Federal Government provides $154m for City Deal

Economic Development Pillar

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today (29 Oct 2018) announced his Government would contribute $154 million to a Geelong City Deal package – which includes a complete transformation of the Twelve Apostles precinct and the Shipwreck Coast.

The Prime Minister said the package would mean more jobs, investment and tourists would be headed to Geelong and Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.  He said the landmark deal would unlock the economic potential of the region’s tourism industry, revitalise the Geelong city centre and boost emerging businesses.

The Prime Minister was in Geelong region to make the annoncement alongside Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson, together with the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure & Population, Alan Tudge.

A City Deal for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road has been a long-term advocacy priority for G21, which has led numerous delegations and meetings with federal and state politicans (and their advisers and public servants) when advocating for such an outcome.

The State Government in its 2018 Budget had already announced a $153 million package for a City Deal, following the signing of an MOU between the State and Federal governments and the City of Greater Geelong in February 2018. The Federal Labor Opposition had also committed to provide $153 million to a City Deal if elected at the next national election. The City of Greater Geelong has also committed $15 milllion to a City Deal.

“This deal will be a game changer from Geelong all the way along the Coast,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“When it comes to tourism in Australia it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road.

“Every year, more than six million people drive along the Great Ocean Road and two million visit the Twelve Apostles. But we don’t want people just day tripping from Melbourne, we want them staying the night at a local hotel, eating dinner at the local pub, and buying coffee in the morning at a local cafe.

“Our significant investments in Geelong infrastructure will mean more jobs and a better quality of life for hard working families giving local businesses a real boost.”

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the investment would support the continued transformation of Geelong by leveraging the strengths of the city and region.

“This commitment will transform the Geelong city precinct and make it an even better place to live,” Minister Tudge said.

“City Deals represent a genuine partnership between all three levels of government to align planning, create jobs and stimulate urban renewal.

“Geelong will benefit from a new state of the art convention centre at the Geelong waterfront along with public domain improvements, and infrastructure investments to revitalise and redevelop the city centre.”

Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the $58 million investment in the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan would be a game changer.

“Focusing on updating tourist infrastructure at the Twelve Apostles, Glenample Precinct and Gibson Steps, this funding will support the area’s visitor economy, helping to better manage large numbers of tourists and enhance the visitor experience, while generating hundreds of local jobs,” Mr Tehan said.

“It will improve access and safety, reduce congestion at key tourist sites and lay the foundations for private sector development, such as quality accommodation. It will also help disperse visitors throughout the region and shift the perception of the Great Ocean Road from a day trip destination to an overnight and multi-day visitor experience. The construction of a new Visitor Experience Centre at Glenample is central to this vision.”

Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said today’s announcement followed the Government’s commitment of $3.5 million to the Geelong Safe Harbour Project, improving public access to the Geelong waterfront and supporting tourism, community activities and major events.

“Today we are delivering almost $100 million to the Geelong region and Great Ocean Road communities in the Corangamite electorate in this beautiful part of Australia,” Ms Henderson said.

“It includes a commitment of up to $8 million to go towards the redevelopment of public spaces at Point Grey in Lorne, up to $12 million to upgrade Apollo Bay Harbour and up to $10 million to help fund a new ferry terminal at Queenscliff, an important tourist gateway to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.

“Apart from $5 million for a new coastal walk connecting Apollo Bay with Skenes Creek, our City Deal includes funding for a feasibility study to link Skenes Creek via Lorne to the Surf Coast Walk. We recognise the need for world class tourism infrastructure to support one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations.”

The Great Ocean Road region attracts over six million visitors a year – more than double the Great Barrier Reef and a million more than the Blue Mountains – and generated around $1.3 billion in tourist spending in the year ending June 2017. Visitor numbers are expected to increase by up to 50 per cent by 2025.

The City Deal will build on existing investments, helping to deliver the shared long-term vision for the Geelong region.

