The inaugural Geelong City Deal report has been released, highlighting strong progress in the first year of the ten-year deal.
The $382.48 million deal brings together three levels of government with industry, community and the university sector to drive the revitalisation of central Geelong and unlock the economic potential of the Great Ocean Road region visitor economy.
The report captures some of the key achievements including:
- Stage 1 road infrastructure completed at the Deakin University Future Economy Precinct to support future growth in traffic volumes and improving safety
- Planning and design work of key projects along the Great Ocean Road
- Smart parking initiative and trials conducted in central Geelong
- Installation of improved accessibility features in central Geelong
- Installation of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour wave attenuator is completed by December
- Essential repairs and maintenance carried out on berthing piles as part of the redevelopment of Queenscliff Ferry Terminal
- Construction of the Gheringhap Street drain completed, installing 450m of underground stormwater drain connecting into Corio Bay
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the deal was driving investment in the local economy and helping create local jobs.
“Through our investment in the region we also want to encourage visitors to explore Geelong and the Great Ocean Road region as Victoria takes its first steps out of COVID,” Mr Tudge said.
“When Victoria opens up again we want to see people getting out in their own backyard and this region is the perfect place to start.”
Victorian Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, said the continued investment of the Geelong City Deal would be an important part of generating new opportunities for the region’s economy.
“These projects are building on what’s already great about Geelong and the region, making it an even better place to live, work, invest and visit,” Ms Symes said.
“We’ve achieved a lot in the first year and we’re going to carry that momentum through, especially at a time when Geelong and Victoria need the economic stimulus.
“It’s why we’ve looked at every opportunity possible to fast-track works and payments, including early works on the Queenscliff Ferry Terminal.”
Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens, said the continued investment of the Geelong City Deal would be vital for the region’s economic recovery.
“These projects will continue to go a long way for local jobs, liveability and tourism. I know many people are keen to get back out to Geelong – that’s why it’s vital the infrastructure and attractions are there to welcome visitors back.”
Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, said it was wonderful to see the progress which has been made on a number of game changing projects for Geelong, Lorne, Queenscliff, Kennett River and Apollo Bay.
“As COVID-19 restrictions ease in regional Victoria, supporting the visitor economy in coastal communities along the iconic Great Ocean Road is even more important. Our investments in the Queenscliff ferry terminal, Apollo Bay Harbour and Lorne’s Point Grey will create first class tourism assets for these communities,” Ms Henderson said.
City of Greater Geelong Chief Executive Officer, Martin Cutter, said significant investment in the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan would deliver a range of projects to create a vibrant city centre and drive innovation.
“Investment in central Geelong will leverage new business development, create jobs in the city centre, support the city’s liveability and attraction and position our region to continue to build on its emerging industry strengths,” Mr Cutter said.
Several project plans are currently in the process of being finalised between the Australian and Victorian governments. Approval of the project plans will help build upon the initial momentum created, by driving those projects to the construction phase.
This will support the region to boost and manage visitor numbers. It will also help increase the visitor spend in the region by shifting the perception of the Great Ocean Road as a day trip destination to an overnight and multi-day visitor experience.
The City Deal will deliver projects from the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and a range of other projects to improve public infrastructure at key tourist sites along the Great Ocean Road.
The combined contribution of $174.2 million from the three levels of government for the construction of a new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and surrounding public realm improvements will attract visitors and events from across the country and overseas as COVID restrictions ease, and position Geelong as a global and national competitor for business events in the longer-term.
The Geelong City Deal is a ten-year, $370.23 million agreement between the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong, supported by an additional $12.25 million from other key funding partners.