Friends of the G21 region,
e-News provides you with a sense of the important issues, activities and proposed projects within the G21 region.
State election on our door-step
When you cast your vote tomorrow (29 November) the tally sheet of the major parties’ commitments against G21’s 2014 Priority Projects for the region may help your decision making.
A state election year, but much, much more . . .
These are projects for which G21 has advocated strongly in the lead up to the election.
They are projects the G21 Board short-listed early in 2014 as those which would be most beneficial to the economic and social health of the entire region. All of the projects require state government support.
Of course, there are many party commitments made to this region which are not included in the G21 tally sheet, because the commitments don’t relate to a G21 Priority Project.
You can view the latest G21 Priority Project election tally sheet by clicking here.
The Redevelopment of the Yarra Street Pier Project, to support the region’s fledgling cruise liner tourism industry, and the Future Cities Project, including the redevelopment of Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) and Geelong Gallery, were equal-top among G21’s priorities.
The Coalition has committed $35m towards redeveloping GPAC, while Labor had promised $30m if elected. Both commitments would allow substantial works to proceed, however more is required for a complete redevelopment.
Major progress has also been made on improving public transport between Geelong and Melbourne, with both the Coalition and Labor committing to trains every 20 minutes during core hours, beginning in early 2015. A major win!
We have seen significant commitments and progress on other G21 Priority Projects including the Portarlington Safe Harbour, the Armstrong Creek urban growth area, Avalon Airport’s rail link and revitalising central Geelong.
Also, the Coalition and the Victorian Greens have committed to additional passenger services on the Geelong – Warrnambool rail line, to provide people in the south-west with badly needed improved public transport access to education, hospital and other services in Geelong and Melbourne.
Sadly, at the time of writing, Labor had failed to match this commitment.
G21 increased the intensity of its social media advocacy for priority projects during this election year, spear-headed by a Twitter campaign targeting state politicians and candidates.
We also launched a G21 Instagram account and continued our social media work through Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media is an increasingly powerful element of our advocacy.
The third annual G21 Stakeholder Forum, which featured the Premier Dr Denis Napthine, the Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Leader of the Greens Greg Barber, was a sell-out success. It underscored the importance of our region in the minds of our political leaders.
At the federal level, the G21 Board visited Canberra in March. It met with the then relatively new Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and key Cabinet ministers and shadow ministers. The annual excursion once again proved important in laying the foundations for future collaboration and advocacy on significant matters for the region.
In response to the growing employment challenges facing the region - the impact of Alcoa and Ford among them - G21 teamed up with Give Where You Live to launch the GROW (Geelong Region Opportunities for Work) project.
GROW’s origins go back to 2011 when the G21 Board commissioned its Addressing Disadvantage Taskforce to examine models for addressing disadvantage across the region.
GROW this year received $100,000 from the state’s Regional Growth Fund, to be matched by Give Where You Live, and G21 on behalf of its five member councils. The funds will develop a business plan focusing on increasing local employment through procurement processes, growing small-to-medium business and helping people into work from areas of high unemployment.
It’s a practical, bold, exciting and challenging project that complements other good works being done across the region. This project will prove its worth over coming months and years.
G21’s Health and Welling team’s ‘Belonging and Connecting’ project received a Highly Commended award in the Victorian Disability Sector Awards. The project featured nine young people with disabilities from the G21 region telling their stories in a series of video vignettes designed to demystify disability.
The team also produced the ‘Spreading the Message’ project which brought together a group of Aboriginal young people at Northern Bay College to share their stories through designing and painting timber bollards reflecting their experiences and culture. A companion booklet and video were also produced to help similar projects to develop.
In September G21 released the G21 Region Public Transport Strategy, a document to help guide decision making about public transport in the region for the next 20 years.
The G21 Region Health & Wellbeing Plan 2013-17 and the G21 Health & Wellbeing clearing house website were both launched, laying important foundations for future work in this field.
Significantly, the G21 Region Profile 2014 was released. Not since G21 produced the Geelong Region Plan in 2007 has there been such a wealth of up-to-date socio-economic information about the G21 region gathered in one package. It is an essential reference for G21 pillar, government and business decision making.
We invite you to read about all of our work in the Report to the Region 2014 on our website – www.G21.com.au
Your continued support for G21 is valued by the G21 Board and your feedback is always welcome. After all, you are the reason for G21’s existence.