Snapshots - August 2009

August 2009

Colleagues and friends of G21,

As a key member of the broader G21 family, each month we will keep you informed of the key projects and activities of the G21 alliance. G21 is the formal alliance of government, business and community organisations, working together to improve people's lives in the G21 Region.

G21 Priority Projects announced this month

G21 Priority Projects are nominated by G21 Pillars and announced by the G21 Board as they arise, throughout the year. However, once a year we have an opportunity to formally present all the G21 Priority Projects to State and Federal Government representatives, so that they can be considered in the context of State and Federal Government budget cycles. As the 2010-11 budgets will be framed with both governments approaching an election, we must ensure the region has clearly defined priority projects that are ready for presentation to key audiences by late September.

G21 Priority Projects benefit from the highest level of support from the G21 network and are formally presented to the State Government through a G21 Interdepartmental Committee (IDC). The Federal Government has also expressed their interest in this collaborative prioritisation process.

G21 Pillar groups continually identify, assess and deliver regional projects in their area of expertise. Click here to see an overview of current Pillar projects. As experts in their respective fields, the Pillars nominate to the G21 Board which of these projects should be considered for "Priority Project" status.

Some of the new projects flagged for consideration as G21 Priority Projects in an interim report at July's G21 Board meeting included:

Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Plan Implementation

BioGeelong - National Centre for Disease Control

Centralised Regional Data Facility

Geelong Ring Road connections to Surf Coast Hwy and Bellarine Hwy

Regional Land Use Strategy

More project nominations (including the recommended continuation of some existing Priority Projects) are expected from the G21 Pillars prior to August 20, so that they can be considered for inclusion in this year's IDC presentation. 

In determining G21's priority projects, the G21 board will consider all the information and recommendations from the G21 Pillars, councils and consultation forums, and identify about 10 projects that:

  • are of greatest regional significance;

  • advance the delivery of the G21 Geelong Region Plan;

  • have a leader to drive the project; and

  • have the best chance of securing support and funding in the current political environment.

It's worth noting that many Pillar projects do not require Priority Project status to progress well, as they are adequately managed and funded through local efforts. G21 Priority Projects are not more important than G21 Pillar projects, rather they have been identified as projects that are ready to go, but require an additional level of support in order to progress.

As a key member of the G21 family, if you wish to contribute to the final stages of this process you should contact the G21 office to be referred to the appropriate Pillar contact.

The outcome of this process will be announced in the September edition of Snapshots.

Huge regional benefits confirmed by Convention & Exhibition Centre study tour

Two weeks ago, G21 took part in a delegation to Convention and Exhibition Centres in Darwin and Adelaide in order to better understand the opportunities and challenges we face in establishing the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre - a G21 Priority Project. 

Led by a team from the City of Greater Geelong, the delegation included the Mayor of Geelong, John Mitchell, Deputy Mayor, Cr Rod Macdonald, Geelong Otway Tourism Executive Officer, Roger Grant, Committee for Geelong Executive Officer, Peter Dorling and G21 Chairman, Ed Coppe.  

The site visits gave the group access to first-hand accounts of the technical capabilities and significant economic, business and tourism benefits that the Centres have delivered for their host regions. The Darwin Convention and Exhibition Centre is very similar in size and scope to the proposed Geelong Centre and the Adelaide Convention Centre is one of the first Convention and Exhibition Centres established in Australia.

A report completed last month by consultants PG International found that the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and hotel would inject $378.1m during construction and $106.6m annually into the regional economy, as well as providing 1,208 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 434 ongoing jobs after construction.

The report also noted that for every dollar directly earned by the Centre, it is generally accepted that a further nine dollars would be generated as part of their business activities in areas like hotels, retail, transport, restaurants and entertainment. Predicted regional benefits are far-reaching and include an expected boost to the local agribusinesses that supply our hotels, restaurants and associated businesses.

