G21 Snapshots - March 2016
Snapshots 3
  March 2016  



As an important member of the broader G21 family, each month we will keep you informed of the key projects and activities of the G21 Alliance. G21 is the formal alliance of government, business and community organisations, working together to improve people's lives in the G21 region.

G21’s election-year Canberra delegation 
GROW backed with State funding 
$4m commitment to Geelong Safe Harbour project 

Start-up program aims to create 40 new businesses 
Another four years with G21 
Balmoral Quay win for Geelong foreshore 
State Government supports Colac Otway Shire to offset bushfire impact 
ALC expansion gets green light 
Geelong searches for its vibrant City ♥  
Winning WorkSafe bid brings hundreds of jobs to Geelong 
Wye River report released 
Karingal and St Laurence Community Services could merge 
Torquay North Children’s Centre to provide kindergarten and family services 
Working to protect Geelong’s water supply 

RDA BSW Committee update 
Items of regional interest 
Latest news from the G21 Pillars
Key Economic Indicators released
Media articles of interest to the G21 region
G21 Membership


G21’s election-year Canberra delegation

Canberra_Turnbull 2The G21 board travelled to Canberra early this month to advocate for key G21 region infrastructure and community development projects with federal ministers and shadow ministers.

The G21 board met with 17 key ministers, shadow ministers and advisers in Canberra, including:

  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his senior adviser on infrastructure and cities
  • Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne
  • Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt
  • Minister for Tourism, Senator Richard Colbeck
  • Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, Paul Fletcher
  • Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications & Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash’sCanberra_Shorten 2 senior adviser
  • Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester’s senior advisers
  • Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne’s senior adviser
  • Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer
  • Assistant Minister for Defence, Michael McCormack
  • Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten
  • Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism, Anthony Albanese
  • Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator Stephen Conroy
  • Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Rural Affairs, Joel Fitzgibbon
  • Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Brendan O’Connor
  • Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dennis Richardson.

With a federal election this year, now is the time to be telling our politicians of the projects that we in the region identify as the most important to our future economic and social wellbeing.
When election promises are being made over coming months we want politicians to have the G21 region’s specific priorities front-of-mind.
The timing of this delegation was especially relevant given the recent ministerial reshuffle, meaning there are new ministers in key portfolios of interest to this region.
With representatives of the region’s five councils, this delegation demonstrates that we are united as a region. 

GROW backed with State funding

GROW_1The State Government has given in-principle support to the G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) project since its inception.

Earlier this month it further backed the project by investing $1 million over five years.

Treasurer Tim Pallas announced the grant from the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, approved by Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford.

With this funding the state government is helping GROW tackle joblessness in key locations in the G21 region – Corio, Norlane, Whittington and Colac.

By the end of the first five years of the project the expected benefits are up to:

  • 500 jobs outcomes to be created in the G21 regionGROW_2
  • 10 piloted social procurement and investment projects commenced, and
  • 500 businesses/organisations in the G21 region to be active participants in the project.

The GROW project has been developed by Give Where You Live Foundation in partnership with G21 in response to employment challenges facing these locations.

GROW guides the efforts of numerous business and other stakeholders working together to create new jobs and investment opportunities. The project deals with the known correlation between unemployment and disadvantage.

GROW’s strategic approach will deliver a range of direct economic and community development benefits.

The government’s $1 million investment will support the start-up and ramp-up phases of the 10-year GROW project. 

$4m commitment to Geelong Safe Harbour project

yacht club safe harbourThe State Government has pledged $4 million towards Stage One of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct.
The redevelopment of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) through the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct will deliver significant social, economic and tourism benefits, injecting an additional $17.6 million to the regional economy. The project is a priority for G21 under the Cruise Ship Destination project.
The upgrades will include a new RGYC building, a maritime education hub, an international standard media centre, a proposed circular wave attenuator, facilities for visiting ‘boaties’ and improvements to the public access areas. 
Importantly the project will increase Geelong’s capacity and profile as a major boating destination, allowing it to attract higher visitation from recreational craft from around Victoria, Australia and overseas.
The project will also allow the Festival of Sails, which currently generates in excess of $14 million in regional economic benefit annually, to expand.

Also contributing to the project is the RGYC ($3 million) and the City of Greater Geelong ($3 million). The RGYC has submitted an application to the Federal Government for a further $9 million from the National Stronger Regions Fund, taking the project’s total cost to $19 million.  

Start-up program aims to create 40 new businesses

RMIT University in partnership with the Federal Government and NetGain has launched a start-up program that aims to create 40 new businesses in the G21 region in 2016.
The G21 Start-Up Program encourages entrepreneurs to take an idea and follow the training steps into starting a business.
Small business is a major employer in the Geelong region and successful small businesses employ people at a faster rate than larger businesses.
The G21 Start-Up Program gives local people the opportunity to develop their ideas into viable businesses. This is consistent with the broad objectives of the GROW project.
The start-up program is an Australian government initiative modelled on the successful New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) where participants receive business education, mentoring and financial support to develop their businesses.
The G21 start-up program encourages entrepreneurs to take an idea and follow the training steps into starting a business while achieving the training qualification Certificate IV in Small Business Management.
The program is targeted towards unemployed persons including those who have been recently retrenched from Corio, Norlane, Colac, Whittington, as well as younger participants. 

Another four years with G21

MOUA Memorandum of Understanding for continued financial support and membership of G21 Geelong Region Alliance until 2020 has been signed by member municipalities at G21’s February Board meeting in Colac.
G21 Chair and Greater Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons spoke positively of the relationship between G21 and its member councils:

"Since starting in 2002 the G21 Geelong Region Alliance has been widely recognised as a successful working example of a whole of government approach to regional planning and development." 
"The Geelong alliance has worked hard on projects like Portarlington Safe Harbour, Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area and Geelong Future Cities."
"By signing the updated Memorandum of Understanding we are committing to join together in leadership and continue the alliance’s long-term plan to develop this great region." 

Balmoral Quay win for Geelong foreshore

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville has announced significant improvements for the Geelong foreshore through public works as part of the $80 million Balmoral Quay development.
The public works will feature the renourishment of Rippleside and St Helen’s Beaches, drainage works, remediation works to the existing historic pier and the construction of a 600 metre promenade connecting the two beaches.
The State Government will provide $500,000 towards the cost of revitalising Rippleside Beach, with developer Balmoral Quay Pty Ltd (BQ) also making a major contribution to upgrading the foreshore area.
The development comprises of 85 townhouses, 30 marina berths as well as approximately $3.4 million in public works.
It will deliver 1,360 direct and indirect jobs over the next four years, with construction set to commence shortly.

State Government supports Colac Otway Shire to offset bushfire impact

The State Government has come out in support of Colac Otway Shire Council in the wake of the Christmas Day fires, contributing $400,000 to two important community projects in the shire.
The government will provide $200,000 towards the redevelopment of the Central Reserve’s off-field facilities, helping bring the outdated 1970s facilities to modern day standards. Upgrade of Central Reserve is an important element of the G21 Addressing Disadvantage Priority Project.
The state has contributed a further $200,000 for the revitalisation of Colac’s central business district to encourage more people to stop, shop and support local businesses.
The State Government has provided this funding to allow the Colac Otway Shire to continue delivering services to communities while also undertaking important bushfire rebuilding efforts. 

ALC expansion gets green light

The Colac Otway Shire has given the green light to Australian Lamb Company Group (ALC) to expand its facilities in Colac, creating approximately 50 additional jobs.
The $11 million expansion, which is part of a larger upgrade project, will a significant economic boost for Colac and the local meat industry.
ALC’s plans include the construction of a dry store facility and replacement skin salting facility, as well as extensions to the chillers, cold storage and distribution building, office, and expansion of the existing animal holding areas.
The works will redirect truck traffic flow entering and exiting the site, which will also benefit nearby residents.
The flow-on effects of this expansion will be significant for Colac, not just for the agricultural sector but for a variety of service industries associated with ALC. 

Geelong searches for its vibrant City ♥

The Central Geelong Task Force is encouraging members of the community to send in photographs and ideas of how they believe the Geelong’s ‘City Heart’ should look.

The City Heart project is one of 10 priority actions of the Central Geelong Action Plan. It recognises that a revitalised CBD should have a ‘vibrant, lively shopping, alfresco dining and event space environment with bay views, northerly aspect and great connections and active edges’.
A shop in Moorabool Street has been converted into the City Heart Gallery, which for the next month will accept and display photographs and ideas from the community.
There are two competitions as part of the City Heart project – the Mayor’s Choice Award and the People's Choice Award.
Click here for details on how to enter. 

