New $447 million teaching hospital for Geelong a step closer

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Planning Minister Matthew Guy has streamlined the planning process for a new $447 million teaching and research hospital adjacent to Deakin University, located in the major growth corridor of Waurn Ponds. “The proposed joint venture by Epworth Healthcare and Deakin University is estimated to create 1000 during construction and 1100 ongoing jobs at the hospital teaching campus,” Mr Guy said. Mr Guy has rezoned 8.8 hectares of land on the Marcus Oldham College at 145 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds and granted a permit for building works. “A new health precinct in the vicinity of Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus will generate substantial benefits to Geelong and the surrounding region,” Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos said. Mr Guy said this was an important step in the planning process to secure jobs and investment in one of Victoria’s largest growth areas and serving the entire western region. The proposal is for a six storey building with Stage 1 comprising 160 in-patient beds, nine operating theatres, a cardiac catheter laboratory, emergency department and an intensive care unit. Stage 2 will comprise a further 96 beds, five operating theatres and laboratory. Mr Guy said extensive community consultation had been carried out to ensure that planning for the development was robust and addressed concerns. Epworth Healthcare has secured a $5 million grant from the Commonwealth Government to help fund an education facility within the clinical areas of the hospital. The Minister for Health, Mr David Davis said the Government is committed to delivering on its election commitment to build a community hospital in Waurn Ponds. “The Government will seek to work in partnership with Deakin University medical school and other local facilities such as the new Epworth facility. Service planning for the new community hospital is currently being undertaken,” Mr Davis said. “The Baillieu Government is seeking to create a health and medical precinct at Waurn Ponds which includes the University and teaching schools, the Epworth hospital, the community hospital and other public and private participants.”

$650,000 for Geelong Performing Arts Centre repairs

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Critical repairs will be carried out to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) with Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine today (24 January 2012) announcing a $650,000 grant from the Victorian State Government. Dr Napthine said the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Roof Restoration Project would repair and replace roof coverings, flashings, guttering and downpipes following damage caused by heavy rains last year. “This work is needed to repair the roof of the centre – which opened in 1981 – and prevent further damage to the existing infrastructure,” Dr Napthine said. “This is a vital project considering GPAC’s important role in the Geelong Future Cities Project which will see a redevelopment of the city’s cultural precinct.” The Coalition Government has already committed $15 million towards upgrading the precinct’s Library and Heritage Centre, and the funding announced today for GPAC adds to that. Dr Napthine said the repairs were critical because the Geelong Performing Arts Centre attracted 200,000 visitors per year. “The number of visitors to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre is expected to double once the staged Geelong Cultural Precinct redevelopment is completed,” Dr Napthine said. “Lifestyle factors are now as important as employment prospects in attracting people to regional Victoria, reinforcing the qualities that create diverse, vibrant towns and communities. “An enhanced cultural precinct will contribute to increased business attraction and investment, resulting in employment growth for the region. The Geelong Future Cities project will be a key driver to the revitalisation of Central Geelong,” Dr Napthine said. The $650,000 in funding for repairs was funded through two Coalition Government grants through a $350,000 contribution from Arts Victoria and $300,000 from Regional Development Victoria.

G21 CEO takes to 'My Region' blog

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G21 Geelong Region Alliance CEO Elaine Carbines has taken to the Australian Government’s ‘My Region’ blog site to talk about the many G21 region achievements of 2011. The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport web site and associated blog has fast become a popular way to swap news and views about what’s happening in regions across Australia. And Elaine is always keen to let people know of the great work being done by the members of the G21 Geelong Region Alliance.

