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This report documents the continuing growth and transition of the Western Region of metropolitan Melbourne identified in the 2004 report by the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies. It follows a number of reports about the Region, in each of which strategies that seek to better integrate the Western Region into the knowledge economy are developed.

The Region’s outer suburbs are growing as rapidly as any in the State, requiring the conversion of large areas of rural land to urban use. Parts of the Region are also undergoing gentrification and Chapter 2 discusses in some detail the nature, extent and possible implications of this transformation of some of the Inner West’s suburbs. In particular, it shows the magnitude of the influx of better qualified, higher income professionals into these suburbs and their strong attachment to the CBD for employment opportunities.

Chapter 3 examines the proposals to establish a Central Activities District with CBD-like functions at Footscray. The development of the Sunshine Activity Centre is also considered. Chapter 4 assembles evidence of the formation of a spatial labour market or employment corridor linking the southern Laverton, Sunshine employment node to the Melbourne Airport and manufacturing areas of Hume LGA.

Chapter 5 examines the likelihood of being able to develop a university-based technology cluster at the Werribee Employment Precinct using the Monash technology precinct as a case study. Finally in Chapter 6, the educational outcomes of the Western Region are analysed and in this context something of Victoria University’s attempt to better understand its student population and deal strategically with the Region through its Industry Cluster approach is discussed.

Authors: This report has been drafted by Bruce Rasmussen, Andrew Van Hulten, Neelam Maharaj, Peter Sheehan, Alison Welsh and Sally Weller of the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES), Victoria University.

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