Economic push in Melbourne's North

La Trobe University has met with local Councils in Melbourne’s North and NORTH Link, and agreed to work together on a major project to drive economic development and job creation across the region.

Melbourne’s North is one of the fastest growth areas in Victoria, and requires significant investment to provide the infrastructure and services needed to support its growing population, and to help the community manage a range of trends, including the loss of traditional manufacturing due to digital disruption.

A number of initiatives were explored in discussions between the Councils and University staff, including La Trobe’s transformative 10-year, $5 billion vision to establish a ‘University City of the Future’ on its Bundoora campus to generate thousands of jobs, foster innovation, and provide the skills needed for the new knowledge economy.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said he was proud to share a collaborative ambition for the future of Melbourne’s North with local Government, and committed to turning the University campus ‘inside out’ to become a hub for the local community to work, live, socialise and exercise in their local community.

“We are delighted to partner with local Councils to pursue opportunities and address challenges in Melbourne’s North,” Professor Dewar said.

“La Trobe’s world-class teaching and research expertise, and our commitment to innovation, makes us ideally placed to work with local Councils, industry and communities to become an engine room for economic growth and activity in Melbourne’s North.”

Council leaders welcomed this new partnership, which closely aligns with the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne strategy for the La Trobe National Employment and Innovation Cluster, and includes development opportunities in a range of areas from arts and tourism, to agri-food, health and wellbeing, and digital technology.

Council leaders, NORTH Link and the University will meet again in the second half of 2018 to discuss next steps in this collective strategic ambition for Melbourne’s North.

Council statements:

“Nillumbik Shire Council was honoured to be invited to provide input in the 10 year plan, University City of the Future being undertaken by La Trobe University and equally pleased to be a key partner in this game changing plan.

Our community will benefit not only from the provision of new employment opportunities but also in reputation by being associated with a world class facility delivering unique education opportunities, innovative research and a broad range of community health and recreation services.

We commend the leaders of La Trobe University for the foresight, drive and determination to put Melbourne’s north on a world stage.”

Councilor Peter Clarke

Mayor, Nillumbik Shire Council

"More local jobs for local people.  It is a critical need for the booming population of Melbourne’s north. This collaborative approach presents an opportunity to not just boost local jobs, but also create an employment hub that offers a quality and diverse mix of jobs across a range of sectors, skill sets and qualifications."

Simon Overland

Chief Executive Officer, City of Whittlesea

“NORTH Link is delighted to see the sharing of information with the local councils and NORTH Link – especially with an attitude of ‘collaboration and partnerships’.  La Trobe University is a major anchor in Melbourne’s North, and we look forward to driving economic and social development together.

Chris James

Executive Director, NORTH Link

“We are excited by the potential opportunities that an active partnership with La Trobe University and the northern Councils can provide for our community and for the wider Victorian economy.”

“We look forward to exploring ways we can develop this partnership to help address local skills gaps, to encourage our community to access pathways to education and employment and to help create local jobs and community facilities.”

“The La Trobe vision strategy is an exciting initiative and one that will help provide a great quality of life in Mitchell. This is a great example of ways that we can help develop a resilient community that can adapt to change by identifying innovative approaches to support our community as it changes and grows into the future.”

Cr Rhonda Sanderson

Mayor, Mitchell Shire Council

“Working together with Councils and La Trobe University can only result in benefits for the North.

La Trobe University has always been a university of innovation and collaboration.  This vision continues that.”

Cr John Kavanagh

Mayor, Moreland City Council

Media Contact: Tim Mitchell– or 0437 457 780