$355 million 'City Deal' DONE!

The announcement on Monday (11 March 2019) of a $355 million federal-state government agreement on projects and funding for a City Deal for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road has been welcomed by G21.

G21 CEO Elaine Carbines said it was an historic day for Geelong and the wider region.

“The City Deal is a once-in-a-lifetime stimulus opportunity for the regional economy,” Ms Carbines said.

“The benefits the deal will bring to the regional economy, both in the medium and longer-term, can’t be overstated.

“The deal is set to bring visionary investment in major transformative projects across future years, which will boost the economy, drive growth and create jobs.

“That’s why G21 has pursued both the federal and state governments aggressively over many months to have the deal locked-down before the coming federal election.

“G21 is proud to have played a leading role in advocating for the City Deal over several years; right from the time the concept of City Deals was first flagged by the Turnbull government.

“G21 had numerous face-to-face talks with federal and state politicians about the deal, and has made it one of its priorities.

“G21 was in Canberra again as recently as last month, meeting with the Prime Minister and others, specifically to advocate for a swift finalisation of the deal.

“All of the projects agreed for the City Deal are worthy of investment.

“G21 congratulates the federal and state governments on negotiating a break-through on projects to be funded in order to achieve a great outcome for Geelong and the wider region.

“Successful City Deals focus on leveraging the strengths and qualities of cities and their regions and depend on cooperation for mutual benefit. Regional cooperation is at the heart of G21’s purpose for existing,” Ms Carbines said.

Comments by the Prime Minister and the Premier

In a joint statement Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews said the ten-year City Deal partnership would revitalise Geelong and the broader regional economy.

The agreement includes the injection of a further $45 million into the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, on top of that previously publicly foreshadowed by the two governments.

The additional $45 million brings the total federal government contribution to the Deal to $183.8 million, with the Victorian government providing $172 million.

Prime Minister Morrison said the Deal would turbo-charge the economic potential of the tourism industry, boost emerging businesses and ensure Geelong remains a great place to live and visit.

“The City Deal will be a game-changer for hard-working families in Geelong and the rest of the region, by generating an extra $1.1 billion into the economy and delivering nearly 1000 jobs every year," Mr Morrison said.

“This is what locals have been advocating for – infrastructure that delivers jobs and supports business.

“I am pleased to have been able to work together with Sarah Henderson and Premier Andrews to reach agreement and get this deal done.”

Premier Andrews said the agreement had locked in the delivery of the 1000-seat Geelong Convention Centre.

“We’ve fought long and hard to secure the remaining funding for the Geelong City Deal since we backed it a year ago," Mr Andrews said.

“The Geelong City Deal will transform Geelong and the Shipwreck Coast, creating thousands of new jobs and attracting visitors from right around the country – and we’re proud to have led the way in delivering it.”

The Convention Centre is expected to bring $350 million to the regional economy during construction and about $50 million each year once it is operating. It is also expected to support 270 jobs, boost tourism and drive new business growth in the region.

The Deakin University Western Beach waterfront car park site was confirmed as the location for the convention centre.

Key commitments

The City Deal will deliver:

Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Australian and Victorian Governments are investing $171.2 million in a new Convention and Exhibition Centre in the city centre.

The Convention Centre and surrounding precinct will include a new hotel, retail, restaurants and other commercial offerings, attracting visitors and business events from across the country and overseas, and positioning Geelong as a global and national competitor for business events.

Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan

The Australian and Victorian Governments are investing $27.85 million to deliver a range of projects to revitalise public spaces in central Geelong.

This investment will support a vibrant Geelong city centre that attracts visitors, residents and businesses, boosting the visitor economy, and creating opportunities for new investment and jobs.

Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour project

The Australian Government is investing $3.5 million in the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour project, building on existing investments of $2 million from the Australian Government, $7.5 million from the Victorian Government and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong.

This will transform and activate the entire precinct, improving connectivity and public access to the waterfront, supporting tourism and community activities, ensuring year round visitation to the waterfront, and providing support for major events that contribute to the local economy.

Shipwreck Coast Master Plan

The Australian and Victorian Governments are jointly investing $108.15 million to deliver priority projects under Stage Two of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.

Great Ocean Road Infrastructure Projects

The Australian Government is investing $27.5 million to a range of other projects along the Great Ocean Road, to better accommodate tourists and reduce impacts of increased visitation on the local community.

Projects include $12 million for the Apollo Bay Harbour upgrade, $8 million for the Point Grey Lorne redevelopment, $5 million for Skenes Creek to Wild Dog Creek coastal walk, plus funding for the Kennett River public amenities and car parking, and a feasibility study for Great Ocean Walk between Skenes Creek and Surf Coast Walk.

Deakin University Future Economy Precinct

The Australian and Victorian Governments are investing $7.6 million in the expansion of Deakin University’s Future Economy Precinct at the Waurn Ponds campus.

The investment will drive the growth of emerging advanced industries building on the university’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, biotech, renewable energy, robotics and high-value agriculture.

New road capacity will also improve pedestrian safety on the campus.

Queenscliff Ferry Terminal

The Australian Government is investing $10 million in the construction of a new ferry terminal at Queenscliff to improve ferry services crossing the heads of Port Phillip Bay.

The project will deliver modern facilities, improved access, and new opportunities for retail developments, boosting passenger numbers and creating new opportunities in the local economy.

           'CITY DEAL' TOTAL FUNDING = $355.8 million  (not including City of Greater Geelong contributions, still to be confirmed)

All three levels of government will now jointly prepare an implementation plan by late-2019, which will set out key milestones for projects, timeframes and who will be responsible.