G21 Snapshots - May 2016
Snapshots 3
  May 2016  



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.

Affordable social housing a looming issue 
Second river crossing out to market 
Budget delivers more trains to Geelong and Waurn Ponds 
Tangible State Budget benefits for G21 region 
Election will show Federal Budget’s true nature 
G21 on election watch 
Roundabout funds bring double good news 
Funding sought to help asylum seekers find refuge 
Destination Entrepreneur - Innovation training in Geelong! 
Bill Mithen appointed G21 Chair 
Geelong to be boating capital of the bay 
More student accommodation for Geelong 
Hundreds of new jobs on their way to Geelong 
Welcome to Creative State, Victoria's first creative industries strategy 
More support for Wye River 

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


Affordable social housing a looming issue

Bill Mithen, Chris Couzens, Min Foley, Elaine CarbinesG21 has called on all levels of government to better support the challenge of supplying adequate and accessible social housing across the region.

The G21 Addressing Disadvantage Through Affordable Housing position paper highlights a looming crisis in the supply of affordable social housing across the G21 region.

The latest Office of Housing figures, from 2013, show 2,026 people were on the waiting list for public housing, while the total housing stock was only around 3,800.

Affordable rentals across regional Victoria in 2013 was estimated by the Office of Housing at 58%, whereas in parts of the G21 region it was as low as 11%.

Affordable Housing coverThese are startling figures which can’t be ignored. There needs to be more government grants directed to community groups to support the costs of construction and acquisition of land for social housing.

Successful government-private new housing schemes, such as that in Norlane, must also be replicated across the region.

The paper was launched by Victoria’s Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley at the Disability Housing Policy Forum at Karingal’s Eastern Hub in Geelong on 11 May.
Second river crossing out to market

Two weeks after it was fully funded in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, Melbourne’s second river crossing – the Western Distributor – has been put out to market.

A world-class field of international constructors have been invited to bid on the $5.5 billion Western Distributor. All the constructors have a proven track record building freeways, tunnels and landmark bridges in highly urbanised environments and achieving high quality urban design outcomes.

An updated reference design will be developed in response to the ongoing extensive community and stakeholder consultation, and will be released mid- year in time for the next stage of the tender process.

The tender process will be complete by the end of 2016, and the design will be thoroughly assessed through the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process.

The $1.46 billion project provides a much-needed alternative to the West Gate Bridge and will remove thousands of trucks from local streets. In turn, this will reduce congestion around the West Gate Bridge, which is G21 Priority under its Transport links to Melbourne project.

Budget delivers more trains to Geelong and Waurn Ponds

Regional RailsThe State Government has delivered more train services to Geelong and South West Victoria, and is planning for new services in the future.

Delivery of more regional rail services is a key element of G21's Regional Rail Connections Priority Project.

The Victorian Budget provides $131 million to increase regional train services, including 54 extra services for Geelong every week. This builds on the 200 extra services a week to Geelong added last year with the opening of Regional Rail Link.

The Warrnambool line will get an extra weekday service from Warrnambool to Geelong and back, as well as an additional return service from Warrnambool to Melbourne on Sundays. G21 has long lobbied for this outcome.

The Victorian Budget also provides $3 million to develop a business case for duplication of the line from South Geelong to Waurn Ponds.

Tangible State Budget benefits for G21 region

A number of key needs across the G21 region were recognised in the 2016-17 state budget, including several projects G21 has advocated for as regional priorities. These are:

