Innovative $50,000 IT Competition set to be ‘bigger and better’ in 2011

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An innovative competition hosted by ICT Geelong, the region’s Information and Communications Technology cluster, is offering more than $50,000 in prizes to talented entrepreneurs across the nation.

Award nominations open for volunteers in the Geelong region

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Do you know someone who is a tireless volunteer? Do they deserve recognition for their work? Are they the Volunteer of the Year? The Rotary Club of Highton Kardinia Volunteer of the Year award honours anyone who volunteers their time in the service of our community, community organisations, sports club or charity.Nominations are open in three categories:Volunteer of the YearYoung Volunteer of the YearHealthcare Volunteer of the YearEach of the three Awards has been sponsored to the value of $1,000. Click here to find out more about the Volunteer of the Year award Click here to view the Volunteer of the Year nomination form

$20 million win for regional students

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Regional students will enjoy easier access to higher education opportunities under a new $20 million fund announced today in Ballarat by Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan and Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall. Mr Hall said the $20 million Regional Partnerships Facilitation Fund would increase alliances between universities and Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers in regional Victoria. “This initiative aims to increase alliances between TAFE institutes and universities to deliver a greater range of higher education programs in regional centres, giving more students the option to study in their hometown,” Mr Hall said. “In particular, this program aims to increase the number of TAFE campuses providing degree-level courses to build a better future for regional students and help boost higher education participation rates across the state. “It will also encourage greater use of existing infrastructure and resources between institutions in regional Victoria.” Mr Hall said the establishment of the fund was a key recommendation of a 2009 report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan. “The report found the lack of access to higher education was exacerbating the trend of young regional Victorians leaving their communities to access education,” Mr Hall said. Mr Ryan said there was a significant difference in the number of regional students enrolling in university following year 12 compared with metropolitan students. “30.5 per cent of regional students completing year 12 enrol in university the following year, compared with 50.7 per cent of metropolitan students,” Mr Ryan said. “The Coalition Government is determined to break down the barriers to higher education that regional students experience and this fund is an important step in facilitating that.” Mr Hall said funding for the Regional Partnerships Facilitation Fund would be provided through the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

$800 million allocated to the Geelong region

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Ed Coppe, Chairperson of G21 – Geelong Region Alliance, welcomed the Gillard Government’s 2011- 2012 budget and commitments to the Geelong region: $448 million to develop the Regional Rail link to Geelong$110 million to complete the duplication of the Princes Highway between Waurn Ponds and Winchelsea$62.5 million to extend the Geelong Ring Road (4A) over the existing Princes Highway West and along Anglesea Road$45 million to extend the Geelong Ring Road (4B), connecting from Anglesea Road to Princes Highway West$50 million for modernizing the rail lines at Geelong Port$26.1 million for an Integrated Regional Cancer Service (Geelong, Hamilton, Portland, Warrnambool)$22.3 million for local road upgrades as part of the Auslink Roads to Recovery programme$10 million for the Black Rock Recycled Water Plant$7 million for planning the duplication of the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Colac$4.3 million of ongoing funding for 10 Australian Disability Enterprises, including $1.06 million for Karingal and $920,000 to Pathways Rehabilitation and Support Services$3.7 million for the Colac Blues Water Fitness Centre upgrade$3.1 million for the Eastern Beach restoration$2 million for the Shell Road Sports Precinct redevelopment$1.2 million for the Colac Youth Health Hub$600k for the Torquay Spring Creek Pavilion upgrade$591k for the Kardinia Park Netball Complex upgrade$455k for the co-generation plant at Splashdown Leisure Centre$370k for the South Barwon Football Netball Club$300k for the Bambra Agro Forestry Network$224.1k for Broadband for Seniors kiosks at 20 sites within the Geelong region$130k for the Belmont Lions Football Netball Club$100k for the Meerteeyt Marrang Indigenous Football Academy$55k for the Rosewall Neighbourhood House Community kitchen expansion$51k for the Winchelsea Integrated Neighbourhood Community Hub$50k for disabled access improvements at the Colac City Band Hall$46k for improvements at the Irrewillipe Public Hall$14k for improvements at the Cororooke Public HallThe Gillard Government also announced that they are committed to supporting development in regional Australia, with:$1.8 billion over six years to provide critical infrastructure upgrades to hospitals and health services for regional Australians through the Health and Hospitals Fund regional priority rounds$500 million over five years to strengthen regional higher education and vocational education and training institutions, through the regional priorities round of the Education Investment Fund$109.9 million over four years for universities with regional campuses through increased and better targeted loading payments to regional areas$916 million for the first projects under the Regional Infrastructure Fund to help unlock the economic potential of our regions$1 billion over five years through the Regional Development Australia Fund to finance infrastructure projects that best fit the economic and community needs of the regions“We are delighted that several of our region’s Priority Projects have received either financial or in-principle support within the 2011-12 Federal Budget, including ‘Geelong Ring Road Connections to the Bellarine Peninsula and Geelong Port’ and ‘Transport links to Melbourne’,” said Ed Coppe Chairperson of G21.“We also welcome the establishment of the $1 billion Regional Development Australia Fund, highlighted in the Federal Budget, which will help to further develop our region’s economy and provide a funding source for many of our Priority Projects,” he said.“The establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission and the National Mental Health Commission will also be of interest to our community and health services. The social and economic participation initiatives proposed, as well as funding for the redevelopment of primary health care are equally welcomed, and will ensure people in our region have access to the range of services and programs necessary to improve their lives.”“We are keen to continue to work productively with the Federal Government on other G21 Priority Projects, including the Geelong Future Cities project, redevelopment of Skilled Stadium and Regional Research and Information Centre,” said Mr Coppe.

