Geelong leaders discuss city’s wishlist

April 1, 2021 BY

Committee for Geelong chief executive officer Jennifer Cromarty speaks during the webinar.

FOUR of the Geelong region’s most notable voices for advocacy have all expressed different yet related priorities that the city and the region should be pursuing into the future.

The Geelong Chamber of Commerce hosted the online “Being Loud for Geelong” webinar on Thursday last week.

The 40-minute discussion, moderated by the chamber’s chief executive officer Ben Flynn, featured G21 Geelong Region Alliance chief executive officer Giulia Baggio, Touism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine executive director Brett Ince, Committee for Geelong chief executive officer Jennifer Cromarty and Geelong Manufacturing Council chief executive officer David Peart.

Asked to express their three wishes for the city, the panellists (and Mr Flynn) each came up with three concepts, but there was a general sense of agreement with everyone’s ideas.

David Peart:

  • Procurement – “We need to do a lot better, there’s some really good and bad examples of local procurement.”
  • Equity – “If there’s economic growth, we need to bring the areas of Geelong that are struggling with us.”
  • Community improvement – “If we’re going to improve our community as a whole, we need to look after each other a lot better.”

Giulia Baggio:

  • Getting the region back on its feet very quickly in the next 12 months – “Let’s get that tourist traffic back, let’s get the international students back.”
  • Growing well – “Le’s plan over the next 10 years how we do that sustainably and equitably.”
  • “Let’s make this the most livable region in Australia.”

Jennifer Cromarty:

  • Significant infrastructure needs – “We really need to get cracking with the rail duplication and the connections between South Geelong and Geelong. This is all stuff the Department of Transport are working on but it takes a really long time; we just need to land it.”
  • A city that reflects and respects the culture and history of the Wadawurrung – “We’ve talked about this at multiple forums, we’ve just got to do better.”
  • The City Deal – “I really want to see the three levels of government land a way to work together that is sustainable and long term.”

Brett Ince:

  • The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre within the next few years – “That is an absolute wish for me because it does drive business visitation but also knowledge exchange.”
  • Having the visitor lens put on the Geelong CBD – “We can align that with more hotel development, the opportunity to grow that overnight stay and spend, and ultimately that leads to more jobs for our community.”
  • “To see Geelong and Bellarine as a world-class inclusive destination that inspires visitors to create memories and depart with the desire to return.”

Ben Flynn:

  • Infrastructure keeping up with population growth – “We want people to come here, but let’s make sure it remains livable.”
  • Brand Geelong – “I’d love to have a banner under which we all work together that we can all support that makes us more proud to be in the city that we’re in.”
  • More new business initiatives – “I want Geelong to be open for business, which also includes a discussion around our commercial rates as well.”

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