AUSTRALIA’S Governor-General talked up Geelong’s past, present and future (though not its football team) during an official visit to the city on Friday.
General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove visited the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, where they were welcomed by acting Geelong mayor Peter Murrihy.
Speaking before an audience of City of Greater Geelong councillors and local leaders, the Governor- General – who will retire at the end of June – said Geelong was a key port in the early gold rush, and a city of innovation that invented the Hills hoist and Australia’s first commercial fridge.
“The good news is that Geelong has become known for its resilience, its determination, and its instinct to embrace and cultivate change.
“The Geelong of today is not just surviving; it’s thriving. I think your city has become synonymous with regrowth, reinvention and reinvention, all leading to new opportunities.”
He also noted the growing support in the city for fast rail to cut the travel time between Geelong and Melbourne to as low as half an hour but said his experiences in Shanghai showed it could be cut further.
“Why would we limit it to 30 minutes?” he said.
“That’s in China, where of course it’s a little easier to have right of way put in for the train, but the technology is absolutely available.”
Cr Murrihy said it was a tremendous honour to have met Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove.
“Sir Peter has been a giant figure in modern Australian history, making an incredible contribution throughout public life, his long and distinguished military career, and across a range of other fields. He is an inspiring person and it was wonderful to welcome him to Geelong.”
The city’s manager of economic development and events Tim Ellis delivered a presentation on Geelong’s UNESCO City of Design designation.