G21 Snapshots newsletter - May
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  May 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.

Deal to keep Jetstar at Avalon for 10 years
Bold project tackles disadvantage in G21 region
$257m for new regional trains and jobs
Solid benefits for G21 region in State Budget
Boost for Norlane in federal budget through National Stronger Regions Fund
Federal budget potentially kind to G21 region
City in a Park - release of plan for Greening Geelong
New proposal to reduce West Gate Bridge congestion
Upstart – Inspiring our next generation of global entrepreneurs
Ice Help Line to support families and users
Alcoa Anglesea to close
Sea wall upgrade protects coastal assets at Shortland’s Bluff 

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

Welcome to new members


Deal to keep Jetstar at Avalon for 10 years

The Victorian Government has guaranteed the future of Avalon Airport, signing an agreement with Jetstar that secures operations for the next 10 years and expands passenger services.

The landmark partnership will save up to 200 jobs and prevent the airport from ceasing passenger services. Securing the future of Avalon Airport is a G21 Priority Project.

The previous 18 month deal was set to wind down at the end of this month, ending passenger services at Avalon.

The new agreement marks a strong partnership with Jetstar that will secure the future of Avalon and its workers for the next decade, and see the airline increase operations and expand to new routes to grow patronage.

As part of the agreement, over the next 18 months, Jetstar will increase the number of flights from five to seven per day and fly to two new domestic destinations.

This will lay the groundwork for a potential future expansion that will cement Avalon Airport as Victoria’s second major passenger airport, including with future international carriers.
One-third of all arrivals in to Avalon are tourists and the extra services will see about 700 additional visitors per week arrive in the region, boosting the local tourism industry.

Bold project tackles disadvantage in G21 region

On 8 May, a bold and ambitious long-term strategy for tackling disadvantage in the G21 region was launched — 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 create new job opportunities in 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.

GROW will work to reverse under-investment by business in the targeted areas by encouraging new entrepreneurship, supporting the growth of existing businesses and encouraging government and not-for-profit employment.

GROW will also work to ensure jobseekers from the target areas have access to support, training and the services necessary to become suitable candidates for jobs, at the same time, GROW will work with employers in and around targeted areas to ensure they are matched with suitable candidates for their jobs.

Initially, GROW will focus on target areas Colac, Corio/Norlane and Whittington. There, unemployment is at double-digit levels, and well above regional and state averages.

Click here to follow GROW on twitter
Click here to follow GROW on Facebook

$257m for new regional trains and jobs

The Victorian Government will invest $257 million in new regional rail carriages and infrastructure to significantly boost capacity across the regional network and create nearly 200 jobs.

The State Budget has included funding for 21 new VLocity carriages to carry an extra 1,500 passengers V/Line passengers across the state, every day.

The investment includes a new $115 million maintenance and stabling yard in Waurn Ponds, which will create more than 100 jobs during construction and about 30 ongoing jobs once completed.

The new depot in Waurn Ponds will also offer local education and training opportunities, with the government to work closely with the TAFE sector to develop programs for apprentices in the rolling stock industry, training the next generation of train and tram engineers.

The development of a rail stabling yard at Waurn Ponds is one element of the Regional Rail Connections G21 Priority Project.

Construction of the 21 VLocity carriages is expected to commence in mid-2016 with the first carriages to be in service by late 2017. Construction of all 21 new carriages will be complete by the end of 2018.

Solid benefits for G21 region in State Budget
The G21 region stands to benefit in the longer-term from many of the initiatives in the 2015-16 state budget.

