G21 Snapshots newsletter - March
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  March 2015
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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.

LAND 400 project moves to next phase
Deakin Geelong home to new Defence Procurement Office
Judge visits G21 region for GROW project
Education & Training Pillar meets with Victorian Government Ministers
Geelong CBD truck talks prove positive
Step forward for Colac's Central Reserve upgrade
Geelong Region Arts Atlas launched
Disability advocate educates G21
Region’s libraries ranked number one
G21 CEO on interim Bellarine coast protection committee
Federal funding helps support jobs of the future
$600,000 grant to support Geelong region small business
G21 Regional Tennis Strategy released for feedback 

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


LAND 400 project moves to next phase

Land 400The LAND 400 defence project, a G21 Priority Project, has jumped a major hurdle, with the Federal Government now committed to investigating options to build a new generation of armoured combat vehicles for the army.

On 19 February, Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews announced the government had given First Pass Approval for LAND 400 Phase 2 - Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability.

The Minister’s approval allows the Department of Defence to investigate options to replace the aging Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV). Australian industry will have the opportunity to participate in both the acquisition and support of LAND 400 Phase 2.

While first pass approval is an important step forward in the LAND 400 project, it does not yet guarantee that the armoured vehicles will be built, where they will be built or the type of vehicle that will be manufactured.

Importantly, the Request for Tender for LAND 400 Phase 2 is now open, giving companies or consortia the next four months to submit a detailed tender outlining their plan to build the vehicles. Defence will then have the same amount of time to screen and evaluate all the responses.

This announcement follows briefings to the defence industry and community leaders in Geelong on 16 February by Minister Andrews and DMO's Head of Land Systems, Major General Paul McLachlan.

Deakin Geelong home to new Defence Procurement Office

In other LAND 400 news, the new Geelong Defence Procurement Office, which will market the skill and capability of Victorian manufacturers to the largest defence contractors in the world, has opened at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus.

This was a key election commitment in last year’s state election. A dedicated Procurement Office will help promote Victoria’s abilities in design and manufacturing, as well as identify opportunities for growth in defence and non-defence businesses, and help businesses access local and global supply chains and form industry partnerships.

Geelong is a manufacturing powerhouse, home to innovative businesses and highly skilled workers. The Procurement Office will help grow the manufacturing and defence industries and create more high skill, high wage jobs.

By strategically locating the office at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Campus, businesses will be able to draw upon the world-class research capacity of Deakin University, alongside tenants of the Geelong Technology Precinct, including Carbon Nexus, Carbon Revolution and the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research.

Victoria’s defence industry has an annual turnover of about $1.5 billion. It includes more than 300 businesses and directly employs about 6,000 people who make equipment and provide services for defence activities.

Judge visits G21 region for GROW project

The SearchA judge from a prestigious national ‘social impact’ award has visited Geelong to see first-hand the innovative G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) project.

Judge Ms Seri Renkin, CEO of ten20 Foundation, is one of eight expert judges for The Search, a national competition run by the Centre for Social Impact.

This is important recognition of the work being done by GROW, one of 11 projects shortlisted for a possible $1 million of assistance as part of the competition.

GROW is a joint initiative of G21 and Give Where You Live in response to growing employment challenges facing the region.

GROW is funding a business plan specifically focusing on increasing employment through procurement processes, fostering small-to-medium sized business and helping people from areas of greatest needs (such as high unemployment) across the G21 region.

The Search program is the first of its kind in Australia to help develop the capacity of communities in the early stages of tacking social challenges such as multi-generational unemployment, homelessness, and crime and poverty.

Education & Training Pillar meets with Victorian Government Ministers

E & T Pillar meetingOn 18 February, the Education and Training Pillar welcomed Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert to a Pillar meeting.
The Pillar presented on key issues impacting skills education and training in the G21 region, including:
Minister Merlino addressed the Pillar, outlining his education priorities for the Victorian Government, which included:
  1. tackling disadvantage and assisting vulnerable families
  2. investigation into the Gonski education national funding agreement from the state's side
  3. providing pathways and opportunities to improve the transition from secondary to post-secondary education and training
  4. improving the quality of teaching, and as a result, improving education outcomes.
Minister Herbert also presented to the Pillar, speaking about the skills and training priorities for the government. 
The Pillar will maintain close relations with both Ministers to ensure G21’s ideas are at the forefront of their mind when it comes to making future budgetary decisions.

Geelong CBD truck talks prove positive

VicRoads and the City of Greater Geelong (COGG) are continuing positive discussions with the trucking and transport industry on freight movement within Geelong CBD.

Transport operators and industry representatives have explored options for alternative truck routes now that Mercer and Malop Street have full-time bans.

Options included introducing lower speeds through the CBD at certain times of day or encouraging other routes.

VicRoads will use this information to inform an economic assessment on the different options to reduce regional freight traffic through Central Geelong long-term. This includes investigating the impacts on transport industry, commercial activities and the local community.

Eliminating or reducing the volume of heavy transport traffic in the Geelong CBD is an important objective within the G21 Central Geelong Revitalisation Priority Project.

COGG is continuing to monitor the truck restrictions in Mercer and Malop streets for any unforseen impact elsewhere.

Step forward for Colac's Central Reserve upgrade

Colac Otway Shire Council is pushing ahead with a proposed redevelopment of Colac’s Central Reserve and has called for tenders to design a staged upgrade. Upgrading Central Reserve is an important element of the G21 Addressing Disadvantage Priority Project.

The council hoped to gain State Government funding to match a $2.5 million Federal Government grant for the project.

But after failing to attract a pre-election bipartisan funding commitment before last year’s state election, the council has decided to use the Federal Government money to start the redevelopment with a focus on the grandstand and netball change rooms.

Colac Otway Shire will try and attract funding from the State Government to complete the project in its entirety, but in the meantime the redevelopment will be broken into smaller elements, with tenders calling for detailed designs and costings for each component separately.

A reference group of Central Reserve users will be established to provide guidance on the designs. The council hopes to appoint a design company for the project by April.

Geelong Region Arts Atlas launched

The G21 Arts & Culture Pillar has celebrated the launch of the Geelong Region Arts Atlas, an online promotional tool for the arts community.

The Arts Atlas is an extensive online directory for the arts, with events, jobs and professional development opportunities. It’s a free digital platform for all types of artists to promote their work, and is easy to register. Already more than 100 artists have registered on the Arts Atlas with their own page.

The Arts Atlas also features a comprehensive register of arts venues and spaces. Featuring such a broad record of arts, cultural and heritage assets creates a register that  importantly, quantifies the G21 region’s arts capital. It also serves as a useful resource for artists, arts workers and the community.

Arts and Culture Asset Register and Arts Events Coordination are two Arts and Culture Pillar Projects that have been progressing for some years. It is rewarding to see them come to fruition.

Disability advocate educates G21

Thomas BanksG21 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, and last month won the Leadership and Advocacy award at the Geelong Awards for People with a Disability 2015.

Thomas educated staff on communicating with people with a disability, and helped create a ‘Best Practice’ for when working with people with disabilities.

He was fun and insightful to work with, and is available to lead your staff also. Contact him at author.thomas.banks@gmail.com or on 0407 869 519.

Region’s libraries ranked number one

An independent assessment of the Public Libraries Victoria Network’s 10 key indicators has found that the Geelong Regional Library Corporation is the highest ranking of the 47 public library services in the state.

The Independent Analysis of GRLC Performance and Industry Standing Annual Survey of Public Libraries (2013-14), describes the Geelong Regional Library Corporation(GRLC) as a “highly efficient high-performing public library” which displays the “desired combination of very high service levels and usage delivered below average industry cost”.

The report, which compares Victoria’s 47 public library services on a number of benchmarking indicators found GRLC ranked number one based on the 10 key indicators of service and collections quality, efficiency and participation.

This is outstanding considering it is ranked 21st on funding levels per capita, making it amongst the most efficient public libraries in Victoria, with a ranking of second on library visits per dollar expenditure.

G21 CEO on interim Bellarine coast protection committee

The Bellarine Bayside Committee of Management (BBCoM) has been replaced by a new Interim Committee for 18 months, Member for Bellarine and Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville has announced.

Bellarine Bayside Committee of Management is responsible for the planning, management, care and protection of assets and crown land along the North Bellarine foreshore from Portarlington to St Leonards.

Minister Neville said that over the last few years there had been growing concerns raised by local communities about the lack of engagement by Bellarine Bayside and about the management of the foreshore. She said the community had expressed a desire for changes.

Diane James AM has been appointed as the Interim Chair of the BBCoM. Ms James is a well-respected leader with extensive experience in community engagement and business development. The Interim Committee all bring a vast array of experience combined with strong community links, and include G21 CEO Elaine Carbines.

An independent review of BBCoM will assess governance, finances and community engagement processes to ensure the right structures are in place to support excellent service delivery and environmental outcomes for the local community and visitors to the Bellarine.

Federal funding helps support jobs of the future

Geelong’s Backwell IXL has celebrated the announcement of a grant that will help support manufacturing jobs of the future.

The Federal Government will provide a $205,000 grant (to be matched by $205,000 from IXL Backwell) from the Automotive Diversification Programme. The funding will support the manufacture of components for new generation heating, venting and lighting units as well as other non-automotive parts.

The $20m Automotive Diversification Programme is aimed at supporting workers and communities in Victoria and South Australia make the transition from the automotive sector to other growing parts of the manufacturing economy.

Applications for round two of the programme are open. For more, go to: www.business.gov.au

$600,000 grant to support Geelong region small business

Small businesses in Geelong will be able to take advantage of enhanced small business advisory services, after the Geelong Chamber of Commerce was awarded a $600,000 grant to continue and expand the Small Business Smart Business program, which has delivered thousands of hours of training to small business operators over the past two years.