The Liberal-Nationals Government said it would now work toward finalising the deal with the Victorian Government which outlined its commitments earlier this year.

More information on the Geelong City Deal is available at: citydeals.infrastructure.gov.au/geelong

Geelong City Deal - Federal Coalition commitments

The City of Greater Geelong is home to more than 245,000 people. Situated between Melbourne, and some of Australia’s most iconic coastline along the Great Ocean Road and the Shipwreck Coast, it is a unique location for residents and visitors.

The region is transitioning away from its traditional manufacturing history towards education, social insurance, tourism, and advanced manufacturing. However, a high number of Geelong residents commute daily to Melbourne for work – about 12,000 drive daily, and there has been a 300% increase in rail passengers between 2003 and 2015. Meanwhile, although the Great Ocean Road region is one of Australia’s most visited destinations with 6.2 million  visitors annually including 785,000 international daytrippers, there is not enough local investment, development or jobs arising from the visitors, meaning the local community sees little economic benefit from visitors who often only day trip from Melbourne.

The Geelong City Deal will boost both the Geelong and Great Ocean Road economy. The projects announced today will facilitate new private investment, create businesses and jobs that will allow the region to benefit from its natural assets, and encourage residents and visitors to spend more time in the Geelong and Great Ocean Road region.

Building on key infrastructure and transport investments such as the introduction of international flights to Avalon Airport from December 2018, Geelong Rail Line upgrades, and Great Ocean Road improvements, the City Deal will encourage more jobs closer to home in the region, strengthening and diversifying the regional economy and helping to sustain Geelong’s growth into the future.


Geelong and surrounds


Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Commonwealth contribution $30 million, total cost $170 million)

A state of the art Convention and Exhibition Centre will be constructed on the site of the Deakin University Geelong Waterfront Campus car park at Western Beach Road, Geelong. The project will include green and integrated public space, as well as potential for new hotel, retail, and restaurant development. The Precinct will help establish a vibrant city centre in Geelong that attracts visitors, residents and businesses, creating opportunities for new investment and jobs.

Revitalising Central Geelong (Commonwealth contribution $20.85 million)

The Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan will transform the Geelong city centre for residents, visitors and future investment.

  • The Malop Street Green Spine between Gheringhap and Moorabool Sts (Block 1) and Yarra and Bellarine Sts (Block 3) to turn Malop St into a vibrant street and linear park, delivering more trees and green spaces to the heart of the city ($12 million);
  • Streetscape upgrades of Little Malop Street and other public realm improvements within the Arts and Culture Precinct ($5 million);
  • Completion of pedestrian laneways (Dennys Pl between Malop and Little Malop Streets, and Market St between Ryrie and Little Ryrie Sts) to improve pedestrian permeability in central Geelong ($350,000);
  • Upgrades to streetscape and introduction of public art at the intersection of Sydney Parade and Ryrie St in the east and near Latrobe Tce and Villamanta St in the east ($300,000);
  • Upgrades to the Geelong Railway Station additional seating and shelters, installation of new passenger information displays, additional CCTV and lighting to improve safety and way finding, and installation of additional Myki readers and payment machines to reduce delays ($3 million).

Deakin University Future Economy Precinct (Commonwealth contribution $3.8 million)

The Coalition Government will help upgrade access to Deakin University’s Future Economy Precinct at the Waurn Ponds campus. The project will boost the growth of emerging advanced industries that builds on the University’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, biotech, renewable energy, robotics and high value agriculture. New road capacity will improve pedestrian safety on the campus and allow the Precinct to expand by 14 hectares, enabling 1000 new jobs by 2022.

Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour project (Commonwealth contribution $3.5 million)

This Coalition investment will improve public infrastructure works and deliver a wave attenuator to protect the Geelong Harbour Precinct and to encourage more people to visit and use the area. The project will ensure year round access and provide better support for major events like the Festival of Sails, Wooden Boat Festival, and international sailing events that contribute to the local economy. Today’s commitment builds on $2 million previously provided by the Coalition.

