G21 to outline region’s priorities in Canberra

News

The G21 board of directors will be in Canberra next week (Wed 16 & Thurs 17 Oct 2019) explaining the region’s funding priorities to politicians and their advisers.

The delegation will also seek assurances on the timely delivery of funding against City Deal projects, especially in the context of the recently-released (8 Oct) City Deal projects high-level implementation plan.

G21 CEO Elaine Carbines said G21 would seek assurances that federal budget considerations would not delay delivery of City Deal projects for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.

The Morrison and Andrews governments last March signed off on a City Deal agreement to benefit the region to the tune of $370 million.  The Commonwealth committed $183.8 million to the City Deal, with $172 million from the State and $14.2 million from the City of Greater Geelong.

“An initial implementation plan for the City Deal has just been released — which G21 welcomes. However, we must ensure that on-the-ground investment flows to projects across the region as soon as possible,” Ms Carbines said.

“We are seeking government assurances that there will be no delays due to the federal and state governments ‘pushing out’ project funding, years into the future, because of budget constraints. A clear funding timeframe must be locked down.

“We are also seeking assurances that local suppliers and local workers are used on projects wherever possible to maximise the economic and social benefits to the region.”

Ms Carbines said the G21 board would also use the visit to explain the region’s current list of priority projects, which the board has recently reviewed and revised.

The 15 previous priorities were refined to 12 projects, some of which are multi-faceted.

“Projects which had been funded, or largely funded, were removed as priorities, while emerging regional needs were added,” Ms Carbines said.

“G21 identifies regional priorities in order to maximise the effectiveness of its advocacy to government and elsewhere.”

The revised advocacy priorities are (in alphabetical order):

• Addressing Disadvantage
• Avalon Airport
• Central Geelong Revitalisation
• G21 Regional Growth Areas
• G21 Regional Harbours
• G21 Regional Road Connections
• G21 Regional Secondary Schools & Community Digital Learning Hub and Ecosystem
• Geelong Cultural Precinct
• Great Ocean Road
• Water For Our Future
• Port of Geelong growth
• Regional Rail Connections

G21 board members will pursue a number other projects while in Canberra, including potential military manufacturing contracts for the region.