Snapshots 2  
  December 2016  


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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 municipal council CEOs head to Canberra 
Launch of Strategic Plan: Preventing & Addressing Violence 
Great Ocean Road funding matched 
18 new regional train services for G21 region 
All aboard: ferry service sets sail from Portarlington 
G21 Board Update 
Minister Hutchins briefs G21 Board 
Geelong saleyards to reopen in January 
Tribal group regional HQ comes to Geelong 
Disability advocate educates G21 
Supporting a multicultural Geelong 
Construction on Colac pipeline begins 
Skills funding for the Gordon 
Geelong’s Backwell IXL new direction 

RDA BSW Committee update 
Latest news from the G21 Pillars 
Media articles of interest to the G21 region 
G21 Membership 


G21 municipal council CEOs head to Canberra

A G21 delegation of the region's municipal council CEOs to Canberra last week has advocated for key infrastructure and community development projects.

The delegation met with departmental secretaries to explain the challenges facing our region and promote opportunities to invest in key projects that will stimulate the region's economy.

As the principal policy advisers to ministers, Canberra’s senior bureaucrats are important influencers. It's in our region's interests to ensure they understand the region’s issues.

A number of G21’s Priority Project were on the agenda, including the LAND 400 military vehicle project, support for the growth of Avalon Airport and the innovative GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work) project to address disadvantage. Current federal grant schemes and the status of the $20 million Corangamite-Geelong investment fund were also discussed.

The CEOs also advocated for their municipalities' current funding applications under various federal government grant schemes.

The delegation follows on from the successful delegation of the full G21 Board in March this year, which met with a wide range of ministers and shadow ministers.

The delegation is part of a long-term G21 strategy to reinforce the merits and importance of key projects with decision makers at all levels in Canberra.

Launch of Strategic Plan: Preventing & Addressing Violence Against Women & Children

Violence StrategyA four-year family violence strategy will create a long-lasting partnership that produces innovative, collective action to address violence against women and children and create a safe and healthy community.
Preventing and Addressing Violence Against Women and Children takes a direct approach to preventing and addressing violence by building on existing relationships and strengths within the region and commits to working collaboratively to identify strategic action.
The first stage of the strategic plan has been realised with the development of an extensive framework and action plan. The Strategic Plan outlines a vision, objective, strategic themes and actions to achieve improved outcomes for women and children by 2020.
Violence against women and children is widely recognised as a significant global problem and a fundamental human rights abuse.
The impact of violence can be devastating for women and families and for the whole community. A collective strategy strengthens the region’s capacity to work effectively and to make significant change.
G21 is a proud key partner in the development of this work, along with Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee, City of Greater Geelong and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West.

Great Ocean Road funding matched

GOR rock nettingThe State Government has committed to match Federal Government funding, creating a $50 million joint package for the Great Ocean Road over a five-year period.
The bipartisan support for the iconic coastal road is a great boost to the region, and recognises the road’s important role as one of Victoria’s and Australia’s biggest tourist drawcards.
This is very positive news for regional tourism and local traders which have suffered significant downturns in their businesses due to the ongoing closures of the Great Ocean Road.
As a large agricultural area, this is also important to local food producers who need to move their products and people safely and efficiently.
The Great Ocean Road has a history of landslides and during September and October more than 120 were recorded following heavy rainfall.
Currently, work is underway to build a new retaining wall on the Great Ocean Road at Wye River, to improve safety and ensure two lanes of traffic will be kept open.
The concrete structure is part of the State Government’s $2 million emergency project to stabilise the embankment between Wye River and Separation Creek (and is separate to the above funding).

18 new regional train services for G21 region

Regional RailsThe State Government will introduce 18 new services on the Geelong rail line in the new year, regional Victoria’s busiest commuter corridor.
The Warrnambool line will get its first new services in more than a decade, with 10 new weekday services and the extension of a Geelong service to and from Warrnambool on Sundays.
This will increase accessibility across the G21 region, and provide opportunities for employment and post-secondary education in towns such as Winchelsea, Birregurra and Colac.
These are both G21 priorities under the Regional Rail Connections Priority Project.
The new train timetables is currently available to download. Services commence Sunday 29 January 2017.