Queenscliff Ferry Terminal Upgrade (Commonwealth contribution $10 million)

The Coalition contribution will bolster this project to construct a new ferry terminal at Queenscliff, to dramatically improve ferry services across Port Phillip Bay. The new terminal includes modern facilities, opportunities for retail such as cafes and tourism ventures, bathrooms, disabled access and improved car parking areas.

The redevelopment will mean an increase of 640,000 passengers annually by 2032 and create new opportunities for the maritime and hospitality sectors.  The new terminal will mean passengers will board a ferry via an aerobridge, and not the vehicle ramp, delivering a much more accessible and passenger friendly service.   The ferry carries 950,000 passengers to and from Queenscliff every year and is a major tourism gateway to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.


Shipwreck Coast and Great Ocean Road


Shipwreck Coast Master Plan

The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan contains a significant range of projects, proposed to be delivered in three stages. It will direct investment along the Shipwreck Coast to enhance the visitor experience along the Great Ocean Road, strengthen the local economy and drive jobs. The Coalition will fund Stage Two priority projects in the Twelve Apostles and Glenample precinct, which is home to the Great Ocean Road’s key visitor attractions. These include public tourism infrastructure upgrades at the precinct and projects to support private sector investment.

Glenample Visitor Experience Centre (Commonwealth contribution $20.2 million)

A Visitor Experience Centre at Glenample will be built next to the Glenample Homestead. Situated 1.5km southeast of the existing visitor centre, it will be a centre point of the overall dispersion of visitors throughout the Shipwreck Coast. That will include improved access for coaches, a park and ride hub and picnic facilities. The site is ideally located close to key attractions including the Twelve Apostles, Gibson’s Steps and the Glenample Homestead. The Centre will also include information and tourist experiences to help enrich the understanding of visits to the Shipwreck Coast.

Glenample Homestead Refurbishment (Commonwealth contribution $3.4 million)

The historic Glenample Homestead, built in 1869, will be refurbished as part of the adjacent Visitor Experience Centre. The refurbishment will help ensure the Homestead’s structural integrity and maintenance to provide a quality visitor experience and ensure the site is suitable for safe public access. There may be possibilities to explore other opportunities for the Homestead and surrounding precinct as part of this project, such as showcasing regional produce.

Business enablement fund ($23.35 million)

The lack of essential service infrastructure networks in the region, including potable water and sewerage, has been identified as a significant barrier to new private investment. This investment includes funding for water and waste water headworks, upgrades for site-specific infrastructure to enable new development, planning and acquisition to help unlock new development sites, and towards support in international markets.

Twelve Apostles viewing infrastructure (Commonwealth contribution $3.3 million)

New infrastructure proposed at the existing Twelve Apostles viewing area will redefine the visitor experience. This includes an all-weather amphitheatre and viewing deck ($1.9 million), and viewing hide and emergency shelter ($1.4 million).

Twelve Apostles visitor pod (Commonwealth contribution $1.1 million)

The existing Twelve Apostles visitor centre will be refurbished as a ‘visitor pod’ that will be the base for visitors coming from the Visitor Experience Centre to see the Twelve Apostles. This will include new food and drink retail, new site interpretation, and infrastructure to receive people travelling on shuttle buses from the main Visitor Experience Centre.

Gibson’s Steps visitor pod and beach access (Commonwealth contribution $2.2 million)

The project will provide an arrival point and visitor gateway to the Gibson’s Steps ($500,000), as well as a bike node, shelter and rest area with site information. The proposal includes a new iconic tunnel through the cliff and beach stairs experience ($1.7 million), with controlled access during severe weather conditions. The works will improve visitor access and crowd management at the iconic site.

Car parks (Commonwealth contribution $1.5 million)

New car parks will be built, including an interim car park at the Twelve Apostles to manage demand during the delivery of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan projects ($1.4m) and establishment of a local permit car park at Gibson’s Steps to cater for local parking demand ($100,000).