$100,000 for Corio Norlane development

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A project to support the future development of Corio and Norlane will receive $100,000 in funding from the Victorian Coalition Government.Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine announced the grant today at The Fort youth centre in Corio.“The Coalition Government is pleased to support the Greater Geelong City Council in undertaking the Corio Norlane Enquiry by Design project,” Dr Napthine said.“The Corio Norlane precinct has many strategic advantages that make it a high demand economic and residential location.“This project will enable the Geelong City Council to develop a Corio Norlane Structure Plan that will guide future development in the area.”Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government’s aim was to provide long-term and sustained support to revitalise Corio and Norlane into a thriving and connected community.“The area is adjacent to Corio Bay, it can benefit from the Werribee to Avalon employment corridor, and it is within commuting distance of Melbourne,” Dr Napthine said.“It is also close to the Geelong CBD and the new Geelong Ring Road, making it well-positioned to take up some of Geelong’s rapid population growth.“Victoria’s regional cities are essential to the balanced growth and development of Victoria and the Coalition Government is determined to provide jobs, opportunities and sustained population growth across our regional cities.“The Corio Norlane Enquiry by Design Project is a planning process involving a series of technical workshops and extensive community consultations.”Dr Napthine said the funding was in addition to the $2.2 million the Victorian Government had already provided the Corio and Norlane Transport Initiative.“This includes an upgrade to the North Shore Station and improved access to schools and the Corio Shopping Centre,” Dr Napthine said.

Geelong region scores more than $150 million in 2011-12 State Budget

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Elaine Carbines, CEO of G21 – Geelong Region Alliance, welcomed the Baillieu Government’s first budget and commitments to the Geelong region: $34.9 million for construction of a new secondary college at Torquay$25 million for the stage three redevelopment at Skilled Stadium$15 million for the Geelong Cultural Precinct$15 million for overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway West of Colac$10 million for a rail passing loop on the Marshall to Warrnambool line$8.3 million for the expansion of the Geelong Hospital$5.7 million to progress development of an airport precinct master plan for Avalon Airport and for a contribution towards a jet fuel pipeline for the Airport$5.25 million for the purchase of land for a new primary school in Torquay$5 million for planning works on duplication of the Princes Highway from Colac to Winchelsea$5 million for the first stage of the Pioneer Road upgrade$3 million to construct noise barriers on the Geelong Ring Road$3 million to start planning a direct rail link to Avalon Airport$2 million to investigate reviving rail connections between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo$2 million to secure land for a future aged care facility in Geelong$2 million for the Grovedale Early Learning Hub$2 million for the design, tendering and site preparation for planned major upgrades at the Geelong campus at the Gordon Institute of TAFE$2 million to examine the feasibility of relocating car stevedoring functions from Melbourne (Webb Dock) to Geelong$1 million for the Barwon Heads kindergarten$800k to expand the Geelong Manufacturing Council’s partnership with Deakin$500k for the Torquay kindergarten$500k to undertake a feasibility study and analysis of securing the rights to host the Red Bull Air Race in Geelong$150k for a feasibility study to identify possible sites for a new Geelong Regional Airport.Funding has also been committed towards the:Purchase of land for a police station at Waurn PondsPlanning for a new railway station at GrovedaleRedevelopment of a secondary college at Colac.The Baillieu Government also announced that they are committed to Supporting the development of Geelong as an international aerospace, defence and aviation hubThe Regional Rail Link connection with Melbourne Deploying protective service officers at Geelong railway station.“We are very pleased with the allocation of funding and in-principle support made within the 2011-12 State Budget toward several of our region’s Priority Projects, including the Geelong Cultural Precinct, Skilled Stadium, Avalon Airport, Princes Highway West, Transport Links and Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area,” said Elaine Carbines CEO of G21.“All of these projects are vital to the ongoing prosperity and future of the Geelong region. They have all been developed to help improve people’s lives within our region,” she said. “We also welcome the establishment of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, highlighted in the State Budget, which will be a vital funding source for our region’s Priority Projects,” said Ms Carbines.“We look forward to working with the State Government on other essential G21 Priority Projects including Addressing Disadvantage, Portarlington Safe Harbour, Geelong Ring Road Connections, Convention and Exhibition Centre, Apollo Bay Harbour Precinct, Regional Research and Information Centre, Geelong Ring Road Employment Precinct and Geelong Cruise Ship Destination in the near future,” said Ms Carbines.Click here to view the full list of G21 Priority Projects

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