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Announcement - Commonwealth Bank as Lead Research Partner

The Committee for Geelong (CfG) is proud to announce the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as the Lead Research Partner of its 'Second City' research project.

CfG CEO Rebecca Casson said that, while the CfG has already undertaken preliminary research on global second cities, CBA's support will enable the CfG to formally commission academic research and gain an even deeper understanding of how other cities, like Geelong, have successfully leveraged their size and position.

"The Commonwealth Bank's national reach makes it an ideal partner for developing our second city research project, and the CfG is delighted to have their support," said Ms Casson.

The recent Commission of Inquiry into the Greater Geelong City Council found that the development of a long-term vision for Geelong was a high priority.  The CfG therefore believes its second city research is timely and will build on the Geelong Region Plan, the G21 Regional Growth Plan and other work.  Geelong can lead the way in developing a strategic approach tailored to cities that are not state capitals, but at the same time play a larger role than regional townships, to leverage their full economic and social potential.

Ms Casson said the formal acknowledgement of Geelong as Victoria's second largest city in the Plan Melbourne Refresh underpinned the drive to review Government policy, to highlight the city's significant strengths and attractiveness to potential new businesses and residents.

"We believe the stage has been set for a fundamental rethink on the significance of second cities throughout Australia. Given the importance that second cities hold for their regions; Geelong - and other second cities such as Newcastle in New South Wales - should be treated in a different way to smaller regional cities when it comes to funding and policies," she said.

"There is now an opportunity for Geelong to take a national lead and provide strategic and policy directions on the future planning, funding and governance arrangements for second cities across the country."

Ms Casson added that, at a local level, the CfG's research on second cities would contribute to an evidence-based, long-term vision being developed by the City of Greater Geelong.  This type of strategic vision will unify local stakeholders and should set out how industry, residents, social enterprises and all levels of government can work together to maximise social, cultural and economic potential.

"As Geelong transforms, having a long-term plan for Geelong will enhance confidence and foster a positive image of Geelong - particularly to those living outside our region that may have negative perceptions about our city.  This is specifically important for investors who are often guided by strong government policy to make decisions," she said. 

Commonwealth Bank Regional General Manager - Victoria, Richard Porter said, "The Commonwealth Bank recognises that further research on second cities is of great significance.  We are a proud member of the Committee for Geelong and we are pleased to support this exciting project."

Pic: Committee for Geelong CEO Rebecca Casson, Commonwealth Bank Area Manager South West Victoria Josh Mitchell and Transforming Geelong Vision Sub Committee Chairperson Kirsten Kilpatrick




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