Advocating for Community Projects in Wills

Federation Chamber 24/11/2021

Mr KHALIL (Wills) (10:46): A big part of the last three years has been about working for my constituents, the people of Wills. Today I want to share a few examples of how, when you listen to people in your community about what matters to them and you work with them, progress can be made. There are some wonderful locals in the suburb of Fawkner in my electorate who have been campaigning to save the Fawkner pool.

The Save Fawkner Outdoor Pool group has campaigned tirelessly for a full refurbishment of the Fawkner Leisure Centre. I first met up with the group in July this year as they campaigned against plans to reduce the size of the 50-metre outdoor pool. For constituents in the northern suburbs of my electorate, it can be very hard to get to the beach on those hot summer days. My family and so many others that live in those northern suburbs spend some of those hot summer days at the local pool to relieve the heat and have some fun.

I have been advocating directly to the local council and I’ve worked very closely with the group. I’ve even helped collect some of the thousands of signatures on their petition. The power of community organising and the effort that was made has seen the local council commit to a full refurbishment of the Fawkner Leisure Centre. Importantly, there’s no cutback in amenities, and the 50-metre outdoor pool will be retained, ensuring Fawkner gets its fair share. I want to say congratulations to everyone involved in that campaign, particularly Jenny, Damir and Anna, and so many others. Well done.

In another part of the northern suburbs of my electorate, I’ve been listening to a lot of local traders in Hadfield and Glenroy who want road upgrades at the West Street shops to bust congestion and make the roads safer. The intersection at West Street and Glenroy Road is notorious and is very dangerous. There have been numerous accidents and near misses there over the years. The road design also causes cars to back up for hundreds of metres during peak times, entirely blocking access to the shops.

For traders like Peter at West Street Cafe & Bakery, Charles at Bonn Meats and Sam and Claudia at Cafe Stradina, and so many others, the poor road design is hurting their business. I’ve raised this matter in some depth again with the local council, urging them to act. They’re looking at some of the plans around redoing this. I’ll continue to advocate those upgrades on behalf of local businesses.

I’ve also met with the Scale it Down campaign. These are wonderful Brunswick locals who want a proposed apartment development scaled down to reduce the impact on the Gilpin and Clifton parks in Brunswick. There are over 1,000 petitioners who have campaigned against overdevelopment in Brunswick. In an urban electorate like mine, overdevelopment is a constant challenge. I have made representations to the state government, calling on the size of the developments to be reviewed. This group is a passionate bunch. They think of others, they think of their community and they work really well together. It’s been a great privilege to serve these residents of Wills in this place and to work on what matters to our local community.