional improvements, such as broadband connectivity and other key infrastructure projects, will support the anticipated growth in population over the next 15 years in the Toolern precinct. A significant development currently in progress is the building of 20,000 new homes for an expected 60,000 new residents at the Atherstone Estate.