Better Places Place Guide projects

Better Places - Brunel Street render

A shared vision for the future of Hobsons Bay.

What is Better Places and how are Place Guides created?

Better Places is a new way that Council designs and delivers projects, thinking in terms of overall ‘places’ rather than individual ‘pieces’. To create a great place, you have to think about the place as a whole, understanding and enhancing the things that make it special and knowing the elements needed to make better places into the future.  

Feedback and ideas gathered during multiple stages of community consultation informs the development of a ‘Place Guide’ that includes practical on the ground projects and initiatives the community have asked for, want and need.

The benefits of this initiative

The success of Better Places is actively involving the community to help shape the places they live and visit. Better Places creates a shared community vision, rooted in collaboration and results in real projects and improvements. Click below to see more benefits and opportunities.


  • Create approximately 40+ full time jobs through design and construction of projects, plus local sourcing of material where possible
  • Create approximately 75 local jobs (direct jobs) and 50 (indirect jobs) on an ongoing basis (dependent on business mix)
  • Activate a number western Melbourne’s trading and lifestyle precincts, increasing local business patronage/participation and tourism/events across the region, while contributing to pandemic related recovery
  • Strengthen the economy of the region by providing greater access to jobs and services across the west and metro Melbourne
  • The holistic economic impact is to be confirmed, dependent on the types of future residential and business growth. The potential range is $20-50 million per year


  • Enhanced leadership/agency within community to drive local outcomes
  • Better usage of open space and connect missing links across suburbs
  • Increased take up in walking/cycling on bike paths and shared trails for commuter trips and recreation activities
  • Increased physical/mental health and wellbeing outcomes and reduced likelihood of chronic disease and obesity
  • Access for all abilities through purposefully designed infrastructure
  • Improved housing and employment options
  • Enhanced sense of value in community heritage and history


  • Reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Emissions caused by cars are 3 to 1 times more per passenger per kilometre than trains
  • A cyclist who rides 10km each way to work can save 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Cycling during peak periods also helps reduce emissions by moving more people more efficiently. Cycling also creates little noise and reduces the need to build, service and dispose of cars
  • Encourage sustainable and integrated transport options
  • Greener public spaces
  • Environmentally Sensitive Design (ESD) of projects where possible

Funding Commitment Request

State & Federal Gov. Contribution

We are seeking funding from State and Federal partners towards the overall project cost.

Total Project Cost

Approximately $50 million.


Council invites funding partnerships with the Victorian and Australian Governments to support the implementation of Hobsons Bay’s Better Places projects across Laverton, Spotswood/South Kingsville, and Brooklyn/Altona North.

Project Updates


After extensive community consultations through 2020 and 2021, the Better Places program has developed 12 priority projects in the Better Places Laverton Place Guide and 16 priority projects in the Better Places Spotswood and South Kingsville Place Guide. Community consultation is underway for the Brooklyn/Altona North Better Places.

Better Places - Hope and Hudson streets Spotswood render

Better Places - Hope and Hudson streets Spotswood render 


Progress of Better Places is based on key collaborative partnerships:

  • State and federal government Ministers and Members of Parliament (MP’s)
  • Environmental/Planning/Public Transport/Roads and Road Safety sectors, LeadWest
  • Local developers, local industry and traders, local arts community, local cycling community groups, local sustainability and transport advocacy groups

Advocacy Activities

The Advocacy Action Plan for Better Places includes:

  • Meetings and engagement with state and federal government Ministers, MP’s and department representatives
  • Publicity across traditional and digital channels
  • Call to action for community
  • Community engagement and public events presence
  • Funding and grant submissions

Government Policy Connections

Better Places connects with the below policies and strategies:

  • Victorian Government’s Infrastructure Victoria Strategy 2021-51 recommendations
  • Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017-50
  • Victorian Government’s Cycling Strategy 2018-28 and Climate Change Strategy
  • Victorian Government’s $21 million Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program
  • Connects to MAV Strategic Plan 2021-25

Council Policy Connections

Progression of Better Places is underpinned by Council’s commitments including: