“Major game changers” to Brimbank
Brimbank City Council engaged Ethos Urban to prepare an assessment of the potential economic opportunities for the municipality associated with the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) and Sunshine Super Hub (SSH) train station.
A key focus of the report involved identifying the implications for the visitor economy flowing from the delivery of the MARL and SSH. Sunshine Metropolitan Activity Centre (MAC) is Brimbank’s largest activity centre and includes Sunshine Station which currently functions as a major transport interchange; this role will be strengthened by the delivery of the SSH and MARL, as well as the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL).
Transitioning the MAC to a modern mixed-use precinct is a major opportunity for the centre and for Brimbank. Also, the State Government has identified Sunshine as a ‘priority precinct’ which will deliver investment and employment opportunities to support Melbourne’s growth.
Our consultations with a number of organisations active in the Brimbank and wider Western Metropolitan Region communities confirmed that MARL and SSH are regarded as “major game changers”. The proposed developments are expected to generate opportunities for Sunshine MAC to develop as a magnet for increased levels of investment and jobs as expanded numbers of visitors (tourists, VFR, business) are generated.
Issues of most relevance to Brimbank that need to be addressed in realising the benefits and opportunities were identified as the lack of a night-time economy, perceptions of public safety, lack of quality in the public realm, lack of commercial accommodation, lack of a ‘brand story’ that sells the locality, and underperforming internal shopping centres in Sunshine MAC.
Potential actions by Council to address these issues include awareness relating to the opportunity for commercial accommodation in and close to Sunshine MAC; support for ongoing population growth in and around Sunshine MAC through higher-density residential development; growth in the night-time economy; implementation of Brimbank Visitor Strategy actions relating to branding (including a tailored ‘brand story’ promoting Sunshine MAC); ongoing streetscape and other placemaking improvements and marketing initiatives (identified in Sunshine Rising); and support for redevelopment of internal shopping centres in the Sunshine MAC.