  • $1.46b over forward estimates to ensure the Western Distributor can proceed (a G21 Priority Project) (see above)
  • $106.7m to build a six-kilometre Drysdale By-pass
  • $35m for upgrades and rebuilds across multiple G21 region schools
  • $11.47m for a new police station at Colac and funds to upgrade the Geelong police station
  • $6.9m additional toward the redevelopment and operation of GPAC (a G21 Priority Project)
  • $6m to plan for rail track duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations and for a new service to Armstrong Creek. Funding for increased passenger services to Geelong and through to Colac and Warrnambool (a G21 Priority Project) (see above)
  • $5.5m for early stages of the Geelong Action Plan, including streetscapes and outdoor spaces (a G21 Priority Project)
  • $4m to plan the Geelong Ring Road extension across the Bellarine Peninsula (a G21 Priority Project)
  • Funding for the Geelong Authority, which includes scoping funds for a Geelong convention centre (a G21 Priority Project)
  • Funds to plan an upgrade of the Midland Highway to Bannockburn and for new overtaking lanes at Meredith (A G21 Priority Project)
  • Funds to plan the duplication of Barwon Heads Road to meet growth at Armstrong Creek (a G21 Priority Project)
  • Funds for a new Tech School to be located at The Gordon TAFE
  • Funds for a new school at the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Centre (a G21 Priority Project).
We look forward to working with the government as the various budget-funded projects are implemented.
Election will show Federal Budget’s true nature
The true nature of the Federal Budget for the G21 region is unlikely to be known for some time, with funding announcements possible during the federal election campaign.
Looking at the budget broadly, G21 welcomes the announcement that small-to-medium business will receive tax relief. The G21 region is going through a transition towards a new breed of innovative small-to-medium sized business. The budget will encourage business to help drive this transition, through tax relief and also through innovation incentives for start-ups.
The new Youth Jobs PaTH program aimed at getting young people interned into jobs appears to have synergies with the GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work) program. This may complement the work of GROW within this region.
A new $1.5 million Foundation 61 women’s ‘Ice’ addiction rehabilitation facility will be built in Geelong, which will help combat one of the most important issues facing our community.
Proposed $30.6 million for regional road works, including the Great Ocean Road, the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road, the Midland Highway and Grubb Road in Ocean Grove was announced, but appears to be conditional upon matching state government funding, or the state agreeing to part of the $1.5 billion previously allocated to the now abandoned East West Link going to those projects. Federal and state governments need to resolve these issues for the benefit of the state.
G21 on election watch

GROW funding announcementA federal election will be held on July 2. The G21 region has 11 priority projects across the region identified as needing federal funding.

Three funding commitments have been made against our projects so far:

  • Commitment of $300K in PM’s $1.5B ‘Victorian Infrastructure Package’ for planning Midland Hwy duplication from Bannockburn to Geelong.
  • $2m towards the GROW project, announced by Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek.
  • $1m to plan for the duplication of the rail line between Waurn Ponds and South Geelong today, made by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Advocacy to candidates, ministers and shadow ministers has been underway for months. This has included the scoping of project needs, face-to-face briefings, visits to Canberra and a targeted social media campaign.

We are targeting politicians on all of G21’s social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, which has already garnered plenty of interest.

We urge you to show your support during our campaign. ‘Like’, ‘share’ and forward our social media messages.

A tally sheet of major party commitments against identified G21 priority projects is also available on the G21 website and will be updated as new commitments are made.

Roundabout funds bring double good news

One of Torquay’s most dangerous intersections will be fixed with a two-lane roundabout built at the notorious intersection of the Surf Coast Highway and South Beach Road.

A $2.5 million upgrade funded through the TAC will make the intersection safer and includes new designated bicycle lanes, new road surface and line marking, and new street lighting to improve driver visibility.

Of the five crashes at the intersection over the past five years, three resulted in serious injury, and one fatality.

This announcement allows the Surf Coast Shire, which had previously committed almost $600,000 to the project, to re-allocate the funding and implement traffic lights at the Beach Road / Surf Coast Highway intersection through their capital works program.

Upgrade of the Beach Road and Surf Coast Highway intersection is a G21 Transport Pillar project.

Planning work, including community consultation, will start later this year, with the project due for completion in 2018.

Funding sought to help asylum seekers find refuge

Local community organisations have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Asylum Seekers in the Geelong region apply for protection visas.

The Seeking Refuge Project, is looking for $70,000 in donations to fund vital interpreter services for Asylum Seekers navigating the complex protection visa application process.

Approximately 300 Asylum Seekers in the Geelong area will be invited by the Federal Government to apply for protection visas over the next three years.

