City restores ties with G21

March 27, 2024 BY

L-R: Surf Coast Shire mayor Liz Pattison, G21 CEO Giulia Baggio, G21 First Nations Pillar chair Marsha Uppill and G21 chair Melissa Stephens. Photo; SUPPLIED

THE City of Greater Geelong council has reversed its decision to cut ties with G21 Geelong Region Alliance, and has restored $250,000 of city funding to the organisation.

In April 2023, the city confirmed it would end its involvement in the region-wide advocacy group and drop its $500,000 financial commitment as part of cuts in the city’s 2023-24 budget.

However, in a closed-door council meeting yesterday (Tuesday, March 26), councillors resolved to endorse what is described as a “three-year formal partnership” between the city and G21 to strengthen “relationships with neighbouring councils to share ideas for the benefit of the wider region”.

In a joint media release, G21 and the city said they would now “work together to leverage resources and deliver positive outcomes within current budget restraints”.

Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan said the new model aligned with the city’s new regional advocacy framework and met the federal government’s request for a co-ordinated regional voice.

“We are stronger when we work together.

“Geelong’s new partnership with G21 aligns with Council’s new Advocacy Framework, which drives how we better strategically advance Greater Geelong and ensure its ongoing positive development.

“This improved and redefined approach recognises that working collaboratively will deliver better value for all our communities.”

G21 chair Melissa Stephens said G21 Geelong Region Alliance had established itself as Victoria’s pre-eminent organisation for collaborative regional development over two decades, and welcomed the city’s commitment and partnership.

“Geelong is the capital of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic region. G21’s local government partners and 165 members look forward to a productive partnership which will guide good quality growth across all our communities in the years to come.”

G21 says it will soon release its 2024 Priority Projects, which includes a range of upgraded rail, bus, road and active travel connections linking Geelong and the region, major investment in cultural and tourism infrastructure, such as the Geelong Gallery, and faster delivery of mental health hubs in central Geelong, Corio, Torquay and Colac.

In May and June, the five mayors in the G21 region – Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Queenscliffe, Colac Otway and Golden Plains – will make the case for investment with state and federal ministers in their annual advocacy delegations to Spring Street and Canberra