Snapshots - April 2009

April 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.

Workforce planning Forum outcomes

The public forum held on April 1 attracted more than 70 representatives from industry, peak bodies, unions, education and training organisations to discuss the impacts of the global downturn in the G21 region, with a particular focus on jobs and industry capacity.

Attendees were presented with information outlining the current strengths and vulnerabilities of G21 region industries, along with confronting information regarding the number of people employed in industry sectors that are considered to be at risk in the current economic environment.

Forum facilitators, Researching Futures, then guided discussions to find ways to re-train employees in industries that are at risk while increasing the capacity of industries that are emerging or growing.

A range of strategies to engage employers and industry in the discussion are now being explored. Data and recommended actions will be available on the G21 website shortly. The outcomes from the forum will contribute to the final scope of the Career Development and Skills Service.




Parliamentary Inquiry into the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on regional Australia

Last month, G21 gathered information and opinion to respond to a recently announced inquiry by a Federal Government House of Representatives Standing Committee into the impact of the global financial crisis on regional Australia.

Produced in collaboration with and on behalf of a range of regional stakeholders, G21 will provide evidence on infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government to the Inquiry, which will be held in Geelong on April 22.


Geelong Ring Road Opportunities Study completed

The Geelong Ring Road is the G21 region’s most important infrastructure development in a generation. It will have significant impacts on the region’s economic development, population growth and land use demands.

The
Economic & Land Use Impacts of the Geelong Ring Road (2009) is a new report that examines likely growth areas as a result of the development of the Ring Road and the duplication and upgrade of Princes Highway West. Funded by the City of Greater Geelong, G21, the Committee for Geelong and RDV, the report will inform Council and agency planning processes for services and infrastructure.

Released two weeks ago, the report shows how the Ring Road and Princes Highway Upgrade are expected to increase the region’s population, industry and employment opportunities, and how this is likely to impact on the region’s land use requirements. It also presents specific recommendations on how the region can make the most of the opportunities that these important pieces of infrastructure present.

The information provided may affect land rezoning and help target investment attraction efforts. The report will also help us understand which businesses are likely to relocate because of the Ring Road. This may well result in freeing up of some large sites with redevelopment potential for more valuable uses.

Regional Water Security Study released 


The first stage of the G21 Priority Project “Secure Water Program” is now complete with the public release of the G21 Secure Water for Economic Development Study (2009) which examines the supply and demand of water for economic purposes in the G21 region.

Led by Golden Plains Shire, the report concentrates on areas that are not connected to the mains supply and examines ideas such as using recycled water or local processing of saline groundwater. It examines not just technical feasibility but also financial and regulatory issues that must be overcome in order to provide a co-ordinated region-wide approach to water security.

The report finds that Barwon Water's Plans and Actions are very good for the security of potable water supplies and some recycling initiatives; but that they do not fully address the economic development and agricultural needs of the G21 region. The new report identifies these gaps and provides a detailed list of items and actions to address them. The Department of Sustainability and Environment Office for Water and Barwon Water provided valuable reviews of the reports as they were being prepared.

The report also identifies the complicated water responsibility structure as a major challenge. G21 has already prepared a submission on third party access rights and met with the EPA to look at some of the rules that apply


Major projects – formal response from the State Government (IDC)

The State Government Inter Departmental Committee (IDC) provided its formal response to the “G21 Priority Projects” on March 24.

The Premier established the IDC for G21 in late 2007 in order to provide cross-departmental consideration for support and funding assistance of major G21 Region projects. The ten G21 Priority Projects presented to the IDC late last year are seen as vital in giving effect to the Geelong Region Plan, and are endorsed by all Councils in the G21 region.

The IDC response provides a comprehensive status report on the progress of each of the projects, along with contacts provided by the relevant State government Department/s to further the projects' progress.

G21 is in the process of reviewing the priority projects as we gear up for the 2010 budget process. It is therefore timely to take stock of progress.


ICT Cluster progress 


Following the G21 Telecommunications Need Assessment (2005) and the subsequent G21 ICT opportunities study which was completed last year, the State Government has provided $100,000 over two years to establish and support the development of an ICT Cluster for the G21 region.

Led by the City of Greater Geelong, the ICT cluster aims to position Geelong as a major ICT precinct in Victoria by taking a collaborative approach to major projects and attracting new business to the G21 region. It will serve as a lobby group and a business association that provides ICT links to education and industry partners.

Members of the cluster include The City of Greater Geelong, Gordon Institute of TAFE, Deakin University, Neighbourhood Cable, Surf Coast Shire, Fox Digital Web, Radiant Systems Asia Pacific Pty and Express Promotions Australia Pty Ltd.



People

After seven years at the helm, Kay Rundle will resign as CEO of the City of Greater Geelong on May 1. Kay was instrumental in the establishment of G21, supporting the innovative concept from its earliest stages in 2003. Under her leadership, the City of Greater Geelong has participated in G21 at every level, with senior officers taking leadership roles in Pillars and project groups, for the benefit of the entire region.

Kay was a member of the original G21 Leadership Group and has been an alternate Director on the G21 Board since 2008. On behalf of the members of G21, we thank you for vision, participation and support. G21 would never have got started without it. Good luck in your future position as CEO at the City of Port Phillip.

In Kay's absence we welcome Steve Griffin, Acting CEO, City of Greater Geelong as an alternate council director on the G21 Board.

A big thank you also goes out to
Peter Reeve, General Manager City Services at City of Greater Geelong, who announced his retirement last month. Peter has been the Leader of the G21 Transport Pillar for several years and has presided over a number of significant transport project accomplishments. The pillar has excellent representation from Councils, service providers, road authorities and user groups and has been very successful in achieving many great results for the region. Thank you for your leadership, Peter. You will be missed.
 

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.