Friends of the G21 region,
e-News provides you with a sense of the important issues, activities and proposed projects within the G21 region.
GROW tackles disadvantage
A bold and ambitious long-term strategy for tackling disadvantage in the G21 region was launched earlier this month — GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work).
GROW is based on significant international evidence that the best way to reduce areas of persistent disadvantage in a community is to reduce unemployment rates in those areas.
GROW will therefore bring together philanthropic, business, government and community organisations across the G21 region with that single objective — creating job opportunities specifically benefiting the most disadvantaged in our community.
It’s a long-term strategy that will benefit and strengthen the social and economic fabric of the entire G21 region over coming years. The GROW philosophy is that a prosperous community cares for the well-being of all of its members.
Nothing like GROW has ever been implemented on this scale anywhere in Australia. The strategy has an initial 10-year outlook, with the ability to extend to future years.
Geelong MLA Christine Couzens officially launched the GROW Strategic Plan document — developed with Regional Development Victoria funding — officially beginning the GROW project.
GROW is a joint initiative of Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 – Geelong Region Alliance.
GROW will create new job opportunities focused on areas within the region which have the highest levels of joblessness and persistent disadvantage. It will do this by targeting two significant means of job growth — procurement and investment.
These two powerful economic drivers, when properly harnessed, will achieve well-directed job growth in those areas within the region with the greatest disadvantage, and therefore in the greatest need.
In the G21 region there is over $18.5b spent annually on goods and services, both public and private sector. It is estimated that there will be $1.2b of major infrastructure projects in the region over the next few years, creating around 4500 jobs.
Achieving the most efficient use of, and benefit from, the substantial existing regional procurement spending choices is therefore at the very heart of the GROW formula.
Among other measures, GROW will:
Colac, Corio/Norlane and Whittington will be the initial focus; where unemployment is at double-digit levels, and well above regional and state averages.
In future years GROW will expand to take in other areas within the region.
GROW doesn’t seek to replace the many excellent programs addressing disadvantage and unemployment across the region (such as Northern Futures in Corio/Norlane, Whittington Works and the Youth Employment and Training Works Project in Colac) — rather, it seeks to work with them by providing region-wide connections and a united approach.
GROW has two patrons and nine champions forming a strategic directions group.
Give Where You Live Foundation has provided initial funding of $2m over 10 years to establish GROW, with the expectation that additional government, business and philanthropic funding will be committed as the project develops.
G21 has provided $30,000, plus an ongoing in-kind contribution. The state government provided $100,000 to develop the GROW Strategic Plan document. Alcoa Australia has also provided $300,000.
Further information may be found on the GROW website: www.grow.g21.com.au
The Geelong Performing Arts Centre upgrade, improving public transport, education upgrades, the construction of the Portarlington Safe Harbour and new rail stabling yards are all projects G21 had pursued vigorously.
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G21 Geelong Region Alliance
Ground level, 131 Myers Street
(PO Box 4078)
GEELONG, VIC 3200
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