A number of key election commitments were officially recognised in the budget. These include:
  • $115 million for Waurn Ponds stabling and maintenance yard for V/Line trains (new commitment, see above)
  • $70 million for Simonds Stadium (an Economic Development Pillar Project)
  • $30 million for Geelong Performing Art Centre (a G21 Priority Project)
  • $3.15 million for Queenscliff Sports Precinct
  • Over $30 million worth of upgrades and rebuilds at across multiple Geelong schools (including the new Bannockburn P-12 School, an Education & Training Pillar Project)
  • $13.5 million for Portarlington Safe Harbour (a G21 Priority Project)
  • $3 million for stage 2 of Leopold Community Hub project
  • $3 million for the Geelong Manufacturing Hub
In addition to specific projects, there is the opportunity for the region to benefit from a range of funding initiatives. The $200 million Regional Jobs Fund be especially welcome within the G21 region to help emerging industries.

The $200 million Future Industries Fund will invest in six high-growth sectors of the state economy. This will potentially benefit a number of G21 region industries, including in the food and fibre processing areas. G21 will be seeking details on this fund as a priority.

There was also formal confirmation of an extra $7.5 million for the Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF), to help the transition of automotive workers and related businesses. This builds on the existing GRIIF allocation of $29.5 million.

Boost for Norlane in federal budget through National Stronger Regions Fund

The Australian Government has granted $7.25 million towards a Norlane integrated community hub development under the National Stronger Regions Fund.

The $40 million Baptcare project will develop a disused former school site to include affordable housing units, a new aged care facility, an Allied Health and General Practice as well as a gym and retail space.

This much needed facility for the Norlane community is consistent with the broad objectives of the recently-launched GROW project.

The investment will strengthen communities in Norlane and Corio by improving economic growth, boosting productivity and creating employment opportunities. As well as supplying a solution to the obvious need for such community facilities, the project will play an important role in the rejuvenation of Geelong’s northern suburbs.

The project will create 66 full-time jobs in the construction phase, with 100 jobs created when the redevelopment became operational.

Federal budget potentially kind to G21 region

The overall structure of the 2015-16 federal budget appears potentially to benefit the G21 region as it continues its economic transition.

There were few new project commitments specific to the G21 region in the budget. However, the broad incentives for small-to-medium sized business, including employment incentives, come at a welcome time in the region’s economic evolution.

The budget included much-needed funding for the Norlane community (see above), which is consistent with the broad objectives of the recently-launched GROW project.

The government’s revised job creation measures to help unemployed people find and move into work are also timely for the GROW project.

There is $1.3 million for the local jobs fund Geelong Employment Connections, which will deliver a range of job creation programs to assist manufacturing and retrenched workers.

Nationally, stronger support for youth transition to work, simplified work experience arrangements and greater flexibility in the operation of wage payment subsidies, and reinvigoration of the Restart wage subsidy to help businesses employ older workers, are all consistent with the GROW project’s philosophy and objectives.

There was also confirmation of previously announced funding for a number of projects. Click here for further details.

City in a Park - release of plan for Greening Geelong

‘City in a Park' will transform Central Geelong into an attractive, high amenity environment by implementing a series of streetscaping and greening projects. Revitalisation of Central Geelong is a G21 Priority Project.

Developed by the Central Geelong Taskforce, the long-term plan involves 26 separate projects — including a $30 million expansion of Johnstone Park which will create 2.3 hectares of public parkland and pedestrian space within the CBD.

Projects across the city include:
  • beautified streetscapes with large-scale tree plantings on newly created landscaped median strips and sidewalks
  • the relocation of the Moorabool St bus interchange
  • creation of a more efficient stormwater system with underground drainage and storage areas
  • changes to create more efficient traffic flow around the CBD
  • creation of dedicated cycle lanes throughout the city.
The initiative will be developed gradually, with full completion expected within 15 years.

A ’City in a Park’ was undertaken by Professor Rob Adams (City of Melbourne), who has won multiple awards as the leader of the revitalisation of the Melbourne City Centre and Steve Thorne (Design Urban).

To provide feedback, email revitalisation@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

New proposal to reduce West Gate Bridge congestion

The Western Distributor, a road project proposed by Transurban that delivers a motorway alternative to the West Gate Bridge and moves trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s west, has progressed to stage three of the Victorian Government’s market-led proposals guideline.

