Economic Development Pillar Update

Economic Development Pillar

Presentations – COVID19 Community updates

Kathy Timmins – Regional Development Victoria

  • Funded $1.7 million Economic Survival Package
  • $500,000 Business Support Fund (expect 1000 businesses to apply, $10k each) 
  • $500,000 Working for Victoria fund
  • $2.2 Million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative
  • $1,100 each for International Student Emergency Relief Fund (co-funding with educational institutions)

Ben Flynn – Chamber of Commerce (video) 

David Peart – Geelong Manufacturing Council

  • GMC continues to run its programs, with some delayed due to COVID19 impacts, providing weekly webinars
  • Most staff working from home
  • Manufacturing and essential service, if manufacturing and its service providers stop then the economy stops and jobs losses would balloon
  • Concern that the slow-down in other parts of the world will have ramifications for manufacturing
  • Neon and Mondo Energy partnering to build a proposed $300 million, 600-megawatt lithium-ion battery facility in Moorabool
  • Spirit of Tasmania headed to Geelong Port in 2022, the project is expected to generate up to 75 construction jobs over the two year build, whilst increasing tourism expenditure in the Greater Geelong region by up to $174 million by 2029

Simon French – Federal Employment Facilitator

  • Geelong Career’s Website, working with GLLEN
  • Labour market overview
  • Ask all to share on social media/websites to direct employers to advertise jobs on GC

Cr Bruce Harwood – City of Greater Geelong COVID19 support update

  • Announced $5.45 Million funding to date for immediate relief
  • Geelong Small Business Voucher program
  • 50% rent reduction for COGG owned properties
  • $50,000 Fresh Food initiative
  • $100,000 100 new Social Housing units
  • Financial Hardship Policy
  • $16 Million Capital Works Program

Representative Updates  

Cr Chris Potter/Tamzin McLennan (Colac Otway Shire)

  • Tourism loss is a big problem for the region – council staff redeployed to call 600 businesses to ask what they needed to put together business support package which is currently before council for approval
  • Some large businesses slowing production, abattoir staff an ongoing concern, many from overseas and may leave and not return
  • Colac Ice-cream plant operating (at this stage)

Nicole Newman (G21 Agribusiness Forum)

  • G21 Agribusiness Forum members finding things difficult, still trying to rebuild after January bushfires and now cafes/restaurants closed and not taking stock/orders – 70% drop in sales
  • The Food Purveyor are working with small business to ‘do things differently’, getting fresh meat hampers delivered directly to homes

Simon Kelleher (GFC)

  • CATS were due to announce debt free in 50 years, will now suffer unprecedented loss after COVID19
  • Stood down 140 permanent staff and 400+ casuals
  • CATS players redeployed, now calling ‘Grant a Wish’ children
  • Waiting on AFL to announce if season 2020 is to comment WC 11 May

Stuart Lucas (CSIRO)

  • Majority of staff working from home – 20% remain onsite (Australia wide)
  • Waurn Ponds team testing to manufacture face masks
  • Clayton office working on  COVID19 vaccine

Jennifer Cromarty (CfG)

  • CfG holding weekly Zoom webinars, next one to feature Domestic Tourism with Brett Ince
  • Deakin research project (Geelong’s Economy over last 40yrs) continuing
  • Gateway Cities Alliance program ongoing, held a meeting 27 April

Brett Ince (TGGB)

  • Our membership team called our 600 members to gain feedback about what business needed once COVID19 started, this has shaped out webinars
  • Offered free membership until end 2020
  • Conducted Pulse survey with business to determine % of trade still happening, received 25% response rate in two days, 50% still operating at reduced capacity, some business reopening due to government job keeper funding allowing them to pay staff

Helena Charles (GPS)

  • We have launched our business support package ‘Be Kind to Business’, most are still operating just in a new and different way, online working well
  • Held our Golden Plains Farmers market virtually
  • Windfarm construction as per normal, Berrybank ahead of schedule

Daphne (KPST)

  • Many events cancelled, all casuals stood down, new mobile workforce created
  • Stadium maintenance continuing in preparation for the start of AFL season and needs to be ready for emergency management situation
  • Waiting on a decision from government to allow ICC T20 event to go ahead in August 2020
  • KPST working on Stage 5 stadium project

Elaine Carbines (G21)

  • We have taken a Zoom subscription to allow all our board/pillar meetings to now be virtual, all staff working from home
  • The tourism impact will be severe for the Great Ocean Road, looking to  work on City Deal to have ready to go once in recovery mode
  • City Deal has clause imbedded to use local employment for projects, will assist in getting our economy up and running
  • Will be difficult to obtain funding for our region going forward and all Victorian state will be in the same situation
  • $350 Million CORA project at Modewarre in the final stages of gaining approval, has been sent to Federal Minister for approval
  • G21 Forum has been deferred to 4 December 2020 – Keynote speaker Stan Grant confirmed