The countdown is gathering pace to the 2016 Federal election and
the Committee for Geelong has collaborated with the City of Greater
Geelong and the Geelong Chamber of Commerce to highlight a number
of shared priorities for our region.
As Geelong transforms, our focus is clear - Geelong needs growth
and Geelong needs jobs, and we believe that the projects we have
nominated for support, from all political parties, can deliver
As Victoria's second city, Geelong deserves an international
airport at Avalon. There is a need and a market for it, and
it would provide an economic boost in terms of increased visitor
traffic and an improved export/import channel.
Revitalising Central Geelong is also a key priority. The
popularity of the Malop Street Lab showed that street scaping and
urban revitalisation works - and investment in public
infrastructure - help stimulate private sector investment and we
are keen to see more of it.
Geelong also deserves a venue that has the scale and facilities
to host national and international functions, along with the
knowledge exchange that comes from welcoming speakers and visitors
from around the country and the world.
The time has never been more right for a Geelong Convention and
We also believe the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct
will be a powerful economic catalyst, igniting the next stage of
investment in the waterfront, in alignment with the City of Greater
Geelong's and the Victorian Government's vision and planning for
As Geelong and south west Victoria continues to grow our region
also needs appropriate public transport options. The
duplication of the rail track - particularly between South Geelong
and Waurn Ponds - is critical to support our urban growth.
The Federal Government has outlined its vision for 'supporting
productive, accessible, liveable cities that attract talent,
encourage innovation and create jobs and growth' through its Smart
Cities Plan and we believe Geelong's Runway project, ticks all of
The Geelong Performing Arts Centre redevelopment is another
priority and should stand proud as a key civic facility for our
region, attracting an expected four million visitors to Geelong
over a decade and bringing increased opportunities for artists and
community access to world class productions.
And we believe it is critical that what has been started at
Simonds Stadium is finished.
The capital investment to date must be appropriately supported
and the project completed to fulfil the strategic vision and
long-term potential of this pivotal piece of infrastructure for
We are also supportive of the G21 Region Opportunities for Work
initiative, together with the Land 400 program - and we believe
they both deserve support from all political parties.
In line with the Federal Government's Smart Cities Plan we also
consider it is time for a new focus on urban centres - such as
Geelong - in order to develop a policy and strategic approach
tailored to cities that are not state capitals, but at the same
time play a larger role than regional townships.
So, roll on July 2!
Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive
Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter @Comm4Geelong.