Reducing congestion around the West Gate Bridge to improve transport links to Melbourne is a G21 Priority Project.

The Victorian Government will now work with Transurban to develop a detailed proposal, investment case and procurement plan to significantly improve travel times and reliability as well as providing a new, direct freight route to the Port of Melbourne.

The current proposal, which would generate 3,500 construction jobs, cost $5-5.5 billion and have a cost benefit ratio of 1.6, incorporates the delivery of three key sections:
  • Western Distributor – proposed tunnel and elevated motorway connecting the West Gate Freeway with Port of Melbourne, CityLink and CBD. This is estimated to increase the river crossing capacity by 60 per cent.
  • West Gate Freeway widening – boosting capacity of the corridor by approximately 50 per cent.
  • Webb Dock access improvements – complementing works already underway, improving safety and access.
Importantly, the Western Distributor would help wipe around 15 minutes off trips to Melbourne from the G21 region.

If agreed to by the government, the project would start at the end of this year and be completed by 2020.

Upstart – Inspiring our next generation of global entrepreneurs

The Upstart Challenge is a unique business ideas competition for high school students that builds skills and experience to help our young people make their mark in the new economy.

The competition aims to create an entrepreneurial culture and foster strong relationships between students, educators, industry and the community in the G21 region.

A key aim for the program is to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship and the validity of business start-up as a career option for young people and to provide participants with real world entrepreneurial experience and activities to build resilience and optimism in the future.

Can you help?
Mentors are required, to share entrepreneurial and business experiences to participating teams, and Industry sponsors are required to support Geelong’s next generation of innovators and job creators.

Click here for more information.

Ice Help Line to support families and users

The Victorian Government has established a new Ice Help Line as part of a $45.5 million Ice Action Plan to support families and ice users.

The Help Line – 1800 ICE ADVICE (1800 423 238) – will direct users and families to the treatment and support services they need, and provide general information to the community about ice and its effects.

The Help Line initiative follows on from the G21 region's ICE FIGHT campaign, which began in 2014 to address the growing problem of ice usage in Geelong and across the G21 region.

G21 is one of a number of organisations and businesses supporting the ICE FIGHT within the G21 region.

The www.ice.vic.gov.au website has also been launched to try and stop ice on the streets and at the source, with information on treatment services and how the community can get involved in tackling the drug.

Alcoa Anglesea to close

Alcoa has announced that it will permanently close the Anglesea coal mine and power station at the end of August.

The power station previously supplied approximately 40 percent of the power needs for the Point Henry smelter in Geelong. It has been on the market since Point Henry’s closure last year; however has failed to find a buyer. The closure will see 85 employees lose their job.

The decision to close the Anglesea coal mine and power station is a huge blow for workers and their families and to the regional economy; but not unexpected.

It highlights the importance of local businesses taking advantage of funds that support regional growth and employment, such as the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF) (granted an extra $7.5 million in the state budget, building on the existing GRIIF allocation of $29.5 million), the $200 million Future Industries Fund and the $200 million Regional Jobs Fund.

The Surf Coast Shire has had active discussions with the Victorian Government about developing an employee response plan to support these employees. They will also speak to Alcoa about a number of issues including the transition of employees and the rehabilitation of the site.

Sea wall upgrade protects coastal assets at Shortland’s Bluff

Crucial works to repair and rebuild a sea wall at Shortland’s Bluff will help prevent coastal erosion caused by storm surges and protect navigational aids at Queenscliff.

The $150,000 works managed by the Victorian Government were completed prior to Easter and will help defend the seawall and coastal assets before the onset of powerful winter swells.

The recent works will also assist in safe passage for boats and ships entering Port Phillip Bay Heads at ‘The Rip’ – among the most hazardous tidal port approaches in the world.

The rebuild of this sea wall means the Port Phillip Heads Navigational aids and historical lighthouse will be better protected, preventing accidents and environmental disasters in our shipping channels.