Seeking Refuge is arranging workshops to help Asylum Seekers complete their applications, but most Asylum Seekers will require the support of an interpreter to ensure information is accurately recorded. Each application takes several hours to complete at a cost of around $465 in interpreting fees per application.

Without access to professional interpreters, Asylum Seekers will find it difficult to understand the requirements of the application process.

Seeking Refuge are over half way to their goal. You can help here
 until 31 May 2016.

Destination Entrepreneur - Innovation training in Geelong!

Dynamic and exciting, educational and practical, Destination Entrepreneur will take participants on a journey from idea generation, right through to commercialisation with lots of hands on tools and tips to help your business grow and compete in these fast changing times.

A series of breakfast workshops will equip participants with the innovation knowledge, tools and techniques to make their ideas a reality. Learn how to map out future trends, develop profitable ideas, capitalise on opportunities, create a culture of innovation, find profitable partnerships and ultimately, achieve sustainable business growth. This program is ideal for anyone looking to drive their business and/or career forward.

Destination Entrepreneur is designed and delivered by G2 Innovation in partnership with Skilling the Bay, and is supported by the State Government.

An information session is being held next Wednesday, May 25 2016, click here for further details.

Bill Mithen appointed G21 Chair

The G21 Board of Directors elected Give Where You Live Foundation CEO Bill Mithen as its new chairperson at its April Board meeting.

Mr Mithen replaces the former City of Greater Geelong mayor, Darryn Lyons, whose appointment to the G21 board ended with the State Government’s recent removal of the City Greater Geelong Council.

Mr Mithen who has been an elected member on the G21 board since November 2014, says:

“I’m honoured by the appointment.

“Since joining the G21 board I’ve come to fully appreciate the breadth and magnitude of G21’s work.

“I’ve been especially pleased to help build the relationship between the Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 to implement the GROW (Geelong Region Opportunities for Work) project targeting entrenched place-based regional disadvantage.

“G21 has earned the respect of both sides of politics because it has demonstrated over time that it has the region’s best interests at heart.

“Much has been achieved by G21 for the region over more than 12 years. I will work to ensure that record of achievement continues.”

Geelong to be boating capital of the bay

Yacht Club Safe HarbourGeelong is well positioned to become the boating capital of Port Phillip Bay and is capable of attracting billions of dollars in economic activity and jobs with a combination of government and private investment.

A round table of local organisations, including G21, joined the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) to discuss opportunities to attract increased public and private sector investment in Geelong's boating and tourism facilities.

A projected population increase on Victoria’s central coast to nearly 8 million by 2050 will see boating activities doubled. This provides the G21 region with a major opportunity to encourage private investment to create long term and stable employment opportunities in the future. 

BIAV supports the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s applications for the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct, a priority for G21 under the Cruise Ship Destination project, and believes that Geelong has many natural waterfront advantages as one of the few north facing bays in Victoria.

More student accommodation for Geelong

One of Geelong’s most iconic buildings, the T & G building, has celebrated its official opening after being transformed into contemporary student accommodation.

Designed by Geelong firm, Studio 101 Architects, the development features 33 apartments each with its own kitchen, bathroom and study area and access to a communal laundry. The design retains the building’s heritage charm while contributing to the revitalisation of central Geelong’s streetscape. Revitalisation of Central Geelong is a G21 Priority Project.

The project addresses the shortage of dedicated student accommodation in regional Victoria by providing quality, affordable housing and priority access for low socio-economic and disadvantaged regional students.

Hundreds of new jobs on their way to Geelong
WorkSafeHundreds of new jobs are on their way to Geelong with building work commencing on WorkSafe Victoria’s new headquarters.
The $120 million project will become Geelong’s tallest building at 14-storeys, and house around 700 WorkSafe employees and contractors.
Empty buildings at the rear of the site have been demolished, while work will get under way to build an internal structural system to support and protect the facade of the historic Dalgety & Co building during construction. Piling and other foundation works will begin later this month.
WorkSafe’s move to Geelong is part of the State Government’s work to bring new jobs and industries to the region.
More than 150 WorkSafe employees will move to Geelong in December and work out of the TAC head office at 60 Brougham St. The rest of head office is expected to move in 2018 when the development is complete.
Welcome to Creative State, Victoria's first creative industries strategy

With more than $115 million in new funding, Creative State is designed to grow Victoria's $23 billion creative and cultural economy, creating new jobs and employment opportunities, and bring social and cultural benefits to Victorians.

