Outer Suburbs Communities: It’s Time for Us to be Heard

Victorian State Election 2022

Melbourne’s outer suburbs are exploding. Rapid population growth with lagging infrastructure, grossly inadequate transport, poorly serviced communities, widespread isolation and social stress – the outer suburbs need attention and a voice of our own.

We deserve it. But we’re without our own voice in the Victorian Parliament. We should hold the balance of power, but we don’t. We’ve let inner city agendas dominate Melbourne and the whole of Victoria.

All this will continue for another four years –  unless we in outer suburbs make our voices heard and change the state’s direction.

The demographics and electoral dynamics in Victoria mean that the state election in November will be decided in the fast growing outer suburban fringes of Melbourne.

In these areas – the outer west, the outer north, and the south east corridor – the arrogant Andrews Government holds sway. It expects to win again because the Liberal Party is no threat to it. Labor will not lose seats in the outer suburbs to the Liberals, but polling shows it can lose them to good community candidates.

The Victorian Liberal and National Parties are mere shadows of the once formidable parties that previously governed the State. They are unrepresentative of the State’s diverse population and they lack the capacity to defeat the Andrews Government. In a desperate attempt to change their situation they have now decided to adopt the same social agenda as the Andrews Government. This makes them a laughing stock in the eyes of supporters and opponents alike. They are unelectable.  

The fringe minor parties in the Upper House are not a credible alternative either. They are not capable of governing the state or holding the Government to account.

In reality, the task of returning Victoria to normality falls to us – mainstream people in the outer suburbs of Melbourne in the Sensible Centre of politics and community life. But how do we do it?


15 Point Platform

1. Require Members of Parliament to have worked for a minimum of 10 years in a real job (a job where they are not a political appointee of a party, politician or union) as a condition of eligibility to nominate for election to the Victorian Parliament; limit MPs to 3 terms in office, then back to your day job.
2. Appoint Ministers from outside Parliament (permitted under the Victorian Constitution for up to 90 days) to clean up and restructure the public service, de-politicise departments and cut waste; after 90 days a permanent Minister may be appointed.
3. Reduce the number of lower house politicians from 88 to 48; remove public funding for political parties; ban corporate and union donations to parties; remove public funding from industry and provider peak bodies and their advocacy and lobbying arms.
4. Establish a standing Citizens Jury in the Victorian Electoral Commission, selected by sortition (random selection), to adjudicate on:
a. party political government advertising
b. party political appointments to government posts
c. pork-barrelling claims in government spending
d. improper use of electoral allowances;

Matters may be referred to the Citizens Jury by either of two methods: referral by either House of the Victorian Parliament, or by petition of a certain number of citizens. Jury decisions are binding on the government of the day.
5. Freeze all state government fees and charges for households and small businesses for 4 years (the life of the next parliament), including motor registration fees, business fees, and fines and penalties.
6. Cap local government rates at $500 pa and require local governments to downsize to operate within this cap; re-orient local government towards a primarily non-service delivery role as an instrument of local voice and community representation.

7. Re-orient public transport to favour outer suburbs by making train and bus travel free for Zone 2 and Zones 3-13, abolish free tram travel in the CBD and retain fares for Zone 1.

8. Establish a state-wide bushfire prevention plan which reduces fire risk, revives volunteer community fire-fighting, limits residential development in high-risk areas, and finances emergency response and recovery on contributory insurance principles.
9. Set a fixed minimum price at which energy companies must purchase renewable energy that is generated by households, farmers, and small business for grid distribution.

10. Allocate funding for schools and child care to parents (not providers) to increase the leverage of parents in driving more options that fit our needs and more accountability from providers.

11. Rebuild a proper vocational education and training system by returning to on-the-job learning under private sector direction, with a training wage of $740.60 per week paid by employers, with the aim of getting 70% of Victorian 16-19 year olds learning and working in a VET system by the year 2030.
12. Transfer 30% of hospital and health funding to NDIS-style care packages for consumers with chronic illnesses to prevent hospitalisation.
13. Turn the tide on the drugs epidemic in Victoria by introducing mandatory rehabilitation for illicit drug users with the aim of leading the user to a drug-free life; scrap the addiction-perpetuating ‘injecting rooms’ strategy.

14. Ban consulting firms from state contracts for 4 years; ban corporatised NGOs from service delivery contracts; in-source family and community services to families and communities based on the indigenous Empowered Communities model.

15. Establish 31 December 2025 as an end-date for indigenous reconciliation and treaty initiatives in Victoria, followed by a settlement date and public holiday for an inaugural Reconciliation Day in 2026; Reconciliation Day would mark the end of changes to place names in Victoria and an end to race-based government programs and entitlements.


Express your Interest

We invite Expressions of Interest in participating in this process.

Further information:

Joanne Stuart

Election comment authorised by V. Hughes, 30 Wilkins St, Yarraville Vic 3013.