The Federal Government grant will give Geelong small businesses new opportunities to tap into low-cost support from experts via mentoring, workshops and seminars.

This new three-year program is designed to provide real skills, and follow-up support to small business owners as they implement change that builds business and opportunities for new jobs.

Small Business Smart Business will offer support to hundreds of small businesses a year by delivering low-cost face-to-face intensive programs and individual mentoring under the five business solutions streams of:
  • funding avenues and financial analysis
  • building your business
  • making the most of your talent and team
  • management capabilities
  • digital engagement implementation.
G21 Regional Tennis Strategy released for feedback

Draft G21 Regional Tennis StrategyThere is still opportunity to contribute to the draft G21 Regional Tennis Strategy, which is currently released for public comment.

The Regional Strategy provides a framework for the development of tennis participation and facilities throughout the region within the next 10 years. It will provide clear direction for all stakeholders to ensure that tennis will grow across the region.

Research has identified that there is a significant demand for tennis, with high numbers of people that are not currently playing the sport but are interested in doing so.

The vision of this strategy is for the G21 region to be Victoria’s fastest growing and most accessible region for tennis by 2025.
Priorities of the strategy include the following key areas:
  • Structure of tennis
  • Participation
  • Facility provision and renewal
  • Club support and development
  • Servicing and delivering
The draft G21 Regional Tennis Strategy is on exhibition for public comment until March 27, 2015. For details on how to provide feedback, click here.


Regional Development Australia Barwon South West (RDA BSW) Committee update

DEDJTR’s regional economic development strategy and service delivery model to be reviewed

On 12 February, Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford announced a review into the Department of Economic Development’s regional service delivery model and the best policies to drive economic growth in regional Victoria.

The review will be conducted over the next three months and will involve:

  • Forming an External Advisory Board which will include business, local government and community leaders from across Victoria.
  • Conducting a program of targeted stakeholder engagement over the coming weeks, led by Ben Hubbard, Principal, Creswell Advisory.
  • Inviting input and ideas from all interested members of the public (please see below for information on how to contribute to this process).
  • Building on the considerable strategic planning already undertaken by regional leaders and communities across Victoria to identify the best new options to drive sustainable economic growth in rural and regional Victoria.

The review will cover the programs and services currently delivered by the department, including within Regional Development Victoria (RDV), agriculture and biosecurity services, and transport.

Opportunities to contribute to the review

The Government is looking to draw on community and business expertise on the best approach to regional economic development and to the Department of Economic Development’s regional service delivery. All interested members of the public are invited to submit their ideas and input for consideration in the review. Please click here for further information.

The external advisory board consists of:

  • The Hon. John Brumby, Chair
  • Prof Jane den Hollander, Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University
  • Dr Bronte Adams, Principal, Dandolo Partners
  • Mr Craig Niemann, CEO, City of Greater Bendigo
  • Mr David McKenzie, Chair, Committee for Greater Shepparton
  • Mr Ross Brown, Executive Director, Brown Brothers
  • Mr Richard Elkington, Chair, Gippsland Regional Development Committee
  • Ms Jo Bourke, Executive Director, Wimmera Development Association

For more information, please contact our regional office on 03 5215 6000 or email us rda.barwonsouthwest@rdv.vic.gov.au

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

Items of regional interest

G21 Agri-business Forum Newsletter

The February 2015 G21 Agribusiness Forum newsletter looks at the new agribusiness developments contributing strongly to the local economy, plus upcoming regional agribusiness events.

Have a say on Surf Coast public space

The Surf Coast Shire is seeking community views to help gauge satisfaction with its open spaces, including parks and nature reserves. The Open Space Strategy Issues and Opportunities Discussion Paper looks at current open space and future trends, issues and opportunities. Submissions can be made in writing, via email or by community survey by 3 April, 2015.

2015 Training Summit

Take your business to the next level, join proven experts as they speak on social media, marketing, financial management and customer service. They’ll share their knowledge and learning's with you to take your business to the next level. 18 March 2015, 9am-5pm, Geelong City Hall, 30 Gheringhap St, Geelong.

Key Economic Indicators released – February 2015

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

Economic Indicator
Data Movement Status (Fav/Unfav)
Monthly Unemployment Rate
(Barwon Western District)
7.4% +0.3pts
Average Weekly Job Advertisements
(Barwon Region)
101 +71.2%
New Monthly Online Job Ads
(Geelong & Great Ocean Road)
894 +53.9%
Monthly Domestic Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
$58.8m +3.5%
Monthly New Dwelling Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
135 -25.8%
Monthly Non-Domestic Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
$26.1m -83.8%
Quarterly Median House Prices
(City of Greater Geelong)
$408,000 -0.5%
Quarterly ABN Registrations
(City of Greater Geelong)
988 -20.1%

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

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 2015

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.
snapshots_Lyons   Elaine Carbines headshot
Cr Darryn Lyons
G21 Chairperson


Elaine Carbines
Chief Executive Officer

0437 202 300

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