Snapshots - January 2009

January 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.

Implications of the Victorian Government Transport Plan

Congratulations to the members of the G21 Public Transport Advisory Group, the Transport Connections Project Steering Group and the G21 Transport Pillar on the considerable influence they have had on positive outcomes for the G21 region announced recently in the Victorian Transport Plan.

The Victorian Transport Plan recognises that the G21 region is the fastest growing region in the State and addresses a number of the long term issues identified in the G21 Integrated Public Transport Strategy, which was completed in 2005.

When combined with the many short term initiatives that have been addressed locally since the Strategy was completed, the commitments presented in the Victorian Transport Plan represent a significant improvement in our region's transportation assets. In a nutshell, they include:

  • A Regional Rail Link to increase the capacity of the system by taking V/Line trains off of the normal lines Connex uses onto a dedicated regional line straight to Southern Cross. This will carry trains from Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong and allow the system to operate at its full design speed of 160kph. The main advantages are seen as consistency in timetabling and additional capacity allowing a doubling of frequency. This initiative is dependent on Commmonwealth funding but is the State's top priority for any funding.
  • The first part of the 'Eddington' tunnel will run from the Geelong-Melbourne Road to the Port, under the Maribyrnong River. This will provide an alternative route to Melbourne and have particular value for freight transport around the Port of Melbourne. Again, this is subject to Commonwealth funding.
  • $80m has been set aside for bus improvements around the region. The main components are the bus interchange and recurrent funding for increased frequency of services and some new services.
  • $30m provided for station upgrades, particularly Marshall and South Geelong.
  • Planning for a rail corridor to link new growth areas of Armstrong Creek and Torquay.
  • Funding for more carriages and the upgrade the signalling system is also committed.
  • An additional $10m for walking, cycling and rail trails and $7.5m for Local Road to Markets will be made available through the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund.

The upgrading of Princes Highway West to Colac is not yet eligible for Federal Government funding as it is not on the Auslink system, but the State Government has put aside funds to upgrade the road west of Colac, with passing lanes etc. G21 will continue to support the campaign for the duplication of PHW between Winchelsea and Colac.

There is no funding explicitly for the Midland Highway in the Victorian Transport Plan, but $1.2 bn has been set aside as a global allocation for arterial road upgrades and this road would be on the list.

Congratulations once again to all who have been working over many years to effect these changes.

Supplementary submission to Infrastructure Australia

As reported in the October edition of Snapshots, a number of major G21 region infrastructure projects have been submitted to the Infrastructure Australia Fund. However, advice received at several meetings in Canberra by G21 and G21 region delegates, suggested that it would be wise to consider the submission of some smaller, more immediately deliverable projects because of the Federal Government's drive to provide a short term economic stimulus to respond to the current global financial climate.

G21, the City of Greater Geelong and the Committee for Geelong therefore delivered a second submission comprising three projects, all of which have since been short listed for funding approval. They are:

  • Network infrastructure for Heales Rd Industrial Estate
  • Dual gauge rail connection to Lacelles Wharf (Port of Geelong)
  • Recycled water (3rd pipe) network at Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area
     

Community Cabinet Meeting “Read all about it”

Several Federal Government Ministers, including the Prime Minister, attended a Community Cabinet Meeting in Geelong on December 7.

Prime Minister Rudd spoke about the implications of carbon trading and the global economic crisis for Australia in general, and the G21 region in particular. He also responded to diverse questions from the public regarding Japanese whaling, recognition of same sex relationships, gun control and anticipated job losses resulting from carbon trading in the G21 region.

In order to reinforce the priority projects and issues of the G21 region with the ministers and parliamentary secretaries in attendance at the Community Cabinet, the Geelong Advertiser created a Special Edition specifically for the meeting.

The Advertiser collaborated with G21 and key organisations and authorities to ensure the publication was consistent with agreed regional priorities. The result was a memorable takeaway for the ministers in attendance on the day. Additional copies were provided to Local Members for distribution in Spring Street and Canberra.


