Priority picks: G21’s big asks for Geelong projects
THE date of the next federal election is not yet set, but G21 has updated the region’s list of priorities and is pitching them in Canberra this week.
Released this week, the Priority Projects 2021-22 document requests nearly $1.6 billion in state and/or federal funding for specific projects in the immediate to mid-term, plus millions more in partnerships with either or both levels of government.
Some of the biggest asks for Geelong include:
- A new railway station at Avalon Airport on the Geelong-Melbourne line, which will facilitate domestic and international passenger growth, and the inclusion of this project in the Geelong Fast Rail Study
- An update on the business case for the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, a firm timeline on the project – it has been two years since the $171 million in funding was announced – and commitment for more funding to build the centre
- $90 million for the expansion of Geelong Gallery into Geelong City Hall
- $28.75 million to complete Stage 2 of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project
- $14.3 million towards Stage 3 of the Geelong Arts Centre to fully realise the masterplan
- $15 million for essential infrastructure to support the relocation of the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal to Geelong next year
- $15 million for Stage 1 of the You Yangs Precinct Master Plan, including improvements to visitor and education infrastructure, and linking this project to the Aboriginal Cultural Tourism business case to ensure a strong focus on Traditional Owner engagement
- $250 million for the Barwon Heads Road duplication Stage 2 (Reserve Road to Lower Duneed Road), and
- More than $300 million for a swathe of infrastructure projects in Armstrong Creek, including four primary schools, two secondary schools, the Armstrong Creek Town Centre Emergency Services Hub and the Armstrong Creek West regional sports facility.
G21 chief executive officer Giulia Baggio said the leading advocacy group’s Priority Projects had been refreshed following six months of consultation across the region with input from several stakeholders.
“The document also takes into account the LGA four-year plans of the City of Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Colac Otway, Surf Coast and the Borough of Queenscliffe,” Ms Baggio said.
She said G21 would be holding a round of meetings in Canberra this week with senior government ministers and shadow ministers.
The mayors of Geelong, Golden Plains, Queenscliffe, Surf Coast and Colac Otway will represent the region alongside Ms Baggio, as will GeelongPort chief executive officer Brett Winter, who will speak about the requirements for the Spirit of Tasmania.
In its introduction, the document notes more than $5 billion had been committed to G21’s five LGAs over the past two years, but the “extraordinary growth””of the past five years meant still more funding was needed.
“From local residents and regional MPs through to Premiers and Prime Ministers, the contribution and care shown to the region has been extraordinary.
“G21 is now regarded as one of Australia’s most attractive and liveable regions. Its economic value to Victoria and Australia is growing year-on-year.
“While our collective efforts are bearing fruit, we must now grapple with a population growing at 2.6 per cent or more a year, outstripping all expectations.
“Post-COVID, we must lock in our gains and prepare for more turbo-charged growth over the next five to 10 years.”