G21 releases 2013 Priority Projects list

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G21 released today (22 Feb) a list of priority projects it will advocate for on behalf of the region during federal election year 2013.

Meeting at Torquay this morning the G21 Board decided on 11 projects, in order of priority:

1. Transport Links to Melbourne
(including an East-West Link solution to traffic congestion on and around the West Gate Bridge)

2. Headquarters for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
(seeking the national HQ to be located in the region)

3. Avalon Airport
(support for a rail link to the airport and for the attraction of international carriers)

4. Geelong Ring Road Connections
(including links from the Ring Road across to the Portarlington Road and the duplication of the Midland Highway to Bannockburn)

5. Great Ocean Road Upgrade
(seeking the federal government to recognise the GOR under its National Transport Network and jointly fund its upgrade and maintenance)

6. Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area
(support for the development of infrastructure to serve the new urban growth area)

7. Addressing Disadvantage
(including projects to address community, education and employment issues in Colac, Norlane, Corio and Whittington)

8. Geelong Future Cities Project
(including the redevelopment of the GPAC)

9. Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases
(to establish a centre for zoonotic disease research, drawing on existing regional research strengths)

10. Apollo Bay Harbour Precinct
(creation of a safe harbour for commercial and recreational use, with associated infrastructure)

11. G21 Regional Trails Network
(development of a major network of foot, bike and horse trails across the region).

G21 chair Ed Coppe said board members had subjected all potential projects to a rigorous assessment process.

“We have a well-honed process which assesses projects for their potential regional benefits, their cost, feasibility and practicality.  No project is taken for granted,” Mr Coppe said.

“The projects given ‘priority’ status by the G21 Board today will be actively supported at every opportunity by the G21 board and its members over the next year.

“For example, the G21 board, including the five G21 mayors, will be in Canberra during March to meet with key ministers, shadow ministers and their advisers.  It will be an opportunity to explain and advocate for each of the region’s Priority Projects.

“In the past the advocacy of G21 during election years has been crucial in gaining important infrastructure and social improvements for the region.  Funding of aspects of the Geelong Ring Road and the duplication of Princes Hwy West would not have eventuated if not for G21’s work, for example.”

Mr Coppe said G21 projects which didn’t make the ‘priority’ list this year could continue to be pursued by the organisation’s eight subject-specific Pillar Groups, made up of experts in their specific fields.