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A forum in Dandenong encouraged groups in the South-East to raise their voice as one.
South East Melbourne (SEM) hosted business, manufacturing, tourism and local government leaders at an advocacy forum on Thursday 12 April.
It explored projects and ideas to help economic and jobs growth, liveability and the environment in the region.
SEM chairman Simon McKeon said the ideas put forward were strong, creative, innovative and practical.
“Together we encourage organisations of South East Melbourne to raise their voice as one, it is a voice that needs to be heard,” he said.
“We have pledged to make sure that our decision-makers hear the same message from all the region’s stakeholders.
“We need better public transport options, investment in roads and large-scale projects – such as the south east airport and the south east freight hub – to provide local jobs to the people calling the south east home.”
Mr McKeon said the SEM board would prioritise and consider the ideas generated at the event.
He said they would deliver jobs and investment; expand the region’s nationally-significant manufacturing sector and world-class food economy; achieve a more connected community; and attract infrastructure to increase liveability.
Projects discussed at the forum included national employment and innovation clusters at Monash and Dandenong; extending the Cranbourne and Frankston rail lines; a south east airport; connecting the education and skills sector to industry; bus services for job access; build high-speed internet access for business communities; repurposing the Port of Hastings and more.
Mr McKeon said SEM, together with the other regional groups, would continue to lobby state and federal governments to ensure the region got its fair share of investment.
He said South East Melbourne was home to more than 1.2 million people and employed more than 470,000 workers.
He said 120 new families were moving into the area each week.
Among the groups in attendance were South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA), Committee for Dandenong, Metropolitan Partnerships Southern Region, Casey Cardinia Tourism Group and South East Business Networks (SEBN).
SEM includes the shires of Cardinia and Mornington Peninsula and the cities of Casey, Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash.

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