Snapshots - March 2009

March 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.

Princes Highway West declared a national road

Last week Federal and State MPs, Darren Cheeseman and Michael Crutchfield, confirmed the duplication of the Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea is on track with detailed design work and a public exhibition process to be completed this year and construction commencing in 2010. The stage is expected to be completed in 2014.

The federal government has declared the 62 kilometre section of the Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds to Colac in Victoria to be a road of national significance by making it a part of the National Land Transport Network (formerly known as Auslink).

In making the announcement, Minister Albanese and Member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman, noted that this section of the highway is now eligible to receive funding provided by the federal government to Victoria to maintain the National Network.

The planned improvements to the highway follow an intensive campaign undertaken by the Princes Highway West Alliance of Local Government (PHWALG) that was launched two years ago. The campaign had already assisted in securing in commitments from state and federal governments of $220M for the duplication of Princes Highway West from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea. As an integral part of the Alliance, G21 member associations have actively supported the project as one of the top ten priorities for the region throughout the “fix it now” campaign.

Shaping the G21 region workforce

The G21 Education & Training Pillar and the G21 Skills Taskforce will soon bring industry leaders, peak bodies and unions together with education and training organisations to work out how the region should best respond to the current and anticipated impacts of the global downturn in the region.

To be effective, training of local workers must match current industry needs and workforce capacity. In bringing regional employers, educators and trainers together, the "Shaping our Futures Together" Forum aims to forge a collaborative Workforce Plan that will build a workforce appropriate to the new economy, while at the same time supporting the career development of local workers in transitioning industries.

The Forum will be held on Wednesday, April 1. The venue will be announced shortly. The Workforce Plan is required urgently to ensure education and training services in the G21 region fully support our industries’ efforts to refocus the local economy.

Click here to register your interest in the G21 Shaping our Futures Together Forum

Climate Change Impacts – Federal Government submission

G21 has responded to the second round of Local Adaptation Pathways Program (LAPP) grants, to study major climate change impacts affecting local government. The study would provide valuable inputs for G21 region Councils, identifying potential changes that may be required to asset management, economic development and growth strategies as a result of climate change impacts.

The expression of interest has been submitted on behalf of the G21 Councils and the Great South Coast (GSC) councils. DSE has been coordinating the State response to climate change and is strongly supportive of this approach since it can help coordinate State and Federal responses in the region.

The development of a practical Climate Change Impact Management program is one of the “top ten” G21 priority projects. This submission will help the region quantify and prioritise its responses to the anticipated climate change impacts on our farms, water supply, biodiversity, forests, coasts and communities.

Comments from all participating Councils have been incorporated in the submission. Support has also been expressed by key stakeholders including CCMA, DSE, DPCD, DPI, Barwon Water, Western Coastal Board, South West Sustainability Partnership and Geelong Otway Tourism.

The funding must be used to engage a consultant from the Federal Government's panel and can cover a situational analysis, a risk assessment report and an action plan. The local contribution can be in kind and would include provision of available data and assistance with workshops.

G21 to host nationally significant health forums

The G21 Health & Wellbeing Pillar has announced that they will be hosting two nationally significant forums on preventative health and child health and wellbeing on September 16 and October 12 this year.

To be held in Costa Hall, the September forum will feature a Public Lecture on Preventative Health with Rob Moodie, Professor of Global Health at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Rob is a former CEO of VicHealth and chairs the Technical Panel to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s HIV prevention program in India. He has recently taken up a new role as chair of the National Preventative Health Task Force.

The October forum, titled "The future generation - have we got it right?" will feature locally and internationally renowned speakers including Professor Frank Oberklaid, Founding Director Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne & Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne; Clare Martin, CEO Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) & former Chief Minister of Northern Territory and G21 Director Dr Mark Kennedy.

Funded by the Department of Human Services, both forums will be open to the public by registration and are expected to attract participants from around the nation. Stay tuned for more details.

Regional Marketing Program

The third in a series of four “Geelong Region – The Best Place to Live” campaign lift-outs appeared in The Age on Sunday, February 22. The fourth and final lift-out is scheduled to be published on March 16. Market research measuring the effectiveness of the campaign will be completed in May, after the new television commercial (currently in development) airs in April.

Click here to see the third The Age feature.

A three year business plan, to continue collaborative marketing initiatives beyond the current $250,000 campaign is now in development and will be completed by mid 2009. The business plan will engage both the public and the private sector to contribute to collaborative coordinated campaigns, where mutual benefits can be demonstrated, making more effective use of marketing dollars.

This body of work will draw on the findings and recommendations of the G21 Regional Marketing Strategy, as well as the commissioned research and the practical experience of the “Geelong Region – The Best Place to Live” campaign. It will include stakeholder consultation, regional positioning guidelines, a collaboration model and identification of priority marketing projects and potential funding support.

In principle support has already been offered by a number of current campaign partners who seek to repeat the collaborative, cost efficient approach to regional marketing demonstrated by the current campaign, on an ongoing basis.

Regional marketing is used to:
• Attract and retain professional and skilled workers to the G21 region.
• Attract business investment in existing and desired areas of competitive advantage in the G21 region.
• Support the transition of the manufacturing industry in the G21 region.
• Counter inaccurate negative perceptions of central Geelong by promoting it as a vibrant regional service centre and major Australian city.

Bushfires highlight need for a regional Art & Culture assets register

The recent bushfires highlighted the need to record cultural assets, so that the assessment of redressing disastrous regional loss – such as those suffered in the Marysville and Kinglake regions – can include the rebuilding of spaces for art and cultural activities, a critical component of community strength and expression.

The G21 Arts & Culture Pillar has recognised that no such asset register exists for the G21 Region. It has therefore undertaken to develop a project that includes mapping of:

  • physical assets including spaces and location of artworks,
  • art and cultural activities and events
  • artists.

Building on existing resources including the City of Greater Geelong’s Arts Directory, the resulting resource would not only quantify the region’s art, cultural and heritage assets, but would also serve as a useful resource for artists to locate spaces, avoid event clashes and share resources. This project, along with the Geelong Arts Precinct are the priority projects of the G21 Arts & Culture Pillar.

ACF Greenhome Program assisted by G21

The Australian Conservation Foundation's Greenhome Program focuses on what individuals can do to make their home sustainable (and cheaper to run). With the assistance of G21 Councils, a series of forums will be run across the region over the next couple of months. The forums will be widely advertised when venues and dates are confirmed.

A Leaders' Forum for those who can help drive the program across the community will be held on April 17 & 18.

Click here for more information on the Greenhome Program.

Click here to register your interest in the ACF Greenhome forums.

People

Congratulations to new Sport and Recreation Pillar Leader Cr Bob Merriman, Mayor of Queenscliffe and former Cricket Australia Chairman and Deputy Pillar Leader Paul Jane, Manager Sport & Recreation Community Infrastructure and Recreation at the City of Greater Geelong.

Congratulations also to Julie Dyer, Arts Development Officer at Surf Coast Shire who will lead the G21 Arts & Culture Pillar, with Kaz Patton from City of Greater Geelong as Deputy Chair. Both Pillars are reviewing their priority issues and projects and look forward to some exciting outcomes this year.

Recognition and thanks also go out to Darren Gray, formerly of the City of Greater Geelong and now part of the team at Gordon Institute of TAFE. Darren was instrumental in the establishment of two important industry clusters for the G21 region: BioGeelong & the ICT Cluster. Darren, we hope you will continue to contribute to G21 activities in your new role. Your achievements to date have been of great benefit to the region. Well done.

Welcome to new G21 members for 2009:

Informatic Technologies

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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.