Belmont High School achieves outstanding results in VCE exams

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Belmont High School, St Albans Secondary College and Mildura Senior College have joined the ranks of Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne High School, McKinnon Secondary College and Balwyn High School in achieving outstanding results in this year’s VCE exams. The school, based in Geelong, performed well with 15 students scoring above 90 and a Dux who received 99.65. Bellarine High School, also in the Geelong region, also had a student with an ATAR school above 99. Victoria’s rural and regional schools should also be extremely proud of their results, Mr Dixon said. “I’ve been told that 16 Mildura Senior College students achieved ATAR scores over 90 and the Dux received 99.1, and Geelong’s Belmont High School also performed well with 15 students above 90 and a Dux who received 99.65,” Mr Dixon said. Mildura Senior College principal Andrew Ough said the results were a tribute to the teaching staff at the school. “I’m really proud of both the students and our staff,” Mr Ough said. Rural and regional schools where students received ATAR scores of 99 and above: Bendigo Senior Secondary College Belmont High School (Geelong) Mildura Senior College Drouin Secondary College Bellarine Secondary College A pair of identical twins from Melbourne High School are among the students who received perfect ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) scores of 99.95. Education Minister Martin Dixon today (December 16, 2011) congratulated a large number of high-achieving government schools from right across the state. “Today is a day to celebrate for many schools and many students who have achieved amazing VCE results,” Mr Dixon said. “Once again students at our selective-entry government schools have performed well, but students at a whole range of local neighbourhood schools, both in the city and the country, have also achieved outstanding success. “This is testament to the fantastic teachers and world-class education on offer at every Victorian government school.” Mr Dixon said he was particularly pleased to hear a St Albans Secondary College student had achieved a perfect ATAR score- the first ever at the school. Three students received scores over 99. “Government schools in Melbourne’s west are brimming with success stories, and this is certainly one of them,” Mr Dixon said. Balwyn High School students also performed well, with 122 students receiving scores over 90, and two scores over 99. “I’m very delighted, this is the culmination of the dedicated teaching staff, the commitment from the students, the support from families and the strong direction for the school as a whole,” Principal Deborah Harman said. McKinnon Secondary College received a visit from Monash University Vice Chancellor Professor Ed Byrne this morning to congratulate students. School Dux Patrick Walker received a perfect ATAR, and 13 students received scores over 99. Melbourne-based schools where students received perfect ATAR scores of 99.95 were: Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School (4 students) Melbourne High School (3 students) McKinnon Secondary College St Albans Secondary College Schools where students received ATAR scores of 99.9 were: Balwyn High School (2 students) Vermont Secondary College Highvale Secondary College (Glen Waverley) Click here for the latest information from the Education & Training Pillar

FREE Parking for Christmas Shoppers - 23 Dec

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City of Greater Geelong Mayor Cr John Mitchell has reminded residents and visitors that parking in Central Geelong will be free of charge on Friday, 23 December. “It should also be remembered that although there will be no parking fees on this day, normal time limits will still apply to the designated parking spaces,” the Mayor said. “Motorists should also be careful not to park in Loading Zones.” The Mayor said it was critical for traders to have access to the designated Loading Zones during the busy pre-Christmas shopping period. Cr Mitchell said parking would also be free of charge on the following Public Holidays during the Christmas-New Year period: Monday, 26 December, 2011 Tuesday, 27 December, 2011, and Monday, 2 January, 2012. “Parking time limits do not apply on these declared Public Holidays,” the Mayor said. “In addition, we remind motorists that on days other than the free days, the following all-day parking areas are available at cheap rates: Ritchie Boulevard (south side – five minutes’ walk from shopping) $4 all day. Haymarket Car Park and Civic Centre Car Park - $4 all day Saturdays. December 16, 2012

