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By Peter Douglas

Just how livable is your neck of the woods?
Yarra Ranges and Cardinia shires are inviting residents to have their say about the livability factor of the region, with your feedback to go towards the Livability Project.
As part of an Interface Councils initiative, of which both councils are integral members, the Livability Project is a campaign that calls for all sides of politics to ensure Melbourne’s outer suburbs are livable for all.
Chiefly among this call is the reinstatement of the annual $50 million funding from the Growing Suburbs Fund, with its axeing revealed in the past State Budget.
A four-year commitment of funding is being sought.
The Interface Councils group’s mantra is that community infrastructure is an essential part of addressing issues such as social isolation, disengaged youth and family violence.
Yarra Ranges Council chief executive officer Glenn Patterson expressed his frustration after the budget announcement.
“The Growing Suburbs Fund has allowed council to bring forward the delivery of valuable community infrastructure projects,” he said.
“Interface Council, such as Yarra Ranges, have demonstrated capacity to deliver Growing Suburbs Fund-supported projects in a timely manner.”
Meanwhile, Cardinia Shire councillor Brett Owen said that while the two-year commitment to the fund was welcome, the cash cut would halve the number of community projects funded.
In the past, the funds have been vital in helping to establish major infrastructure projects in the region, including the Lilydale Lake Playspace, Belgrave South Sports Pavilion and the Montrose Town Centre redevelopment.
This reduction was disappointing, he said, and would be heavily felt by outer suburban communities who already had ‘significantly’ less than inner city areas.
Over the past two years, 76 parks, playgrounds, ovals, sports centres and community centres have been built or are underway in Melbourne’s growth corridors, including within the Yarra Ranges, thanks to grants from the $50 million annual fund.
To have your say in the survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IFLive

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