Following storms last year, significant scouring was reported at the toe of the sea wall, with erosion behind the wall causing it to slump, crack and become unsafe.


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

First Round of the National Stronger Regions Fund announced

Funding of $212.2 million has been approved for 51 projects under Round One of the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund. The Fund supports economic growth and productivity, and boosts employment in areas of disadvantage in Australia's regions.

Victoria has been very successful with funding of $83.9 million for 19 projects being approved. The successful projects for the Barwon South West region are:

The Grampians Peaks Trail Project
The project will construct a 144km, multi-day walking trail across the length of the Grampians National Park. The project  will showcase the beauty and majesty of the Park’s natural and cultural landscapes, the Grampians Peak Trail will be one of the great iconic walks of Australia with an estimated visitation of 23,000 people per annum by 2020.

Commonwealth Approved Funding - $10,000,000
Total Project Cost - $27,000,000

Norlane Community Centre
The project will redevelop a disused school site into the Norlane Community Centre.    The Centre will incorporate affordable housing units, a new aged care facility, an Allied Health and General Practitioner clinic, a gym and retail space. The Centre will also include a community hub and landscaped outdoor meeting and play areas to facilitate and encourage community interaction.

Commonwealth Approved Funding - $7,250,000
Total Project Cost - $ 40,512,000

Port Fairy Waterfront Development Project
The project will redevelop the waterfront to provide a vibrant new asset featuring a dedicated space to showcase and sell local and regional produce, a waterfront restaurant, an al fresco area with fresh local seafood and produce outlet.

Commonwealth Approved Funding - $1,425,000
Total Project Cost - $2,850,000

All applicants of Round One have been advised of the outcomes of their applications and will have the opportunity to receive feedback on their application by emailing nsrf@infrastructure.gov.au.

Round Two on the National Stronger Regions Fund is OPEN, and will close on 31 July 2015. Round Two Guidelines and other guidance material are available here.

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

Are you a ‘fan’ of the Geelong Eyewatch page?

The Geelong Eyewatch Facebook page has been instrumental in solving crime in the G21 region. It has helped in the identification and recovery of stolen property, and has recently been used (successfully) in locating wanted persons. In the event of an emergency, this page would be an official communication source to update the public.

Please like and share this page to ensure maximum regional exposure and help maintain community safety.

Bethany Film Festival – Winter Sleep

The Bethany Arthouse Film Festival raises vital funds for a variety of programs offered to the Geelong community through Bethany Community Support. June’s feature is 2014 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, Winter Sleep which examines the significant divide between the rich and poor as well as the powerful and powerless in Turkey.

9 June 2015, 8pm, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, 50 Little Malop Street, Geelong.

Entries open for Premier’s Sustainability Awards

Victorians who have demonstrated leadership in environmental sustainability are encouraged to enter this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, which recognise and reward organisations and individuals who have led innovative and sustainable change in reducing their everyday environmental impact.

Entries close 13 July 2015.

Key Economic Indicators released – April 2015

The City of Greater Geelong has released the April 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)
7.6% -+0.7pts
Average Weekly Job Advertisements
(Barwon Region)
90 -21.1%
New Monthly Online Job Ads
(Geelong & Great Ocean Road)
922 +10.7%
Monthly Domestic Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
$58.6m +14.5%
Monthly New Dwelling Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
162 +11.0%
Monthly Non-Domestic Building Activity
(City of Greater Geelong)
$28.4m +199.0%
Quarterly Median House Prices
(City of Greater Geelong)
$410,000 +0.7%
Quarterly ABN Registrations
(City of Greater Geelong)
1,084 +9.7%

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 Mar - Apr 2015

Welcome to our new G21 members

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

Bongo! Transit Pty Ltd 

Click here to see the full list of G21 member organisations or to find out about becoming a G21 member organisation.

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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G21 Geelong Region Alliance
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