All aboard: ferry service sets sail from Portarlington

Portarlington FerryThe Portarlington ferry to Melbourne will run for the next three years with a State Government deal securing the service.
A trial earlier this year proved successful, with hundreds of people making the trip to Docklands.
The 90-minute trip across Port Phillip Bay on the fast ferry rivals the drive from Portarlington to Melbourne and opens the Bellarine Peninsula to tourism potential.
Work is underway to raise speed limits on the Yarra to appropriate levels – which could slash journey times by up to 15 minutes. This is on track to be in place early in the new year, subject to a safety and environmental review.
Construction continues on the $15 million Portarlington Safe Harbour project, a G21 Priority Project, will provide dedicated ferry berthing. These works are progressing well and will be completed in early 2017.
Ferry schedule and pricing is here. 

G21 Board Update

G21’s November Board meeting saw a number of new faces at the table, with Cr Brian McKiterick (Surf Coast Shire), Cr Chris Potter (Colac Otway Shire) and Cr Susan Salter (Borough of Queenscliffe) joining the G21 Board as Council Appointed Directors.

We welcome Patti Manolis (Chief Executive Officer of Geelong Regional Library), who was elected to the Board for a two-year period at G21’s Annual General Meeting in November. She is replacing retired Director, Barbara Abley (Member, National Servicemen’s Association). Bill Mithen (Chief Executive Officer at Give Where You Live) was re-elected to the Board for a third term in office.

Cr Des Phelan was elected to the position of Deputy Chairperson for a two year period. 

Minister Hutchins briefs G21 Board

HutchinsOn 17 November, the G21 Board were briefed by Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins.
Minister Hutchins spoke to the Board about the State Government review of the Local Government Act and the Barwon Regional Partnership, before providing them an overview of the findings from the Geelong citizens' jury interim report.
The Geelong Citizens’ 100-member Jury has delivered its recommendations for a future Greater Geelong Council to the State Government.
The Citizens’ Jury was asked to consider: 
  • how the Mayor is elected
  • if a Deputy Mayor is needed and how they should be elected
  • the number of councillors needed
  • how wards are structured and how many representatives are needed in each ward.
Over the course of its deliberations, the Jury heard from a range of experts and had access to results of an extensive community engagement program conducted over several months.
The state government is now considering the Jury’s advice and will provide a response early next year. 

Geelong saleyards to reopen in January

In preparation for reopening in 2017, works have started to bring Geelong’s saleyards up to acceptable Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) standards.
Following extensive community engagement and a stakeholder workshop, the City of Grater Geelong found:
  • the saleyards provide a niche service to small stockholders
  • there are disproportionately high transport costs associated with getting small stockholders to other major saleyards in the region
  • s significant trend in peri-urban farming for smaller lots has encouraged a rise in the numbers of small stockholders
  • there is a need for a regional agribusiness strategy to identify and address changes in farming and stock management.
With a number of smaller livestock enterprises impacted by the Geelong Saleyards uncertain future, the Surf Coast Shire has offered its support in finding a regional solution to find a suitable long-term solution for livestock buying and selling.
The joint regional project – the ‘Livestock Market Channel Analysis’ – would analyse the range of livestock buying and selling options, including those that cater for small sheep and cattle producers. It would involve collaboration between the G21 Councils, the G21 Agribusiness Forum and Regional Development Victoria. 

Tribal group regional HQ comes to Geelong

Global tech company Tribal Group has announced a $1.17 million investment to establish its Asia Pacific headquarters in Geelong, which will boost the region’s tech sector and create 50 new jobs.
The UK-based global tech company provides world-class solutions for the education sector including tools to better assess students’ progress and systems to help education providers expand their learning audiences.
With offices already operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Kuala Lumpur and the Philippines, the decision to base its Asia Pacific headquarters in Geelong is a massive coup for regional Victoria.
The project will also secure a $25 million development program to build a new cloud-hosted IT platform, which will be located in the same precinct as Tribal’s new headquarters.
The precinct will include Runway Geelong, a local accelerator program for startups. Runway Geelong will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region, helping to stimulate new business growth and create jobs through mentoring, training and improving access to venture capital networks.

Disability advocate educates G21

G21 was fortunate to welcome Thomas Banks, Creative Director of the Centre for Access to conduct a staff professional development session on Disability Awareness.

Thomas has long been a friend of G21; he featured in a poster and vignette for the award-winning G21 Belonging and Connecting Project in 2014.
Through Thomas' friendly and cheeky personality, he challenges perceptions of disability and asks organisations to reflect on their own inclusive practice in their work places.  He draws upon his personal experiences to encourage audiences to think differently about access and inclusion.  His insights are real, honest, raw, humorous, and often at times, confronting.

