Northern ARC petition launched

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Health and Wellbeing Pillar

Geelong’s community leaders are calling on residents to provide their support to the proposed Northern ARC development in Norlane.

Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood and G21 - Geelong Region Alliance CEO Elaine Carbines head a high-level consortium strongly advocating for the project.

Nineteen community leaders have co-signed a letter and launched a public petition that calls on governments to commit funding to the $61.6 million health and wellbeing complex.

All residents across the G21 region are encouraged to add their voice to the united campaign via the petition, which is available at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/northernarc

“You can provide the spark that helps deliver the Northern ARC,” the petition reads.

“Show your support for the health and recreation facility that will change lives and deliver a fair outcome for the north.”

The co-signed letter, to be published across local media outlets, states that the Northern ARC will provide residents with a world-class facility that is unlike anything else in Australia.

“Its impact will be enormous. Once opened, it will be one of the region’s busiest public facilities, attracting more than 600,000 people annually,” the letter reads.

““There is no more time to waste. The people of the north need to see decisive action.”

The City of Greater Geelong is also using a billboard alongside the Princes Freeway at Lara to promote the Northern ARC, as part of a co-ordinated advocacy campaign.

It has been more than 18 months since the City pledged $20.6m to the vital initiative.

The City has further allocated $880,000 in its Proposed Budget 2019-20 to deliver detailed designs of the facility, should supporting capital works funding be secured.

The increased advocacy comes after Geelong’s senior leaders last month joined forces to call on federal political parties to commit $20.5 million to the Northern ARC.

The state government would also be required to allocate $20.5 million to the priority project.

The public petition can be viewed and signed online at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/northernarc

It will also be available at City of Greater Geelong Council Customer Service Centres and Swim Sport and Leisure centres.

The full list of co-signatories is included below:

Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood; G21 Geelong Region Alliance CEO Elaine Carbines; Committee for Geelong CEO Jennifer Cromarty; GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter; The Salvation Army Major Vic Pitman-Jones; Leisure Networks CEO Libby Mears; Barwon Child, Youth & Family CEO Sandy Morrison; Bethany Community Support CEO Grant Boyd; Gforce CEO Rob Birch; Geelong Cats CEO Brian Cook; Northern Futures Executive Officer Lyn Morgan; Geelong Chamber of Commerce President Mark Edmonds; Diversitat CEO Michael Martinez; Member of the Legislative Council for Western Victoria Andy Meddick; Give Where You Live CEO Bill Mithen; Viva Energy General Manager Thys Heyns; Northern Bay Challenge chairman Kenneth Harrison; Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander; and genU Karingal St Laurence CEO Mike McKinstry.

Statement by City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

Leaders from across Geelong have made it clear how strongly we support the Northern ARC and now we’re calling on our community to add its voice to the campaign by signing the petition.

We want to show the major political parties how important this project is for the people of Greater Geelong, and convince them to commit funds before the federal election.

This is a chance for the Geelong community to stand as one and declare that the north must be given a fair go by our federal politicians.

The Northern ARC has the potential to change lives in our northern suburbs. As a community that cares for one another, we want all residents to join the push regardless of where in our region they live.

Statement by G21 - Geelong Region Alliance CEO Elaine Carbines:

A prosperous regional community should care for the wellbeing of all of its members.

That is why, as a regional community, we must call on politicians to support the Northern ARC.

Norlane and Corio have double-digit levels of unemployment; higher than both the state and national averages. They are among the most socially disadvantaged areas in the nation.

This facility will work to address causes central to disadvantage, providing long overdue community and health facilities to some of our most vulnerable communities.

Decisions about funding desperately-needed projects such as the Northern ARC should be based on the needs of the people; not on whether it will result in votes.

G21 calls on people across the G21 region to sign the petition demanding our politicians support and fund the Northern ARC.

It is time for politicians to listen to the community and demonstrate that the people of Geelong’s disadvantaged northern suburbs matter.

Source: A City of Greater Geelong media statement