Addressing Disadvantage

Health and Wellbeing Pillar

Need

Across the G21 region there is significant disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged groups.

The SEIFA Index of Disadvantage (1) found that communities in the G21 region are among Victoria’s most disadvantaged. Colac East is the second most disadvantaged suburb in the state; Norlane is third, Whittington is eighteenth and Corio twenty-sixth.

There are also target areas below the Victorian average on some key critical indicators (2):

  • There is a very high rate of disengaged youth. (Victorian average 8.2%, in pockets of Corio this is as high as 53.6%).
  • There is a high rate of low income households. (Victorian average 18.3%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 52.1%).
  • There is a very high proportion of housing stress. (Victorian average 11.4%, in pockets of Corio this is as high as 25.7%).
  • A higher than average unemployment rate. (Victorian average 5.2%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 25.3%).
  • A higher than average youth unemployment rate. (Victorian average 12.3%, in pockets of Norlane this is as high as 75%).

This issue impacts the entire G21 region. To evolve and grow as a community we must take a united approach that helps build the economy and create jobs in under resourced communities.

We must also address causes central to disadvantage. This includes access to quality educational opportunities from early childhood, access to services that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes, and encompasses issues such as public transport and affordable housing.

This is a long-term and severe problem and ongoing funding is required.

Footnotes:

(1) SEIFA is derived from the Census and can indicate the relative level of social and economic wellbeing of a region. The index is constructed based on a series of variables that include income, education, employment, occupation and housing.
(2) ABS Census 2016.

Resources:

Addressing Disadvantage in the G21 Region – Using Place-based Investment Approaches 
GROW Strategic Plan

Project Aim

To evolve and grow as a community we must take a united approach that helps build the economy and create jobs in under resourced communities.

Funding is also required across targeted areas to address causes central to disadvantage. This includes access to quality educational opportunities from early childhood, access to services that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes, and encompasses issues such as public transport and affordable housing.

GROW

G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) is based on significant international evidence that the best way to reduce areas of persistent disadvantage in a community is to reduce unemployment rates in those areas.

GROW brings together philanthropic, business, government and community organisations across the G21 region to create new job opportunities in areas that have the highest levels of joblessness and persistent disadvantage. It does this by targeting two significant means of job growth - procurement and investment.

GROW supports public and private sectors to direct their routine spend on local suppliers and products, creating new jobs which can potentially employ people from target areas.

It also encourages investment in SME’s, allowing them to begin or expand operations within targeted areas, with a view to local job creation.

And it uses ‘demand-led brokerage’ to link jobs and job seekers, providing incentives for the employment of suitably trained people from targeted areas.

Initially, GROW will focus on Colac, Corio, Norlane and Whittington; where unemployment is at double-digit levels, and well above regional and state averages.

Northern ARC Health and Wellbeing Hub

The Northern ARC Health and Wellbeing Hub, proposed on the current Waterworld (Norlane) site, develops the precinct into a world-class, integrated community health and wellbeing hub.

Combined with the $33 million Barwon Health North facility (funded), the Northern ARC would create a world-class preventative health precinct in the northern suburbs.

It would produce an iconic destination for health, fitness, recreation, cultural and community activities and would generate $111 million in preventative health benefits to the community over 10 years.

This would be a huge boost for Geelong’s northern suburbs – providing long overdue health infrastructure to some of our most vulnerable communities.

Project Champion

Bill Mithen, Chief Executive Officer, Give Where You Live Foundation.

What has been committed

The State Government has declared the Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre development a ‘strategic project’, requiring it to use 90 per cent local content under the Local Jobs First policy.

Corio and Norlane

State and Federal Governments have committed $108.4 million towards services and social infrastructure in Corio and Norlane, including:

  • $34.8 million towards the Northern Bay College regeneration
  • $30 million towards the $80m New Norlane initiative, a housing project to provide 320 new public and affordable private homes in Norlane
  • $28.1 million for Barwon Health North, an urgent care centre and co-location of GP services (Northern ARC)
  • $1.85 million to develop and implement the G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) project
  • $725,000 towards Stead Park Master Plan implementation
  • $650,000 to implement a Regional Soccer Synthetic Pitch at Corio Leisuretime Centre.

Whittington

State and Federal Governments have committed $2.2 million towards services and social infrastructure in Whittington.

Colac

State and Federal Governments have committed $11.6 million towards services and social infrastructure in Colac, including:

  • $5.4 million for the Bluewater Fitness Centre Stadium Redevelopment (opened March, 2017)
  • $3.5 million towards the Central Reserve Master Plan implementation (upgrades opened April 2017)
  • $620,000 to support a demand led employment model.

Meredith

The Federal Government has committed $1.1 million towards services and social infrastructure in Meredith.

What is required

Critical infrastructure required
 
Corio and Norlane
 
Infrastructure
Funding required
Northern ARC Stage 1 - Aquatic Health & Wellbeing Centre
(COGG has committed $20.6 million to Stage 1. Total cost $61.6 million)
$41 million
Northern Bay College Regeneration $24.5 million
Total
65.5 million
Colac
 
Infrastructure
Funding required
Central Reserve Masterplan implementation $375,000
Total
$375,000
Critical Program
Funding Required

GROW Strategic Plan implementation over 10 years

(Also, a commitment by the State & Federal governments to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.)

$2.25 million
Total
$2.25 million