If you think your workplace could benefit from professional training in disability and LGBT awareness, contact him at the Centre of Access him at or on 0407 869 519. 

Supporting a multicultural Geelong

The State Government is providing a $1.47 million boost to support diverse and disadvantaged communities in Geelong.
The funding, through local charity Diversitat, recognises Geelong’s status as a premier multicultural city, and includes: 
  • $920,000 over four years to develop positive social multicultural networks within the Barwon South West region
  • $150,000 over two years to empower Muslim women on issues like gender equity and family safety
  • $300,000 over three years to fund Geelong’s popular Pako Festa multicultural street festival
  • $100,000 over three years for the Hear Our Stories program.
Diversitat, has been a mainstay of the local migrant community in Geelong for 40 years, providing
vital services in areas such as immigration, welfare, aged and youth support, employment, arts and events.

Construction on Colac pipeline begins

Construction is underway on a new 11-kilometre pipeline that will help secure Colac’s water supply, effectively doubling the city’s capacity.
Colac will be connected to the Geelong system by the middle of next year, giving local residents and irrigators a secure water supply into the future.
The project has been fast-tracked by two years after an updated water security assessment revealed a forecast growth in demand for water.
The 11-kilometre pipeline will run from the treatment plant to the existing Colac supply pipeline.
The $19.3 million upgrade will allow the city to access water from the West Barwon Reservoir at Forrest and, if needed, the Barwon Downs borefield.

Skills funding for the Gordon

The State Government has announced a $14.6 million boost for The Gordon, to ensure it is ready to hit the ground running when Skills First is introduced in January.
On top of the $14.6 million, The Gordon will also receive more than $500,000 for new teaching equipment under the Specialised Teaching Equipment Initiative.
The fund ensures our TAFEs can offer students training on the latest equipment being used by industry today.
The Gordon will use its funding to set up a regional bakery training hub, as well as funding for a crane, excavator and forklift simulator and for a small laboratory to deliver training in the use of composite materials.

Geelong’s Backwell IXL new direction

The State Government has backed Backwell IXL’s move beyond traditional auto parts manufacture into infrastructure and logistics with funding to support the Geelong manufacturing stalwart, which has been part of the community for more than 150 years.
This investment means three new jobs will be created and ten jobs will be retained. Backwell IXL will buy new equipment and set up a team to focus on product innovation, business development and logistics.
Backwell IXL supplies automotive, mining, heating and cooling and electrical companies here and overseas.
The metal processing company is already moving into laser cutting and sheet metal fabrication as part of a long-term plan to diversify into other areas.


RDA BSW Committee update

Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) opening 18 January 2017

The Building Better Regions Fund will invest $297.7 million over four years in infrastructure projects and community investments to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.
Grants are available through two funding streams; Infrastructure Projects and Community Investments.
  • Infrastructure Projects Stream will support projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.
  • The Community Investments Stream will fund community building activities including, but not limited to, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability building activities. These projects will deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities.
A general information session will be held Colac at COPACC on 18 January 2017 with the Infrastructure Projects Stream closing on 28 February 2017 and the Community Investments closing on 31 March 2017.

*This program replaces the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF)
FREE Grant Writing & Business Case Development workshops

Regional Development Australia Barwon South West (RDA BSW) is offering professional development workshops in grant and business case development in Geelong, Colac and Warrnambool early in the New Year. 
The workshops are free of charge and are designed to enhance the understanding of BBRF objectives and assessment criteria.
Date: Monday 23rd January
Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm Community Investments Stream
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm Infrastructure Projects Stream
Date: Monday 30th January
Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm Community Investments Stream
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm Infrastructure Projects Stream
Date: Wednesday 1st February
Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm Community Investments Stream
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm Infrastructure Projects Stream
Bookings are essential. For more information, please contact Lyn Moore at the RDA BSW Regional Office, on (03) 5215 6062 or email: 

Click here to visit the RDA Committee website
Click here to follow RDA Committee on Twitter

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, Heritage & 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

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 Oct - Nov 2016.

G21 Membership

This month the G21 Board welcomes the following new member to G21 - Geelong Region Alliance:

Energy for the People

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
Bill Mithen

Bill Mithen
G21 Chairperson
Elaine Carbines

Elaine Carbines
Chief Executive Officer
0437 202 300


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G21 Geelong Region Alliance
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GEELONG, Victoria 3216

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