Peak bodies agree on Geelong’s most-needed projects
FIVE of the Geelong region’s biggest peak bodies have collaborated on a list of specific projects and initiatives the state government should include in its coming 2020-21 budget.
G21, the Committee for Geelong, the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine and the Geelong Manufacturing Council say the projects and initiatives will benefit the region’s economic and social recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and enhance the region’s opportunity to stimulate jobs.
The 13-itemlist includes infrastructure, visitor economy product and much needed community facilities, plus support packages for business, manufacturing and Deakin University.
The biggest project for the Surf Coast is funds to establish of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCPA) before the end of this year.
The peak bodies’ list notes state government has committed to establish GORCPA, with a skill-based board and independent chair, to manage the coastal Crown land and marine waters along the Great Ocean Road and its hinterlands.
“Adequate funding to enable the Authority to establish from December 2020, and commence a transition to full operations, will be required in the forthcoming state budget.”
Local commuters to Melbourne would also welcome the call for the rapid duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds
According to the list, the duplication is an approved project of the state and federal governments, but funding is allocated in the 2023-24 federal budget.
“Both governments are urged to immediately bring funding forward to start the $700 million project to create construction jobs over several years.
“The group believes the project would create better access to the region via rail and assist further private development and economic growth.
“The project is an essential precursor to faster and more reliable train services between Geelong and Melbourne.”
G21 chief executive officer Elaine Carbines said the list could have been much longer, but ultimately focused on the parts of the economy that had been hit the hardest.
“Now more than ever, in the midst of this pandemic, leadership from the peak organisations across our region is crucial.
“That’s why we are joining together to give clear guidance to the state government about projects and initiatives we in this region believe must be recognised in the upcoming budget to help us rebuild post-COVID.
“None of us expect all of these projects to be funded, but they’re certainly priorities for this region that the peak bodies agreed on and shared.