Winning WorkSafe bid brings hundreds of jobs to Geelong

Hundreds of new jobs are on the way to Geelong after the State Government announced Quintessential Equity as the winning bidder to build WorkSafe Victoria’s new headquarters.
The new 14-storey head office will house more than 700 WorkSafe workers and contractors above the historic Dalgety and Co building at 1 Malop St.
The cost of the development is estimated at $120 million and will achieve a 6-star green rating.
During its construction it will create 22 new full-time jobs and three new full-time apprentices, and support local suppliers and contractors.
As part of a two-stage move from its current headquarters in Melbourne, more than 150 WorkSafe jobs, including insurance, health and safety, and support roles, will start in Geelong this year.
They will work in the TAC building at 60 Brougham St. The rest of head office is expected to move in 2018 when the development is complete.

Wye River report released

The State Government has accepted all recommendations made by the Inspector General for Emergency Management (IGEM) into the Wye River fire on Christmas Day.
The IGEM report included Mr Tony Pearce’s key findings from his investigation into the fire which destroyed 116 houses in Wye River and Separation Creek on December 25.
The report found that the appropriate level of resources were allocated to implement the initial attack strategy and proper consideration was given to the fire, terrain and safety of firefighters.
IGEM supported the decision making process and implementation of the fire control strategies to reduce risk to the communities.
Mr Pearce also found community information and warnings were issued and the evacuation was well planned and successfully executed.
The Inspector General made four recommendations on areas for improvement:

  • fire agencies review their systems for recording the allocation of resources
  • fire agencies review how information is recorded and shared, including mapping
  • fire agencies consider an earlier classification for incidents that are complex
  • EMV and relevant agencies review the response to Wye River with a view to prepare case studies of areas of leading practice

After receiving the IGEM’s report, the Government requested Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) to work with all agencies on how the recommendations would be implemented. 

Karingal and St Laurence Community Services could merge

Geelong disability agencies, Karingal and St Laurence Community Services, could merge to become one agency.
The Boards of both organisations have unanimously supported this proposed merger and have this month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Over the next two months due diligence processes will be undertaken by both organisations.
The Boards of Karingal and St Laurence believe that as a single organisation they can gain a wider reach and offer a more varied range of support services to allow people with a disability to reach their full potential.
Their combined operational experiences and public policy expertise would result in a stronger voice with which they could advocate on behalf of people with a disability to live the life they choose, and to actively participate in their local community.
The proposed merger would be dependent on gaining the approval of 75 per cent of the members of each organisation. That decision is still several months away.

Torquay North Children’s Centre to provide kindergarten and family services

Surf Coast Shire Council will seek expressions of interest from architects to design a new children’s centre in the growing Torquay North area.
The Torquay North Children’s Centre, a G21 Education & Training Pillar Project, will provide 88 kindergarten spaces, maternal and child health consulting rooms, allied health services, playgroups, parent groups and occasional child care.
The building will be designed with flexibility in mind so it can accommodate other uses such as community meetings. The design will also facilitate future expansion of the building if required.
Council kindergarten places are already at capacity in the Surf Coast Shire and demand will exceed supply if new facilities aren’t developed.
The Torquay North Children’s Centre is due to open at the start of 2018. 

Working to protect Geelong’s water supply

Barwon Water will switch on the Melbourne to Geelong pipeline in April to boost supplies for the greater Geelong Region.
Extreme dry conditions across Barwon Water’s service region have seen storages drop to levels not seen since the end of the millennium drought.
Storages currently sit at 38.4 per cent. This time last year they were at 64 per cent.
Geelong has a 59km pipeline linking the city to Melbourne’s water supply providing Geelong with greater water security. Later this year, Melbourne’s supply will be boosted by desalinated water as the Government has placed an order of 50 gigalitres.
By turning on the pipeline, water restrictions are now a last resort and Geelong can still maintain its liveability even should drying conditions continue.
Barwon Water is also preparing to bring online another back-up source, the Barwon Downs borefield. This resource has provided Geelong and surrounding towns with supplementary water during periods of drought since the early 1980s. It was last operated in 2010.
Tapping into these back-up sources is part of a balanced approach to managing the region’s water resources and providing greater water security.


RDA BSW Committee update 

Population Levers For Economic Growth in the Barwon South West

The RDA BSW funded “Population Levers for Economic Growth” project for the BSW region focusses on identifying the non-traditional policy levers which will assist in attracting target population cohorts to live in the BSW region.

The RDA Barwon South West Committee has forecast the region’s population to only be at least 480,000 people by 2022.