Launched last month, the strategy has five focus areas and 40 targeted actions. The focus areas are:
  • Backing creative talent
  • Strengthening the creative industries ecosystem
  • Delivering wider economic and social impact
  • Increasing participation and access
  • Building international engagement
Creative State will roll out from this July, with key initiatives overseen by the Creative State Advisory Board.

More support for Wye River

The Wye River community will receive an additional $190,000 for priority projects that further assist the recovery from last year’s fire, under new measures announced by the State Government.

The State Government will provide $100,000 for the Wye River CFA, which will go towards funding an extension to the local CFA building and an equipment upgrade.

The Wye River Surf Life Saving Club will receive $60,000 to fund repairs and an upgrade to facilities and equipment.

A further $30,000 will go towards the immediate weed management works in the Wye River and Separation Creek areas, which has been identified as a key priority by the community as well as the government agencies that manage public land in the area.

These funding announcements are in addition to the State Government’s $2.75 million assistance package announced in January to support the Wye River and Separation Creek communities.


RDA BSW Committee update 

Growing Adventure Tourism in the Barwon South West – PLA State Award

The Growing Adventure Tourism in the Barwon South West project, managed on behalf of the region by Warrnambool City Council, received the Parks and Leisure Australia (Vic/Tas Region) award of excellence in theOpen space and Leisure Planning’ category at the annual conference dinner at RACV resort in Torquay on 4 May 2016.
The Growing Adventure Tourism in the Barwon South West initiative is the foundation of the G21 Adventure Trails priority project and aims to develop the region as a premier trail destination known for its range of trails and cycle touring routes, offering exceptional natural adventure experiences.
The objectives of the project are to increase the yield from visitors, generate economic and job creation benefits, and support Victoria to become a leading trail and cycling tourism destination.
The project was one of nine nominated in the category and will be considered for a national award at the Parks and Leisure National Conference to be held in Adelaide in October.
RDA BSW contributed $70,000 towards this project in partnership with numerous local and state government agencies, which has resulted in strengthened working relationships and a clear focus how the region will create exceptional walking and cycling experiences.
Click here to visit the RDA Committee website
Click here to follow RDA Committee on Twitter

Items of regional interest 

Don’t miss out! Registrations closing soon
The G21 Health and Wellbeing Pillar is holding their bi-annual Partner Forum on 26 May 2016 (9am-12.30pm). The Forum will look at ‘Inclusive practice: an equal experience for all’. If you wish to attend this free event, please email rsvp@G21.com.au or phone 5227 4000 (19 May, 2016).

Victorian Agribusiness Summit - 23-24 June
Officially opened by Minster for Agriculture and Regional Development, the Hon Jaala Pulford MP, this year's Forum looks at 'Agritourism - Opening the Farmgate' and includes sessions on:

  • Skills for successful agritourism
  • Agritourism, the way of the future for many farmers
  • Making your farm a destination.

23-24 June, RACV Country Club, Healesville.

Local Clubs; from good to great
A must for club coaches, administrators and volunteers, the 2016 Geelong Sport Development Conference includes workshops on

  • High Performing Teams: On and Off the Field
  • Building Great Culture: Club Ideas and Strategies
  • It’s All About the Money…Fundraising, Getting Grants and Sponsors
  • Getting the Most Out of Your Athletes and Players.
29 May 2016, Geelong Arena, Victoria Street, North Geelong.
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 Apr - May 2016.

G21 Membership

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 www.G21.com.au.
Bill Mithen

Bill Mithen
G21 Chairperson
Elaine Carbines

Elaine Carbines
Chief Executive Officer
0437 202 300


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G21 Geelong Region Alliance
131 Myers Street
PO Box 4078
GEELONG, Victoria 3216

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