From a tourism perspective, the report states that almost 90% of surveyed delegates attending conferences have said that they would never have come to the destination if not for the conference or meeting, yet almost 40% had subsequently returned to the conference destination with their families.

As tourism is such an important and growing component of our region’s economy, this potential stimulus is particularly significant in the current and forecast challenging economic climate.

The proposed Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre design is flexible to a variety of purposes and with Plenary Hall capacity of more than 1000 delegates, 3000sqm of exhibition space (with 1000 sqm of that able to be used for extending the capacity of the Plenary Hall) and 8 interconnecting break-out rooms.

In late July, a senior representative of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre participated in the project reference group workshop to review the progress of this project. He told the group that he views the development of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre as complementary to the objectives of the Melbourne Centre.

The recent Geelong Football Club’s 150th event highlighted the urgent need for Geelong to establish a permanent venue for large events and capitalise on this important industry sector.

New television commercial ready to roll

An edgy new television commercial is set to hit our TV screens this month. Designed to appeal to young Melbourne professionals, the commercial showcases the lifestyle choices, education and knowledge career opportunities available in the G21 region.

Produced by Hayden Films, co-ordinated by Kylie Mackey from the City of Greater Geelong and funded by partners including Regional Development Victoria, the five G21 Councils, Deakin University, Gordon Institute of TAFE, Barwon Health, the Committee for Geelong , the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Geelong Otway Tourism, GP Association, TAC, Target Australia, Shell Australia, V/Line and Victorian Regional Channels Authority, the commercial is a key component of the $250,000 Regional Marketing Program - a G21 Priority Project (2008-09).

The 30 second commercial follows a day in the life of a young biotech professional whose work and family activities span a large part of the region. It will be promoted on partner websites and will be provided on DVD for use at trade shows and conferences. The commercial extends the theme established in "The Best Place to Live" inserts that appeared in The Age earlier this year.

Keep an eye out for a preview of the commerical in G21 e-News in the next week or so.

Victorian BioScience Education Centre calls for support

Following a recent presentation to the G21 Board, G21 has assisted in negotiating a deadline extension for development of the Victorian BioScience Education Centre, which will be located at Belmont High School. The extension was sought in order to provide the project group more time to secure the $2million of additional funding they believe is required to provide the best possible asset for the region and the State.

The Victorian BioScience Education Centre (VBEC) will be an iconic specialist Science/Maths Centre that will become synonymous with the study of bioscience in the G21 region and will feature state-wide virtual and outreach programs. This VBEC will be one of six specialist centres located on the sites of selected Victorian secondary schools and is scheduled to be operational by 2011.

Bioscience is a key driver of the new regional economy, is aligned with the rapidly growing industry and employment opportunities in biotechnology and bioscience in the G21 region and capitalises on the resources and expertise that Geelong based partners can provide. Programs in biosecurity, human and animal health, disease prevention, agricultural biotechnology and forensics will be offered at the VBEC.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) has allocated $12M for the development of three of these Centres. However the Architect appointed by VBEC has demonstrated that a more realistic budget for the delivery of the Centre is closer to $6million.

With the deadline for the project proposal now extended, G21 is working to bring project stakeholders together to explore all available options to achieve the best possible outcome for the region and Victoria.

$10million boost for recycled water

On July 24, the Federal Government approved $10 million in funding for the water treatment plant at Black Rock. The announcement follows completion of a detailed business case by Barwon Water and marks a major advance in addressing water security issues in the G21 region.

The $38 million plant will produce Class A recycled water for the Armstrong Creek and Torquay areas. This will reduce pressure on potable water supply by providing an alternative water source for uses such as toilet flushing and irrigation of parkland and recreational space.

The plant can also provide low-salinity recycled water for agriculture, addressing an urgent requirement outlined in the recent G21 Secure Water Studies.

Barwon Water says it plans to complete detailed design of the Black Rock plant by mid-next year with construction expected to commence a few months later. It will take about a year to complete.