Regional Marketing Program

On January 2, a special G21 region edition of GT magazine was published in the Geelong Advertiser. Targetted to holidaying Melburnians as well as local audiences, the 56 page colour magazine highlighted people, places, achievements, assets and lifestyle of the G21 region.

Development of a G21 region television commercial, scheduled to go to air in March/April 2009, is now underway. Part of the $250,000 G21 Regional Marketing Program, the TV commercial will be designed to challenge any negative preconceptions of the G21 region and present it as a great place to live, work, invest and learn.

Wildfire Tourism Engagement project wins MFB award

A CFA/Surf Coast Shire initiative aiming to engage and guide the tourism sector in the event of wildfire has won The Fire Services category at the Fire Awareness Awards 2008 over seven other excellent finalist projects.

The G21 Community Safety and Strengthening Leadership Group identified several objectives and programs for establishing regional approaches to bushfire management during the development of the Geelong Region Plan. This project is referenced in Policy 3.1 “Build strong and safe communities”..

Congratulations to all those involved in the successful delivery and independent recognition of this important regional project.

G21 Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) update

The G21 Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) is chaired by Professor Peter Dawkins, Secretary of the Department of Education of Education and Early Childhood Development and includes senior representatives of each significant Victorian Government Department.

On Wednesday, November 19, G21 made a formal presentation of the G21 Region Priority Projects to this G21 IDC . The presentation was focused on what the G21 Region sees as its major priorities and what the IDC could do to help bring these projects to fruition.

The IDC were quick to assign a lead contact to each project in an initial response received in December. They also undertook to provide a more detailed response to each of the priority projects in coming months. In the meantime, funding and support has been secured for a number of priority project components and at least one of the priority projects will be delivered in 2009.

People

This month, we officially welcome Janet Dore, Chief Exceutive Officer, Transport Accident Commission to the G21 Board. Janet was appointed by the G21 Board at the November board meeting. Michael King and Michael Malouf were elected to the board at November's Annual General Meeting. The composition of the G21 Board has also changed as a result of last November's council elections. Welcome and congratulations to all new G21 Board members.

The G21 Board is structured as follows for 2009.

The five council appointed Directors are:
Cr David Cotsell, Golden Plains Shire
Jack Green, Acting CEO, Colac Otway Shire
Cr Libby Mears, Mayor, Surf Coast Shire
Cr Bob Merriman, Mayor, Borough of Queenscliffe
Cr John Mitchell, Mayor, City of Greater Geelong

Should any of the council appointed Directors be unavailable for G21 activities, the following alternate Directors will fulfil their responsibilities:

Cr Brian Crook, Mayor, Colac Otway Shire
Mark Davies, CEO, Surf Coast Shire
Lenny Jenner, CEO, Borough of Queenscliffe
Rod Nicholls, CEO, Golden Plains Shire
Kay Rundle, CEO, City of Greater Geelong

The five elected Directors are:
Ed Coppe, G21 Chairperson
Dr Mark Kennedy, General Practitioner, Corio Medical Clinic
Michael King, Managing Director, King's Australia
Michael Malouf, Managing Director, Barwon Water
Anne-Marie Ryan, Executive Officer, Local Learning & Employment Network

Board appointed Directors are (maximum of 6):
Janet Dore, CEO, Transport Accident Commission

Congratulations to G21 award recipients Ross Synot, Tracey Slatter and Cr Rose Hodge in recognition of their contributions as former Directors of G21; former G21 staff Austin Paterson (Manager, G21 Health & Wellbeing / Barwon PCP) and Simone Beekmans (Executive Assistant - since 2002); and the team largely responsible for the successful delivery to Geelong of the Australian Masters Games: Bob Spurling, Rob McHenry, Jeff Wall, Sharon Cockerell and Ross Synot. Awards were presented at the G21 AGM in November.

Welcome to G21 members joining us in November 2008:

People @ Work
Shell Australia
Centacare Catholic Family Services
The Geelong College

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.