G21 Regional Growth Areas

Planning and Services Pillar

The Need

The G21 region is experiencing strong population growth. Several urban development projects are being delivered across the region to accommodate this growth.

  • Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area to accommodate 22,000 homes for 60,000 residents on 2,600 hectares to Geelong’s south
  • Northern Geelong Growth Area to accommodate 17,000 homes for 48,000 residents on 2,100 hectares to Geelong’s north
  • Western Geelong Growth Area to accommodate 23,000 homes for 64,000 residents on 3,200 hectares to Geelong’s west
  • Bannockburn Growth Area to accommodate approximately 6,500 homes in Bannockburn’s south.

The planning of the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area commenced in 2005 to address an urgent need for additional residential land supply in the G21 region. With approximately 28 per cent of all development of the growth area now completed, Armstrong Creek is home to around 17,000 residents.

Rates of development have accelerated in recent years with over 1,400 new homes built in 2018/19. The first sporting, community and retail facilities have been completed to support the new community and the area has welcomed an assortment of new schools.

The Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas were identified by the G21 Regional Growth Plan in 2013. A framework plan to inform the future development of the growth areas has been underway since 2016 and initial development in each growth area is anticipated by 2023.

Combined, the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas is the largest urban growth project in regional Victoria – equivalent to the current size of Ballarat. The framework plan outlines major land use and development requirements to deliver sustainable new communities that coordinate and sequence essential infrastructure and services.

Current initiatives with State Government partners to support new development in the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas include:

An integrated water management plan for the combined growth areas that retain water in the urban landscape, transition the Batesford quarry to a recreational lake and protect and enhance the Moorabool and Barwon river corridors.

The Growth Areas Transport Infrastructure Strategy that will outline all major transport infrastructure projects required to support the future growth, including significant upgrades to the Geelong Ring Road and its arterial road interchanges and future public transport priorities.

Bannockburn is one of the fastest growing towns in regional Victoria. The population is expected to reach more than 13,000 people by 2036, but there’s a shortage of land available to develop for new houses. The Bannockburn Growth Plan is currently in development to identify land for houses and ensure that infrastructure is provided to support the growing community, such as roads and community facilities, and land for employment and retail.

Each growth area provides the opportunity to develop new neighbourhoods that are sustainable economically, environmentally and socially and set new standards in best practice urban development.

The very scale of the G21 region’s planning growth has required strong coordination with State Government due to the major commitment that will be required for services and infrastructure over a period of 20-30 years.

Funding is now required to implement additional critical civil and social infrastructure.

Investment in new and upgraded road and rail infrastructure, listed in the Regional Rail Connections and the Regional Road Connections Priority Projects, also contribute to creating liveable, sustainable settlements in the new Growth Areas.

Project aims

The Armstrong Creek, Northern and Western Geelong and Bannockburn Growth Areas provide the opportunity to apply the most progressive and innovative planning and engineering methods.

Implementation of civil and social infrastructure will help to develop new communities that are sustainable economically, environmentally and socially and set new standards in best practice urban development. Critical to development of the growth areas are:

  • Community facilities and services, education services and health services
  • A wide range of housing options to meet the needs of a diverse population
  • An integrated open space network
  • Access to sustainable and active transport
  • An integrated water cycle management
  • Strategically located infrastructure for electricity, gas, telecommunications, water and roads.

Project Champion

Gareth Smith, Director Planning & Development, City of Greater Geelong.

What has been committed

The state and federal governments have committed:

  • $10.4 million for Armstrong Creek initial services
  • $160 million towards the Armstrong Creek Transit corridor, including railway corridor and business case preparation for duplication, associated works between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds and reservation of land for links to Torquay
  • $318+ million for planning and duplication of Barwon Heads Road Stage 1 and planning for Barwon Heads Road Stage 2 duplication
  • $38.4 million for design and construction of a secondary school in Armstrong Creek
  • $32 million to build Armstrong Creek School (primary P-6 and special P-12 school)
  • $20.2 million to build Mirripoa Primary School
  • $8.18+ million for land and construction of an Armstrong Creek CFA
  • $200,000 for the preparation of the Bannockburn Growth Plan
  • $150,000 for a Growth Areas Transport Infrastructure Strategy.

What is required

Critical funding requirements
Infrastructure
Funding Required

(estimate)

Armstrong Creek Town Centre Emergency Services Hub (along with CFA (funded) will accommodate CFA, Police, Ambulance and a Regional Emergency Response Centre) $44.8 million
Land to house Armstrong Creek West Precinct Regional Sports Facility $16 million
Armstrong Creek West Precinct Regional Sports Facility (various pitches and courts, including a pavilion, open space, a playground and car parking) $42 million
Armstrong Creek Town Centre Regional Library and community facility $18 million
Metropolitan equivalent growth area development levies for state and local infrastructure contributions.  
Total
$120.8 million
Infrastructure projects across the growth area
Infrastructure
Funding Required

(estimate)

Barwon Heads Road duplication Stage 2 construction (Reserve Rd to Lower Duneed Rd)

[Note: $318m already committed for Stage 1 - Settlement Rd to Reserve Rd + planning for Stage 2, of which $0.4m was in 2019-20 Budget]

$250 million
Rail spur line to Armstrong Creek Town Centre and construction of Armstrong Creek Town Centre Railway Station $130 million
Funding for a Geelong-Ballarat rail line upgrade (passenger services) and a feasibility study investigating a new railway station. Funding
Two overpasses for pedestrian and cyclist between Armstrong Creek and Grovedale $12 million
Armstrong Creek growth area bus network $12.5 million
Duplicate Midland Highway to Bannockburn $265 million
Plan for the Bacchus Marsh Road duplication Funding
Plan for the Hamilton Highway duplication Funding
Total $669.5+ million
Precinct-level infrastructure items needed to develop communities
Infrastructure
Funding Required

(estimate)

Primary Schools (4 at $20m ea) $80 million
Secondary School (2 at $35m ea) $70 million
Armstrong Creek Town Centre Aquatic Centre $25 million
Armstrong Creek Town Centre Indoor Regional High Balls Sports Facility $15 million
Duneed Aboriginal Land Reserve- A historical interpretation trail to recognise history and improve awareness of the site’s traditional owners and cultural heritage $2 million
Sparrovale Wetlands environmental works (500ha of land has been acquired by the City of Greater Geelong) $10 million
Armstrong Creek West Neighbourhoold Community Centre $6 million
Total
$208 million

A commitment by State and Federal governments to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.