Once it's fully operational, the plant will have the capacity to produce 570 million litres of recycled water suitable for urban use, which is enough to supply more than 20,000 homes in Armstrong Creek via a new pipeline from the Black Rock environmental precinct. The plant will also be able to provide 2,430 million litres of recycled water for irrigation each year.

On the day of the funding announcement, Federal Member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman MP, noted several additional project benefits including the creation of employment in the construction phase, support for jobs in the emerging market gardening and agri-business industries and a reduction in the volume of treated water that is discharged to the ocean.

Water Security is a G21 Priority Project (2008-09).

Carbon capture : Soil Sequestration Forum

This Friday, Geelong City Hall will host a forum on soil sequestration - the process of capturing and storing carbon in soil and vegetation.

An initiative of Smart Geelong Week, the forum is being run collaboratively by the G21 Agribusiness Forum, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire and the Department of Primary Industries. Highly qualified speakers from the CSIRO, the Future Farming Division of the Department of Primary Industries, Prime Carbon and various Local Governments will address more than 100 delegates from all over Victoria on this potential new use for farming land that may help combat the impacts of climate change.

Attendance is free, but seats are limited.

G21 Stakeholder Survey

In the next few days, G21 will be distributing an annual stakeholder survey to all key members of the G21 family. The survey is designed to tell us how you think we're doing in addressing issues and advancing projects for the G21 region as well as to help us identify ways that we might increase our value to the region. It is a simple online survey that should only take about 5 minutes to complete. Results will be collated and reported a week after the survey is distributed, so please complete it as soon as you can. If you'd prefer to do it now, please click here to complete the survey. Thank you in anticipation. 

People

Congratulations to Stephen Griffin who was formally appointed as the City of Greater Geelong's Chief Executive Officer following last Tuesday's Council meeting. Stephen has been Acting CEO since Kaye Rundle departed in May this year and has been actively involved in G21 activities during this time. We look forward to achieving great things together.

Our thanks to Jim Higgins, Department of Human Services (DHS) Regional Director, Barwon South-Western Region for his presentation at July's G21 Board meeting regarding collaboration opportunities available to G21 in the critical areas of health service provision. He outlined how DHS and the G21 Health & Wellbeing Pillar had a shared agenda in addressing disadvantage, building social equity for communities and building an efficient health service system for the future.

Jim advised the Board that because of the synergies between the objectives of DHS and the Pillar, the G21 region is positioned to take a leadership role in innovative health service provision from a State-wide context. He said he looked forward to working closely with the pillar to deliver regionally important achievements in health.

G21 has accepted the membership applications of a number of organisations with a passion for the G21 region over the the past few months. We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome:

Avalon Airport Australia Pty Ltd
Bethany Community Support Inc.
Colac Area Health
Corio Waste Management Pty Ltd
Driftwood Consulting
Express Promotions
Geelong Performing Arts Centre
G-Force Recruitment Ltd
Marcus Oldham College
Munday Group
Pathways Rehabilitation and Support Services Ltd
Powercor
RedStick Strategic Communications
VCAMM Limited
Vehicle Modification Specialists
Western Coastal Board

We look forward to working with you to make the G21 region an even better place to live.

This email has been designed to provide you, an important member of the broader G21 Family, with a snapshot of the key projects and activities of the G21 Alliance over the past months. You have been included in the distribution list of this G21 Snapshots email, because you have an important role in improving people’s lives in the G21 Region as a Federal or State parliamentarian, Councillor, Regional Management Forum member, senior manager with regional Councils, senior manager with Regional Development Victoria, G21 Member, G21 Pillar participant, G21 Board member or member of the media (a list of some 300 individuals or organisations). If there are other people in your organisation or network that you think should be aware of this email please feel free to pass it on to them.

If you want further information or wish to bring something to our attention, please contact either of us at the numbers or addresses given below or refer to the G21 website at www.G21.com.au.