Central Geelong Revitalisation
Central Geelong is the G21 region’s primary centre of business, retail, arts, culture, education, health and institutional activity. Like many cities of its size, Central Geelong is experiencing challenges as it transitions from a traditional ‘central business district’ function to a more diverse economic, social, residential and cultural centre.
The revitalisation of Central Geelong as a strong, vibrant and thriving mixed-use centre is important for Geelong, the region and to the future growth of Victoria as the State’s second city. Central Geelong needs to redefine itself, attract investment, deliver employment opportunities and provide a lifestyle that makes people want to live in the city centre and visit often.
Affecting change takes time. There are no quick or easy fixes, no simple solutions, rather a range of actions and measures that once implemented, will turn Central Geelong into a vibrant, world-class city.
The Central Geelong Action Plan developed by the Central Geelong Task Force, sets a direction for future priorities and investment. The City of Greater Geelong is dedicated to managing its resources to create an environment that will stimulate investment. However, the success of the plan requires support and commitment from businesses, land owners, major institutions, government and the community to build on the strengths that already exist.
Delivering world-class precincts is a key outcome of the Central Geelong Action Plan, including the G21 Priority Projects of redeveloping Yarra St Pier and delivering a new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Central Geelong revitalisation also relates closely to other key G21 Priority Projects, including the Geelong Cultural Precinct.
The Central Geelong Action Plan is a 15 year program of priority actions to revitalise Central Geelong. It will create a smart, vibrant, thriving, liveable and successful city centre with a strong sense of identity and community.
The plan will bring transformational change to Central Geelong. It will maximise its strengths and improve investment opportunities, motivating stakeholders to take action.
The Action Plan centres on achieving three principles:
- more people living, working, learning and playing
- great infrastructure, and
- smart investment.
Ten short-term priority actions are imperative to creating a thriving Central Geelong:
- to stimulate more investment and realise the development potential of underutilised land
- to increase the number of people living in the city making it a safer, more vibrant and mixed use area
- to better use government land assets as a catalyst for leveraging investment and activity
- to create an integrated, attractive and well-designed pedestrian and cycling network
- to facilitate convenient, frequent and reliable access to key destinations via a city loop bus service
- to create a vibrant, lively shopping, alfresco dining and event space
- Greening Central Geelong by developing a distinctive and enduring network of grand boulevards, green spines and green spaces
- to promote residential housing, services and facilities for students and staff close to education facilities
- to capitalise on Geelong’s premier health services for jobs and investment in a more cohesive precinct
- to build on the annual calendar of events to attract more people and increased investment in tourism.
Planning continues to progress these priority actions. For example, the ‘City in a Park’ vision identifies a series of projects to improve streets and key public spaces in the city centre to implement the ‘Greening Geelong’ initiative.
Kelvin Spiller, Chief Executive Officer, City of Greater Geelong.
What has been committed
The Federal Government has committed:
- $2.65 million in incentives for Deakin University’s affordable student housing in the T&G building.
The State Government has committed:
- $5.5 million to deliver early stages of the Action Plan; outdoor spaces and streetscapes will be improved to unlock investment and drive economic activity in central Geelong
- $3 million to deliver the first stage of the Malop Street green spine and laneway upgrades
- $850,000 towards the redevelopment of Central Geelong’s iconic T&G building
- $85,000 towards a feasibility study investigating the development of a Mineral Springs and Spa
- $70,000 to investigate the development of key government sites and assets.
What is required
A Government commitment of:
- $10 million to kick start key short-term projects within the Action Plan
- $17 million to deliver stages two and three of the Malop St Green Spine
- funding to deliver streetscape upgrades and greening strategy projects that realise the ‘City in a Park’ vision
- $80-100 million to facilitate heavy vehicle and through traffic bypassing the CBD
- support for transport network improvements that increase amenity of streets within the CBD
- redevelopment of the Geelong Railway Station to create an attractive key entrance to the CBD
- $100,000 to support development of a Central Geelong business attraction prospectus and tourist accommodation investment strategy
- consideration to the strategic location of WorkSafe Victoria and National Disability Insurance Agency headquarters in Central Geelong
- funding to create a new public space as the City Heart
- funding for water/sewerage and electricity/gas upgrades to support a population rise in Central Geelong.