Slow population growth will constrain the economy by reducing business activity and access to labour, impacting on local opportunities and services in the region.

The Population Levers project will look beyond current initiatives and explore innovative actions and interventions that could rebalance arrangements and structures to grow the population in the region.

The project will examine case studies, where policy and structural arrangements have been used to favour regions, increase their competitiveness, address barriers and attract growth that would otherwise have gone to major cities.

This project will be managed by Corangamite Shire Council on behalf of the Barwon South West RDA committee.

A summit was held at Camperdown on the 16th March 2016 which explored where policy and structural arrangements could be used to favour regions, increase their competitiveness, address barriers and attract growth that would otherwise have gone to major cities.

It is hopeful that the outcomes from the summit will provide new ideas that can be applied in Barwon South West.

Population growth is critical for a region because it brings with it increased spending, particularly in housing, transport, education, retail and health. It also attracts additional labour and professional skills.

For more information, please contact the RDA regional office on 03 5215 6000.

Items of regional interest 

Estuaries unmasked night seminar
A FREE Community presentation. Hear about the fish species found in Victorian estuaries and the recent installation of a ‘fish ladder’ that is helping fish move upstream on the Barwon River. Also, how Victorian communities & scientists can work together to identify & better understand impacts (such as from bushfires) on local waterways. 19 April 2016, 6.30-8.30pm, Australian National Surfing Museum, 77 Beach Road, Torquay.
Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program 2016
Community organisations are encouraged to apply for funding to support the conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of coastal and marine environments. Grants of up to $7,500 will be provided to successful applicants to take practical local action. Closes 17 April 2016.
Community project sculpting the next stage for Wye River
Found objects from the recent Great Ocean Road bushfires will be given new life as contemporary artworks in the 2016 Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Melbourne-based artist Shoso Shimbo has worked with Wye River community members to transform salvaged objects into sculptural pieces that will be displayed on the Wye River foreshore. The 2016 Lorne Sculpture Biennale runs until 3 April 2016.

Latest news from the G21 Pillars

Each of the eight G21 Pillars meets on a regular basis to discuss regional issues and progress regional projects. Click on the below links for the most recent Pillar activity report.

G21 Arts & Culture Pillar 
G21 Economic Development Pillar 
G21 Education & Training Pillar 
G21 Environment Pillar 
G21 Health & Wellbeing Pillar 
G21 Planning & Services Pillar 
G21 Sport & Recreation Pillar 
G21 Transport Pillar 
Click here to view the full list of G21 Pillar Projects

Key Economic Indicators released

Enterprise Geelong has released the February Key Economic Indicators which monitors the region’s economy. The key points are:

Economic Indicator Data Movement Status
Unemployment rate 5.0% +1.5pts
Average weekly job advertisements 69 +25.5%
New monthly online job advertisements 1,120 -29.2%
Monthly domestic building activity $46.7m -34.7%
Monthly new dwelling building approvals 149 -19.5%
Monthly non-domestic building activity 30.7m -75.5%
Quarterly mediam house price $430,000 +2.4%

Media articles of interest to the G21 region

G21 tracks articles within the region that discuss G21 and the region’s Priority Projects.

Click here to view G21's Articles of Interest Jan - Feb 2016.

G21 Membership

Membership of G21 is open to eligible businesses, organisations and government bodies associated with the G21 region.  Details about eligibility for membership, annual fees and an application form may be viewed by clicking here.

This email has been designed to provide you, a valued member of the broader G21 Family, with a snapshot of the key projects and activities of the G21 Alliance over the past month. You have been included in the distribution list of this G21 Snapshots email, because you have an important role in improving people’s lives in the G21 region as a Federal or State parliamentarian, Councillor, Regional Management Forum member, senior manager with regional Councils, senior manager with Regional Development Victoria, G21 Member, G21 Pillar participant, G21 Board member or member of the media (a list of over 700 individuals or organisations). If there are other people in your organisation or network that you think should be aware of this email please feel free to pass it on to them.

If you want further information or wish to bring something to our attention, please contact either of us at the numbers or addresses given below or refer to the G21 website at www.G21.com.au.
Cr Darryn Lyons

Cr Darryn Lyons
G21 Chairperson
Elaine Carbines

Elaine Carbines
Chief Executive Officer
0437 202 300


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G21 Geelong Region Alliance
131 Myers Street
PO Box 4078
GEELONG, Victoria 3216

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