G21 works for Geelong ‘city deal’

POSSIBLE Australian Government ‘city deal’ funding of infrastructure projects across Geelong and the Great Ocean Road is an exciting prospect, with the potential to transform our region, G21 CEO Elaine Carbines said today (19 May 2017).

“Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson, G21 and other bodies are working to position the Geelong region to take advantage of Prime Minister Turnbull’s offer of strategic ‘city deal’ funding for select Australian cities,” Ms Carbines said.

“When in Canberra last March the G21 Board met with Prime Minister Turnbull and Sarah Henderson to discuss, among other matters, how a ‘city deal’ could benefit Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.

“Since then G21 has been working behind-the-scenes with state government officials and others to scope requirements for a ‘city deal’ bid.

“The first Geelong ‘city deal’ working group meeting, convened recently by Sarah Henderson, was an important public starting point for a united Geelong region ‘city deal’ bid,” Ms Carbines said.

The workshop was attended by G21, local mayors, the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, the Committee for Geelong, Regional Development Victoria and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Victorian Treasurer, Daniel Mulino MLC.

The Victorian Government supports a ‘city deal’ bid, spearheaded by Premier Andrews’ letter to the Prime Minister last December urging consideration of a Geelong and Great Ocean Road ‘city deal’ focusing on the visitor economy.

For a ‘city deal’, governments at all levels, industry and communities are required to develop collective plans for growth and commit to the actions, investments, reforms and governance needed to implement them.

The Australian government has already signed deals for Townsville and Launceston and is working on a ‘city deal’ for Western Sydney.

Elements of the Townsville ‘city deal’ included funding of a rail corridor, a new football stadium, energy efficiency measures and port and industrial development initiatives.

“Geelong region has so much potential, with wonderful opportunities crying out for investment. A ‘city deal’ for Geelong, including the Great Ocean Road, would provide the impetus to unlock that potential and significantly spur on regional economic development,” Ms Carbines said.

“G21 is thrilled to be at the forefront of the local consortium positioning to take advantage of such a unique opportunity.

“Now the hard work is ahead to ensure our bid is well argued, realistic and economically sound.  However, the working group has already begun work on a blueprint for a ‘city deal’ submission.

“We expect that the Geelong bid working group will be eligible for funding from the $1 million allocated through Regional Development Victoria in the recent State Budget to assist in preparing city deal submissions.

“If we secure a ‘city deal’ it could drive funding for major infrastructure projects such as the convention centre, GPAC, tourism upgrades along the Great Ocean Road, Geelong Waterfront – Safe Harbour and the final stage of Simonds Stadium.”

Potential other projects might include:

  • Fort Queenscliff Master Plan implementation
  • Torquay – Gateway to the Great Ocean Road
  • Surf City Museum upgrade
  • Geelong Mineral Spa proposal
  • Development or upgrades to various bike and walking trails
  • Apollo Bay Harbour precinct and conference facility
  • Lorne Point Grey Precinct Redevelopment
  • Implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan

“The enthusiasm and collegiate approach by working group members bodes well for the success of the Geelong and Great Ocean Road bid,” Ms Carbines said.