Interpretive visitor information (Commonwealth contribution $100,000)

There is limited signage and interpretive information at key Shipwreck Coast destinations. Additional interpretive information is proposed to draw the visitor into exploring new and varied locations, enhancing the visitor experience and increasing both length of stay and visitor yield. It will provide for a deeper, more engaging experience with stories explaining the Indigenous and other elements of the local history, and draw the visitor into exploring new and varied locations.

Land acquisition, revegetation and demolition (Commonwealth contribution $2.3 million)

$2.3 million towards land acquisition, revegetation and demolition works necessary to deliver the suite of projects. This will predominantly be allocated towards the costs of delivering works at the Glenample Homestead Precinct.

Apollo Bay (Commonwealth contribution $12m)

The Apollo Bay project will receive up to $12 million from the Commonwealth including $250,000 to undertake the detailed project design and put in place the project office to manage the implementation (capital works) phase, with any unspent funds allocated to capital works implementation.

This project is part of the detailed Apollo Bay Harbour Master Precinct Plan and  will see the proposed redevelopment and expansion of the Apollo Bay harbour from its existing focus on commercial fishing to a wider range of recreational and entertainment purposes.

The package will include upgrades to the Mother’s Beach car park, Harbour Precinct entry road, Breakwater Road, Fisherman’s Co-op and restaurant, a new port operations depot, and a new boardwalk linking the town centre to the Harbour plaza.

Point Grey Lorne Redevelopment (Commonwealth contribution $8m)

The Point Grey Lorne Redevelopment will receive up to $8 million including $250,000 to be allocated to the project planning phase with any unspent funds allocated to capital works implementation.

Proposed master plan works will improve access and facilities at Point Grey, a coastal crown reserve south of the Lorne town centre facing Lorne Pier incorporating the and fishing co-op. Works include a new building housing a restaurant, fish market, and community uses, new boardwalks and lookouts across the reserve, improved car and bus access including new parking, open space and picnic areas and facilities, and coastal hazard management works.

It will also incorporate proposed construction of a new Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club building (Commonwealth contributing $0.9 million) including site redevelopment, club house design, service upgrades, footpath and parking upgrades.

Great Ocean Walk, Stage 1 – Wild Dog Creek to Skenes Creek (Commonwealth contribution $5m)

This project links the communities of Apollo Bay to Skenes Creek via a pedestrian/cycle trail and is supported by a feasibility study. Following an initial payment of up to $100,000 to deliver the detailed cost and project plan, the project will receive up to $5 million for capital works.

Great Ocean Walk, Stage 2 – Skenes Creek to Cumberland River (Commonwealth contribution $350,000)

A $350,000 fund will go to a feasibility study to link Skenes Creek to the Surf Coast Walk, thereby connecting the Great Ocean Walk with the Surf Coast Walk. The feasibility study will consider the potential economic and tourism benefits for coastal towns and the broader region.

Kennett River public realm improvements (Commonwealth contribution $1.9m)

With its abundance of koalas and birdlife, Kennett River on the Great Ocean Road has become an increasingly popular tourist stopover.  The Commonwealth will deliver up to $1.9m to provide a new public amenity block and water treatment facility and new parking and traffic management infrastructure including new signage, pedestrian paths, road widening and improved parking facilities to accommodate tourist buses.

Up to $100,000 would be provided for initial planning and approvals.

Improving international driver safety (Commonwealth contribution $250,000)

Funding will be allocated to a driver safety campaign to educate international tourists who are driving along the Great Ocean Road region. Signage and advertising relating to road safety would be rolled out at key gateway points and en route, including for example at key stopping points, coach back advertisements, inflight magazines, airports, and rental car pamphlets. The campaign will focus on reminding international drivers of local driving rules and conditions.

Source: Based on a Federal Government media release