Committee for Geelong CEO, Jennifer Cromarty, was interviewed by the Geelong Advertiser’s Chad Estrop late in 2021, along with other Geelong leaders such as G21’s Giulia Baggio, Corangamite MP Libby Coker, and Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, for a feature article published January 1 2022, titled ‘What Geelong’s Leaders are wishing for in 2022’. You can read the article in full here

Jennifer spoke to the Committee for Geelong’s Priorities for Government 2021/22 document when considering her wishlist for the coming year.

What infrastructure projects should be completed or started in 2022?

  • As per our Priorities for Government 2021/22 document, the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre – which is already funded – needs to commence in 2022.
  • Funding the necessary infrastructure for the arrival of the Spirit of Tasmania in 2022 in support of the GeelongPort’s significant private investment.

What are your top five priorities for the region in 2022 in terms of what governments should be focusing on?
Please refer to the Committee’s Priorities for Government 2021/22 document, where you will find detailed information on where the Committee believes the State and Federal Governments should focus their attention in our region.

What projects or initiatives should governments at either level fund in 2022?
Please see our priorities list for more detail, however we are very keen to see commitments for public transport planning for Geelong, a trial of Advanced Rail-less Trams in the Geelong CBD, a new train station at Avalon Airport, the Geelong Gallery $90M re-development in 2022 and $15M for the You Yangs Masterplan.

How do you think the Geelong region will emerge from the Covid pandemic in 2022?
I think Geelong is well placed to recover from the pandemic with strong population growth – which is a pre-cursor to government investment and support. However, managing this growth sustainably is a challenge which requires coordinated efforts from all levels of government and community. This includes significant investment and incentives for growing our residential population in Central Geelong from 2000 to 12,000 residents.

We also require good levels of land supply to be available to help ensure we maintain affordability amidst demand and growth.

We must also agree to transition our economy towards zero emissions. The Roadmap to Zero Emissions: Geelong Jobs Report via Ironbark Sustainability provides initial assessments of the new economy jobs that can be created. The Committee for Geelong sees this report as requiring serious consideration by government and the private sector as a we consider post COVID investments (this was a recommendation from CfG’s Resilient Geelong report in 2020).

Positioning the region for success will be well-supported in 2022 as we await the launch of the new Brand Geelong campaign.

What are your concerns for the region as it emerges from Covid?

The mental health of our residents and young people and a surge in issues related to family violence and sexual assault require our attention.

We need to continue to support each other as a community and call for extra skills and funding as needed.

With strong levels of vaccination and excellent health service providers, the Committee for Geelong hopes that we are in a position to now keep our economy open and provide the necessary social and wellbeing supports to our community as we emerge from the pandemic. <Please see my comments above regarding housing affordability in previous answer.>

Transport and a coordinated approach and investment in public transport continues to be an issue for the region. Significant investment in public transport is required to ensure we are able to continue being an attractive plan to live, work and play through this growth. <Please refer to priorities document for more detail>

Opening up our borders to both skilled migration and international students is also a key issue and one that will take several years for the region to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Our recovery will be dependent on having access to the skills and labour needed as demand rises in our growing population.

How can governments fix the current shortage of workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors? Do you see the shortage having a major impact on those industries in the region in 2022?

Accommodation for key workers is an issue in areas of high tourism demand. This is an issue for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors with excellent representation via Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine and more broadly G21.

We ask that people be patient during this time of transition and continue to support our local operators who have experienced a very difficult two years.


For more information please contact: Jennifer Cromarty, CEO, Committee for Geelong
M: 0413 241 033 /