Get involved in shaping our region

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Elaine Carbines, CEO of G21 – Geelong Region Alliance, is encouraging those who are interested in the future of the Geelong region to contribute towards the development of the G21 Regional Growth Plan. “The Geelong region is growing at an impressive rate. Our population is expected to reach 500,000 by 2050, approximately 200,000 more people than today. We need to make sure that we manage this growth, and the challenges it brings, with the best interests of our region in mind. G21 is doing this through the development of the Regional Growth Plan,” said Elaine Carbines, CEO of G21. “We have already engaged with stakeholders from state and local government as well as community, business and development groups via a series of workshops. We now need feedback from the wider community. This is critical to ensure that the G21 Regional Growth Plan truly reflects how we, the people of the region, want it to look like in the future,” said Ms Carbines. “G21 will be running a series of activities across our region and host an online forum between 3 November and 16 December in order to obtain people’s feedback and thoughts,” she said. “I particularly encourage the community to register to attend one of our five World Cafe workshops being held in Bannockburn, Belmont, Colac, Geelong and Winchelsea. We will also be available to listen to the community’s feedback at 30 different listening posts across the region,” she said. “If you are unable to participate in these activities we encourage you to join our online forum at www.G21regionalgrowthplan.com.au said Ms Carbines. “The feedback we receive from this community engagement process will shape the draft G21 Regional Growth Plan. The draft Plan will be released for final community feedback in April 2012.” Further information regarding the G21 Regional Growth Plan visit www.G21regionalgrowthplan.com.au World Café workshops Winchelsea - Tuesday 8 November, 6:30 - 9:30pmColac - Wednesday 9 November, 6:30 - 9:30pm Geelong - Saturday 12 November, 1:30 - 4:30pm Bannockburn - Tuesday 15 November, 6:00 - 9:00pm Belmont - Wednesday 16 November, 6:00 - 9:00pm Registration is essential. Please contact Janet Smith jsmith2@geelongcity.vic.gov.au or call (03) 5272 4067. Listening posts Click here to view a detailed list of the 30 listening posts throughout the Geelong region

G21 Snapshots released - October edition

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The October edition of G21's Snapshots has been released. This month, our top feature articles include: Minister Lovell launches G21's Early Years report Invitation to contribute to the G21 Regional Growth Plan Survey reveals support for Apollo Bay Harbour master plan G21 Freedom from Discrimination - promotional video released G21 Stop Violence Against Women - Month of Action G21 Annual General Meeting - Thursday, 17 November GPAC named best tour presenter in Australia Visitor numbers set to cruise with launch of upgraded MV Queenscliff Ferry Two projects supporting the disadvantaged and unemployed gain support $100,000 funding to create strong health pathways Victorian company puts recycled rubber to the road More affordable rental homes in Geelong and district State Government helps fund regional cycling endurance events Click here to view the G21 Snapshots - October edition

State Government announces preferred location for Section 4C

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The State Government has announced that the current Section 4C proposed alignment remains the preferred location.

State Government helps fund regional cycling endurance events

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Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher today announced funding for two sporting endurance events to be held in regional Victoria next year. The Victorian Coalition Government will provide funding of $15,000 to support both the 2012 Falls Creek Triathlon and the Great Ocean and Otway Classic Ride, as part of Tourism Victoria’s Events Program. “The events will not only significantly promote the High Country and the Great Ocean Road to interstate visitors but also help maintain Victoria’s competitive edge as a major sports destination,” Ms Asher said. “Cycling and endurance events are a natural fit for Victoria, with upcoming events including the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship Melbourne in March 2012, followed by the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in April.” Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos said the Great Ocean and Otway Classic Ride starts in Torquay and offers cyclists the choice of a 145 kilometre or 60 kilometre ride. Mr Katos said $5,000 would be used for print advertising in newspapers and cycle magazines, website and social media promotion and a radio competition. This year the event attracted 4,000 participants and 7,500 supporters, with similar numbers expected next year. Ms Asher recently announced a five-year action plan to promote and increase participation, interest and enthusiasm for cycling at every level across Victoria. The plan aims to develop the state’s cycle tourism opportunities. “Victoria’s Cycle Tourism Action Plan 2011-15 outlines how the Victorian Government will leverage and enhance cycle tourism opportunities, especially throughout regional Victoria,” Ms Asher said. Ms Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government would continue to develop regional events as they played an important part in driving tourism, investment attraction and job creation. The Falls Creek Triathlon will be held on 11 February 2012 and the Great Ocean and Otway Classic Ride on 24 March 2012.

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