City spends big on west hub

June 24, 2021 BY

The City of Greater Geelong has allocated funding to go towards the Armstrong Creek West Neighbourhood Child and Community Centre. Pictured is South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman at the site of the hub, which the state government contributed $2.25 million towards. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

THE design and construction of the new $12.95-million Armstrong Creek West Community Hub is a step closer following the sign-off on City of Greater Geelong’s 2021-22 Budget this week.

The new hub will include a 66-place kindergarten, maternal and child health facilities and a range of other family and community spaces to cater for the rapidly growing western area of Armstrong Creek.

It will be constructed on the corner of Unity and Sovereign Drives and COGG had been successful in attracting a $2.25-million state government grant towards the project.

The city plans to allocate the remaining funding required over the next two financial years and hopes to have the hub complete by the end of next year.

The 2021-22 Council Budget and the city’s Community Plan 2021-25 were both adopted at Tuesday night’s council meeting after the draft documents went out for public comment, attracting 126 written submissions from the community.

Submissions included 75 specific budget requests; 33 indicating support for projects listed in the draft budget for next year; 15 providing general feedback or were specific to the OCP; and three were opposed to listed budget projects.

In presenting the 2021-22 Budget, Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher and CEO Martin Cutter said the budget had been developed “against the backdrop of the most challenging year in living memory from both a social and financial standpoint”.

Council acknowledged that large, ongoing debt would not be sustainable and the budget needed to balance financial responsibility with the region’s ongoing pandemic recovery, Greater Geelong’s rapid population growth, continued investment in community services, new facilities and infrastructure.

Other initiatives in the budget included:

* Implementation of the city’s Social Housing Plan 2020-2041 – Year 2

* Leisurelink 50m pool replacement

* Community Infrastructure Grants Program

* Sports lighting upgrade program at seven different reserves across the region

* Develop business cases for the National Wool Museum, Geelong Gallery and Potato Shed

* Design and construct Barwon Heads Arts and Community Hub

* Waurn Ponds playground, skate park and BMX track upgrade

* Emergency messaging system in seven childcare facilities to maintain staff and child safety, and

* Kardinia Park Precinct Master Plan, plus other sporting grounds and facilities upgrades.