Leading the world from Geelong on Social
Fences have gone up around the old Carlton Hotel recently and
work on turning the old art deco pub into a modern home for the
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has begun.
Directly behind this site, a crane towers above our city's
tallest building, the soon-to-be home of WorkSafe. And close by is
the organisation that started Geelong's public service shift, the
Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
While these buildings are physically transforming Victoria's
second city, it is the economic impact of the three organisations
coming to Geelong that is truly changing our region.
Close to 6,000 people in Geelong are employed in the social
insurance and disability sector that the NDIA, TAC and WorkSafe are
part of. It is an industry worth more than $600 million to our
local economy. These are massive numbers for a city the size
of Geelong, and vital for a region that has recently lost jobs from
Now is the time for us to raise our collective hand and put
forward the case for further public service jobs to come to
Geelong. The Federal Government'sSenate Location of Corporate
Commonwealth Entities Orderdefines that, as Geelong is within 150
kms of Melbourne it is not considered 'regional'. However,
investment in Victoria's second city is vital for the local areas
it supports. This is why the Committee for Geelong is calling
for Comcare to be relocated to our city.
As the agency responsible for the workplace health and safety of
Federal Government employees, the benefits for Comcare being
located alongside some of Australia's most innovative and
successful social insurers are immense.
Make no mistake, the TAC, NDIA and WorkSafe are at the forefront
of international social insurance practice. In our city, you will
already find world-leading skills and experience in this field.
Coming to Geelong would enable Comcare to tap into this expertise,
and collaborate with these three organisations.
For the Federal Government, Comcare and Geelong are a perfect
match. The government has to ensure these re-locating agencies can
access the skills and resources they need. Geelong is a proven home
for public service agencies, particularly for those in the
disability and injury sector. The CEO of the TAC recently noted
that his organisation has achieved record results since moving to
Geelong eight years ago, and this speaks volumes of the quality of
people and services available in our city.
Chairman of State Government agency Development Victoria, and
past CEO and Chairman of the TAC and WorkSafe, James MacKenzie, has
also backed Geelong's Comcare case. In a high-level briefing to the
Committee for Geelong, Mr MacKenzie said it was "difficult to
imagine a city with a stronger claim than Geelong, given the
flourishing social insurance cluster."
The Committee for Geelong'sWinning from Secondreport highlights
the need to differentiate our city from others around Australia and
internationally. The report identifies the social insurance sector
as being unique to Victoria's second city, and one of the
industries in which Geelong already has a competitive advantage to
build on. In addition, as highlighted in the Federal
Government'sGeelong Region Local Investment Plan, our city is now
"indisputably Australia's social insurance capital."
It is ultimately up to our community though; these industries -
and the jobs that come out of them for our children and
grandchildren - will not just naturally emerge. So let's lead the
world from Geelong on social insurance and get behind this push to
bring Comcare to our city.
Published in the Geelong Advertiser